Study links late sleep timing to poorer diet quality and lower physical activity

June 8, 2016, American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Credit: xiaphias/Wikipedia

A new study suggests that among healthy adults with a habitual sleep duration of at least 6.5 hours, late sleep timing was associated with higher fast food consumption and lower vegetable intake, particularly among men, as well as lower physical activity.

Results show that late sleep timing is associated with lower body mass index and is not associated with total caloric intake; however, it remains associated with poorer diet quality, particularly fast food, vegetable and dairy intake.

"Our results help us further understand how sleep timing in addition to duration may affect obesity risk," said principal investigator Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, associate professor of neurology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. "It is possible that poor dietary behaviors may predispose individuals with late sleep to increased risk of weight gain."

The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Sunday, June 12, in Denver at SLEEP 2016, the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS).

The study group consisted of 96 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 50 years with sleep duration of 6.5 hours or more. The study involved 7 days of wrist actigraphy to measure sleep, food diaries to measure caloric intake and dietary patterns, and SenseWear arm band monitoring to measure physical activity. Dim light melatonin onset was evaluated in the clinical research unit. Body fat was evaluated using dual axis absorptiometry (DXA). Data were analyzed using correlation and regression analyses controlling for age, sex, and efficiency.

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