Not Sleeping Enough Could Be Making You Eat Unconsciously – When you’re awake, that is.
It’s one of the most prevalent first world dilemmas: to wake up early and go to the gym, or skip your morning workout for an extra hour of sleep? If doing the former means you’re getting less than seven hours, you might be better off with option B.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently found a ominous link between short sleep and weight gain from distracted eating. The study, reports Science Daily, focuses on increased caloric intake from food and drink you don’t even know you’re eating and drinking. Bad news if you often eat at your desk while typing emails or editing spreadsheets.
“The association between short sleep and obesity risk is well-established,” Gabriel S. Tajeu, DrPH, a postdoctoral fellow in UAB’s Department of Epidemiology, said. “However, we are looking at whether short sleep is linked to more time spent in secondary eating or drinking, that is, eating or drinking beverages other than water—such as sugar-sweetened beverages—while primarily engaged in another activity, such as television watching.”
28,150 American adults (44.2% male) were surveyed in the new study. Those who reported sleeping less than seven hours engaged in secondary eating an additional 8.7 minutes a day. Secondary drinking was even more dangerous, at an additional 28.6 and 31.28 minutes daily on weekdays and weekends, respectively. No wonder bottomless mimosas seem to flow extra freely after a big night out.