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

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

A new study coming from the United Kingdom has suggested the easiest way which can help people to reduce sugar production inside the body and which can reduce their body weight.

Have a really late night and you'll find yourself craving unhealthy grub the next day in a bid to get your blood sugar up. "As a guide we should be aiming for around eight hours of sleep a night", said Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation.

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

The research was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Half of the group underwent a "sleep hygiene" programme that involved a 45-minute appointment with a consultant with the aim of extending their sleep by between 1 and 1.5 hours a 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.

Al-Khatib said: "Our results also suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices".

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In the end, they got some unexpected outcomes. But while 57 per cent believed they had increased activity levels, their devices showed a "downward trend" from the overall group average of 500 steps an hour.

The researchers found extending sleep resulted in a 10-gram reduction in reported intake of free sugars - the sugars added to foods by manufacturers or in cooking at home, as well as sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juice - compared to the amount consumed at the start of the trial.

Participants kept sleep and food diaries and wore wrist motion sensors to detect how long they slept for.

The group has provided a chart which contained some suggestions to get better sleep.

And they found that 86% of the group who slept longer managed to increase their sleep time by an average of 21 minutes - and after a month of better sleeping, cut their sugar intake by nearly 10g - a third of their daily allowance. This included advice such as avoiding caffeine before bed time, establishing a relaxing routine and not going to bed too full or hungry, tailored to their personal lifestyle. Around 86 percent of the participants who had 0received sleep consultation managed to increase their total time spent in bed, and 50 percent of the participants extended their sleep duration by 52 to 90 minutes every night.

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