Quality sleep is essential for our physical and mental health, a well proven fact that many of us continue to ignore with the average Australian getting an hour less than the recommended amount per night.
But there’s another compelling reason to prioritise your pillow time – a new study has found that getting an extra hour of sleep can reduce your consumption of fat, carbs and free sugars.
Researchers from King’s College London followed 42 healthy people who were habitually short sleepers. Half of the group received a behavioural consultation session targeting sleep hygiene to extend their snooze time, while the other half received no intervention and maintained their short sleep.
The sleep extension group increased their shut eye by 55 minutes on average and within a week, reported eating 10 grams less of added sugars, as well as fewer carbohydrates, per day.
“The fact that extending sleep led to a reduction in intake of free sugars, by which we mean the sugars that are added to food my 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 Dr Wendy Hall, from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London.
Despite it being a pilot study, it certainly gives an extra excuse to hit the snooze button come morning.