A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reveals a link between sleep deprivation and high-calorie food cravings, particularly in women.
The survey of nearly 500 women between the ages of 20 and 76 found that those who reported poor sleep quality or a lack of sleep also consumed more foods high in added sugars, saturated fats and caffeine.
Researchers warn that women are already at high risk for obesity and sleep disorders — both causes and results of calorific food intake. Foods associated with added sugars and fats are also linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
According to their self-reported responses, 30 percent of the women involved in the study slept fewer than seven hours per night (eight is recommended) and nearly 25 percent said the same but also suffered from insomnia. Average sleep time among the entire cohort was fewer than seven hours.
Those women, in turn, ate an additional 500 to 800 calories on average, as well as exceeded daily dietary recommendations for saturated fats, added sugars and caffeine. They also failed to meet the mark when it came to healthy foods, such as grains and fiber.