Healthy Diet Can’t Compensate for Poor Sleep

To maintain normal blood sugar levels, and overall health, life can be a balancing act. A new study found that a healthy diet cannot cancel out poor sleep.

According to a study, sleeping less than six hours a night raises the risk of developing serious blood sugar concerns. Even if people eat a healthy diet, the odds remain elevated.

The research involved almost 250,000 people in the UK. Out of the people studied over 12 years, more than 7,900 developed serious blood sugar concerns. People who slept three to four hours a night were 41 percent more likely to develop a blood sugar concern. People who slept five hours a night had a 16 percent higher risk. While the results sound alarming, the researchers say people shouldn’t panic. But it should remind us how important sleep is for health.

A link between two factors doesn’t always mean that one is caused by the other. Study author Dr Christian Benedict, sleep researcher at Uppsala Univ., explained that it can be hard to tell. People who get seven to nine hours sleep usually eat fewer calories and less sugar. He said this “likely contributes to better long-term metabolic health.” He added that a lack of sleep can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, raising the risk. It might not be a lack of sleep causing a heightened risk, but it could be something related to sleep that is a risk factor.

These findings suggest that adopting a healthy diet may not reduce the risk of developing [serious blood sugar concern] among those with habitual short sleep duration,” the researchers wrote.

The outline for a healthy diet, according to the study, was two or more pieces of fruit a day, at least two servings of fish a week and four or more tablespoons of vegetables a day. People were also limited to two servings of processed and two servings of unprocessed red meat per week. People’s diets were graded on a scale of zero to five, with five being the best.

Many of us believe that, as health is a balancing act, we can cancel out one unhealthy behavior with a positive act. However, this study shows that you can’t make up lost ground by eating your vegetables when it comes to sleep. But you can avoid caffeine for six hours before bed and try to drink milk or eat foods containing tryptophan to help you get a better night’s sleep!

Banner image: Cottonbro Studio via Pexels

Related Posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By clicking the "Subscribe" button you agree to our newsletter policy