Can missing sleep cause excessive snacking?

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Can missing sleep cause excessive snacking?

Researchers from Ohio State University wanted to study how sleep duration affected dietary choices. To do so, they analyzed data from nearly 20,000 U.S. adults ranging from 20 to 60 years old who took part in a national survey. What do you think that they found?

The researchers reported that individuals who get less than seven hours of sleep tend to snack more often, usually with high-calorie snacks with little nutritional value, compared with those who sleep more than seven hours per day.

The lead researcher explained that “not only are we not sleeping when we stay up late, but we’re doing obesity-related behaviors such as

  • lack of physical activity,
  • increased screen time, and
  • poor snack choices.”

Both sleep and a healthy diet greatly affect how we feel overall, and we’re learning more and more about how these two factors are interwoven.

The researchers said, “We know lack of sleep is linked to obesity from a broader scale, but it’s all these little behaviors that are anchored around how that happens.”

The researchers remind us, “If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy diet and find yourself indulging in less-than-optimal snacks, prioritizing good sleep might be just the place to start. At the very least, you’ll be well-rested and better able to tackle the day ahead.”

The research was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. More details are available at

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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