Clocking in more hours of shut-eye may have been one of your more worthy New Year’s resolutions, and recent research suggests prioritizing your snooze time may even help with your diet. More sleep, a new study shows, could help you limit your sugar and carbohydrate intake.
In the admittedly small study, conducted by researchers at King’s College London, 21 participants were given tips on how to sleep longer—like no caffeine before bedtime and creating a relaxing routine—and another 21 participants had no intervention and went about their typical nightly routines. After a week of keeping food journals and tracking their sleep cycles with motion sensors on their wrists, researchers found that the participants who got more sleep experienced a diet reduction of both sugar and carbs.
“The fact that extending sleep led to a reduction in intake of sugars suggests that a simple change in lifestyle may really help people to consume healthier diets.” —Wendy Hall, PhD
“The fact that extending sleep led to a reduction in intake of free sugars—by which we mean the sugars that are added to foods by manufacturers or in cooking at home as well as sugars in honey, syrups, and fruit juice—suggests that a simple change in lifestyle may really help people to consume healthier diets,” said principal investigator Wendy Hall, PhD, in a press release.
For some of the participants, even an extra hour in bed made a difference—and that’s a habit shift anyone can strive to achieve. Considering the tiny study size, more research will need to take place for conclusive results, but with everything we know about the benefits of extra sleep, it couldn’t possibly hurt to move up your bedtime.
Need help squeezing in some extra shut-eye? Try banning technology an hour before bed, using aromatherapy to help relax, or even snuggling with this new robotic sleep aid. Your efforts just might pay off with dreamy health benefits.