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Cravings cure: a good night’s sleep?

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Cravings cure: a good night’s sleep?

To sleep, perchance to…eat a nutritious diet? It’s not that simple, but there’s increasing evidence that there are connections between sleep, food choices, and health. In the latest study, more than 3,000 adults were surveyed about their nighttime snacking habits, their cravings, the quality of their sleep, and health problems. The researchers found that poor sleep quality was linked to junk food cravings, and that those cravings were linked to conditions like obesity and diabetes (no surprise there). Connecting the dots between sleep, cravings, and health will take more research, but we know that sleep deprivation affects levels of hormones that control appetite, and also that simply being awake for more hours can lead to eating more. Make sure you’re following sleep hygiene recommendations: stick with a set bedtime and wake time, limit caffeine and alcohol, exercise regularly (but not close to bedtime), and follow a wind-down routine that includes shutting down electronics an hour or two before bedtime. For added support, check out our online Go! to Sleep program, and talk with your doctor if you think may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Set yourself up to eat well by ridding your kitchen of hard-to-resist junk food and stocking it with nutritious snacks like nuts, fruit, and cut-up veggies. Sleeping well and eating well means having two major things in your corner for your long-term health!