Sci­en­tists from Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty in New York (USA) have proven that women who suf­fer from a lack of sleep or prob­lems falling asleep get more calo­ries and eat unhealthy foods more often.

The study involved 495 women aged 20 to 76 years. Over the course of a year, they had to report the qual­i­ty of their sleep, the time it took them to fall asleep, and any symp­toms of insom­nia. The sci­en­tists also mon­i­tored their diet accord­ing to a list of 70 types of food.

Cal­cu­la­tions showed that women who com­plained of poor sleep ate 143 kcal and 100 g more food dai­ly than par­tic­i­pants who slept sound­ly at night. Over­all, poor sleep result­ed in an addi­tion­al 4 grams of sug­ar for every 1,000 calo­ries.

Women who took more than an hour to fall asleep ate an aver­age of 426 more calo­ries than women who took no more than 15 min­utes to fall asleep.

Final­ly, with insom­nia, calo­rie intake increased by 216 units, and the amount of food eat­en by 124 g. Women with insom­nia pre­ferred fat­ty foods and received an addi­tion­al 3 g of sug­ar per 1000 kcal.

Sci­en­tists believe that sleep dis­tur­bances lead to the acti­va­tion of hunger sig­nals or the sup­pres­sion of sati­ety sig­nals. Insom­nia affects the activ­i­ty of the hip­pocam­pus, an area of ​​the brain involved in the reg­u­la­tion of food intake.

This study con­firms oth­er obser­va­tions that peo­ple with poor sleep qual­i­ty con­sume more sug­ary foods, which increase their risk of devel­op­ing type 2 dia­betes and obe­si­ty.


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