Attention night-time snackers!

We’ve all raided the fridge at midnight. Nigella Lawson seems to do it in every episode of her cookery programme. But if it’s a regular habit, and involves binging on junk food, research now suggests we may also be poor sleepers, which in turn may lead to all sorts of problems with weight management and health.

Sleep researchers at the University of Arizona have found night-time snacking and junk food cravings may represent a link between poor sleep and obesity. In a poll some 60% of participants reported regular night-time snacking, with two-thirds reporting that lack of sleep led them to crave more junk food. The researchers found that junk food cravings were associated with double the increase in the likelihood of night-time snacking, which was associated with an increased risk for diabetes. They also found that poor sleep quality seemed to be a major predictor of junk food cravings, and that junk food cravings were associated with a greater likelihood of participants reporting obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

A connection between poor sleep, junk food cravings and unhealthy night-time snacking may yet provide better understanding of the way sleep helps regulate metabolism. In any case sleep, exercise and eating patterns are increasingly seen as inter-linked, with each capable of throwing the others out of balance. That night-time snack might be responsible for a lot more than we realise.

Don’t let night-time snacking push you into sleep deficits!

Make eating real food Just Routine

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