The participants undertook a 45-minute sleep consultation, kept sleep diaries, and wore motion sensors that detected exactly how long they slept for, and how long they spent in bed before falling asleep. The researchers found that those who extended their sleep reduced their free sugar consumption by 10 grams when compared to baseline levels, along with a decrease in carbohydrate consumption.
The statistics also implied, but this protracted sleep could have been of the lower grade than the control class and investigators think an amount of adjustment to some new pattern might be required.
There was some evidence that sleep quality deteriorated in the sleep extension group, which the researchers attribute to a change of routine.
Participants were split into two groups: One made no changes to their lifestyle, but the other was instructed to extend the time they spent in bed each night by up to 90 minutes, and taught how to improve their sleep hygiene (that is, the everyday habits underpinning quality sleep).
A study found that an extra 20 minutes of sleep could help people cut back on the equivalent of half a slice of cake a day.
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. Three of the participants achieved a weekly average of more than 7 hours sleep a night.
The amount of sleep participants got each night proved to have a positive correlation with their diets. Apart from this, it can also develop other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, the researchers mentioned in the study.
The food diaries revealed more sleep seemingly led to less sugar: the sleep extension group dropped their intake of free sugars (which generally means sugar added to products by food manufacturers) by nearly 10g.
"Our results also suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices", said Haya Al Khatib from King's College London. We have shown that sleep habits can be changed with relative ease in healthy adults using a personalised approach.
This isn't the first study to link diet and sleep.
'We hope to investigate this finding further with longer-term studies examining nutrient intake and continued adherence to sleep extension behaviours in more detail, especially in populations at risk of obesity or cardiovascular disease'.