My dad tells a lot of jokes.
Well, actually… he tells a few jokes, over and over and over…
One of his favorites is this:
Did you hear about the man who dreamt he was eating a giant marshmallow?
Woke up… and his pillow was gone.
Ok, maybe it’s in the delivery… but he always finds it funny.
And I always laugh when I see him laughing.
After reading this recent study, I thought of my dad, and his joke.
Because he may have stumbled on a connection he hadn’t even considered…
Between sleep and food.
This study suggests that if you actually get enough shuteye, you can cut down on bad food choices. Specifically, sugar.
How much sleep is enough? At least 7 hours.
The study only lasted a month. So it wasn’t enough time to notice much in terms of weight or important changes in your body.
But the people who were coached on how to get more sleep (the usual advice, including no late-night caffeine, putting your electronics aside well before bed, and not going to bed full or hungry), started eating better during the day.
Like 10 fewer grams of sugar per day better.
It doesn’t sound like much, but like anything, it adds up.
Keep in mind, the “standard” recommendation for sugar per day is only 25 grams for women, 36 for men. 10 grams is about 2.5 teaspoons.
And we’re usually getting far more than the recommendation. So any cutback is a good thing.
Makes sense to me why more rest = less sugar. Your body craves quick energy when you don’t get enough sleep.
And when you’re groggy and dragging through the day, that box of donuts in the breakroom looks pretty good…
Your resistance is down. You’re carb cravings go up.
And this up-and-down pattern of highs and crashes can impact your sleep.
The next day, the cycle continues.
Developing healthy habits is hard. Giving up something that gives you at least short-term pleasure is that much more difficult.
But cutting down on sugar is so important, when you find a quick & easy way to do it – and the prescription is for an extra hour’s sleep instead of a drug… it’s a lifestyle change we all can do.
The more you reach for the pillow instead of a Snickers, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
But you knew that already.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance