They find an association between what we eat and how we sleep.
An investigation, published in the journal Appetite, shows a relationship between the number of calories consumed and the duration of sleep.
The study authors examined daily calories and food consumed, as well as the amount of time that study participants slept, establishing 4 categories: those who slept very little (less than five hours each night), little (five or six hours each night), normal (seven to eight hours each night) and a lot (those who slept nine hours or more each night).
They found that those who consumed the most calories were more likely to get less than 5 hours of sleep each night.
They also identified different associations between sleep time and the types of nutrients the participants ate. For example, those who slept very little time consumed less water, total carbohydrates, and a compound found in foods that are red and orange, compared to other types of sleepers.
In contrast, those who slept a lot consumed less of a compound found in tea and chocolate, thus choline, a nutrient found in eggs and some meats, but more alcohol.
Overall, the researchers found that those who slept very little, little and a long time had a less varied diet than those whose sleep lasted for a duration classified as normal (between 7 and 8 hours each night).
It is important to note that this study only showed an association between the amount of sleep and eating, but does not prove that eating certain foods can cause a person to sleep less, or conversely that poor sleep causes a person to eat certain foods. However, the results are interesting as many studies have shown that short sleep is associated with weight gain, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disease and performance deficits.
It is also known that sleeping too long also has negative health consequences.
Based on the data, if the ideal combination of nutrients and calories could be identified to promote healthy sleep, factors such as obesity and cardiometabolic risk could be improved.