Targeting Sleep Hygiene May Combat Obesity

Personalized sleep extension protocol for habitually short sleepers is feasible and may improve diet
Personalized sleep extension protocol for habitually short sleepers is feasible and may improve diet

HealthDay News — For adults who are habitually short sleepers, a personalized sleep extension protocol is feasible and may improve diet by reducing sugar intake, according to a study published online January 10 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Haya K. Al Khatib, from King's College London, and colleagues examined the feasibility of a personalized sleep extension protocol in 42 healthy adults ages 18 to 64 years who are at a normal weight and habitually short sleepers (five to less than seven hours). The effects of extended sleep were assessed on dietary intake and quality. Twenty-one participants received a behavioral consultation session targeting sleep hygiene (sleep extension group), and 21 maintained habitual short sleep (control group) in a 4-week randomized, controlled trial. 

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The rate of participation was 100%. Attrition was 6.5%, and compliance was 85.7%. The researchers found that, compared with the control group, the sleep extension group had significantly increased time in bed (55 minutes), sleep period (47 minutes), and sleep duration (21 minutes). Compared with controls, sleep extension correlated with a significantly lower intake of free sugars (−9.6 versus 0.7 g). Compared with the control group, sensitivity analysis in plausible reporters found that the sleep extension group had reduced intakes of fat, carbohydrates, and free sugars.

"Sleep extension led to reduced free sugar intakes and may be a viable strategy to facilitate limiting excessive consumption of free sugars in an obesity-promoting environment," the authors write.

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