Getting more sleep could help lower sugar consumption

Harold Mandel's picture
Sleep

Researchers have noted there are associations between self-reported sleep duration and drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Lack of adequate sleep can be very detrimental for the well being of people. Sleep deprivation is associated with an increased risk of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Drinking sugary soft drinks is associated with obesity and an increased risk for diabetes. Researchers have found an association between these two unhealthy behaviors.

Shorter sleep time and drinking sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked

The University of California - San Francisco reports shorter sleep time and drinking sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked in a new study. The researchers say treating sleep deprivation could potentially lower consumption of sugar.

Scientists at UC San Fransisco included 18,000 adults in this study. They say they found that people who get five or less hours of sleep a night are likely to also drink a great deal more sugary caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks and sodas. The researchers have said that it's not at this time clear whether consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages causes people not to sleep as much or whether people seek our more sugar and caffeine to help keep them awake due to sleep deprivation.

A positive feedback loop may exist wherein sleep loss and sugary drinks reinforce each other

Lead author Aric A. Prather, PhD, says it appears a positive feedback loop may exist wherein sleep loss and sugary drinks reinforce each other. This would make it hard for people to beat their unhealthy habit of consuming too much sugar. It has been suggested people could possibly break out of this viscous cycle and lower their sugar consumption by improving their sleep.

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Too much sugar intake is associated with metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of conditions which includes high blood sugar and too much body fat. Too much blody fat can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. It has been noted that there is a higher risk for metabolic disease with lack of sleep. In school aged children the two factors have been found to be linked together. Kids who do not get enough sleep have been observed to be more likely to drink soda and other sugary beverages.

People who regularly slept five or less hours per night also consumed 21 percent more caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages

The researchers found that people who regularly slept five or less hours per night also consumed 21 percent more caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages, which included both sodas and non-carbonated energy drinks, than people who slept seven to eight hours at night. People who got six hours of sleep per night generally drank 11 percent more caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages. It was of interest that the researchers did not find any association between sleep duration and drinking of diet drinks, juice or tea.

There have been no definite conclusions about cause and effect in dealing with sleep deprivation and drinking of sugary beverages. However this study may nevertheless lead to a new way to address the problem of too much sugar consumption. In view of the likely two-way relationship between sugary drinks and too little sleep, improving the duration and quality of sleep may turn out to be a good new intervention for improving the health and well-being of people who consume a lot of sugary drinks.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are a primary factor in developing obesity and cardiometabolic disease

This study has been published in the journal Sleep Health. Sugar-sweetened beverages are a primary factor in developing obesity and cardiometabolic disease. There has also been noted to be a link between less sleep duration and increased appetite and obesity. The researchers investigated whether there is a link between sleep duration and sugary soft drink consumption.

The researchers have conclued shorter sleep duration is associated with greater consumption of sugared caffeinated sodas. The directionality of this relationship was not determined in this study. It is possible that caffeinated drinks could be responsible for sleep impairment. It's also possible too little sleep could influence a person's appetitive drive to consume sugared caffeine drinks. The considerations herein are compelling and lead to the possibility that getting more sleep could lead to less sugar consumption and associated health issues.

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