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How poor sleep can affect your diet

If you find yourself struggling to quit sugar and unhealthy fats, it might be because you’re not getting enough sleep, according to a study published in this month by the Journal of the American Heart Association. The researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center found that women who sleep poorly tend to overeat and consume a lower-quality diet.

The findings provide new insight into how poor sleep quality can increase the risk of heart disease and obesity and points to possible interventions for improving women’s heart health.

The researchers analysed the sleep and eating habits of an ethnically diverse group of almost 500 women of varying ages. The study looked at sleep quality, the time it took to fall asleep, and insomnia. The women also reported on the types and amounts of foods they typically eat throughout the year, allowing researchers to measure their typical dietary patterns.

Similar to previous studies of sleep and diet, the study found that those with worse overall sleep quality consumed more of the added sugars associated with obesity and diabetes.

“Women are particularly prone to sleep disturbances across the life span because they often shoulder the responsibilities of caring for children and family and, later, because of menopausal hormones,” says Brooke Aggarwal, senior author of the study.

You can access the study in the Journal of the American Heart Association: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.119.014587

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