11 Jan 2017

Sugary Drinks are Bad for Sleep

Submitted by LiMing

Drinking sodas and energy drinks does not just help you stay alert during the day, it cuts your sleep short. The study was done by scientists from San Francisco. And while they are yet to explain why drinking sweetened drinks might cause sleep deprivation, they were able to show that having drinks rich in sugars resulted in people sleeping for five hours or less.

But even before this study was conducted, there was mounting scientific evidence that consumption of sugary beverages was causing metabolic dysfunctions. Such drinks have also been linked to health conditions such excessive body fat, which in turn increases the risk of suffering from obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health problems. This is why weight loss programs like Nutrisystem discourage the use of sugary drinks. Nutrisystem is a low-glycemic index weight loss program.

The researchers also realized that this problem created a vicious cycle that victims might find hard to break away from. In particular, drinking such drinks resulted in less sleep time, which in turn seems to promote the tendency to continue consuming such drinks.

The reason for this behavior could be the fact that such people would need to fight off drowsiness the next day because they did not get enough sleep, which would make them drink more sugary drinks such energy drinks.

The study involved 18,000 adults. However, in the past, similar studies have been done on children, where it was observed that children who did not have enough sleep often ended up consuming more sugary drinks during the day.

Similar observations were made on the adults involved in this study. Essentially, adults who slept less than five hours a day on a regular basis ended up consuming 21% more sugar-sweetened and caffeinated drinks during the day. This in turn contributed to their lack of sleep during the night.

But other factors had a role as well. For instance, lack of enough sleep led to increased hunger, and an increased appetite for sugary and fatty foods. These diet choices have been known to cost people their good night's sleep. But what was not clear to the scientists was whether it was the lack of sleep that caused the higher consumption of soft drinks, or if it was the increased consumption of soft drinks that led to an inability to sleep for less than 5 hours a day.

But this also offers an opportunity for reducing the consumption of sugary foods – promoting longer sleep times. Besides, daytime sleepiness could be curbed by ensuring that you get more sleep at night, and this would overcome the need to consume such drinks in order to remain alert.