Sweet dreams: a good night's sleep helps you cut sugar

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Notably, the long sleepers also reduced their sugar intake-think: the simple sugars found in fruit juice, for example-by 10 grams, along with their carbohydrate intake.

The researchers from King's College London in the United Kingdom found that extending sleep patterns resulted in a 10-gramme reduction in reported intake of free sugars compared to baseline levels.

In the study, 21 participants had sleep consultations in order to extend their visit to the land of nod by 90 minutes each night. Another group of 21 participants were also recruited but did not receive intervention in their sleep patterns, therefore serving as the control group, according to the study.

After carrying out this study, they reduce their unhealthy sugars intake by 10kg equivalent, which is also the equivalent of half a slice of cake with icing, or three chocolate digestives.

Each person in the sleep extension group received a list with a minimum of four appropriate sleep hygiene behaviors that were personalized to their lifestyle (such as avoiding caffeine before bed time, establishing a relaxing routine, and not going to bed too full or hungry) and a recommended bedtime.

These participants were all people who previously slept less than seven hours a night, the recommended minimum time adults should sleep.

So if you're trying to get healthy or trying to lose a bit of weight, maybe start off seeing just how much kip you're getting and work from there.

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The amount of sleep participants got each night proved to have a positive correlation with their diets.

For seven days following the consultation, participants kept sleep and estimated food diaries and a wrist-worn motion sensor which measured exactly how long participants slept, as well as time spent in bed before falling asleep. There were no significant differences shown in the other group.

"It can be hard to make healthy lifestyle choices when we're exhausted and so getting a good night's sleep might be more important than we think".

'We have shown that sleep habits can be changed with relative ease in healthy adults using a personalised approach, ' lead researcher Haya Al Khatib, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, stated.

There is growing evidence of a link between sleep quality, obesity and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

A research team led by King's College London carried out a 4-week trial with 42 poor sleepers aged 18 to 64 who usually got between 5 and 7 hours of sleep a night.

Those who stay in bed longer were found to consume 2½ fewer teaspoons of sugar per day - around 40 calories.

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