Less Sleep for Teens could take away from Healthy Eating

BlogPic4Whether your teen gets enough sleep or not could determine the kinds of food they tend to eat.

Research that was presented at the annual SLEEP 2013 conference show that teens who are sleep deprived tend to eat less healthfully than teens who are well rested.  Sleep deprived teens not only just eat more food that is bad for them, but they tend to eat less healthy food.  “While we already know that sleep duration is associated with a range of health consequences, this study speaks to some of the mechanisms, i.e., nutrition and decision making, through which health outcomes are affected,” stated a study researcher Lauren Hale, Ph.D., an associate professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

In the study, researchers examined data from 13,284 teens with an average of 16 who were a part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.  18% of the teens had slept less than seven hours a night.  These sleepy teens were less likely to eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables throughout the week and were more likely to eat unhealthy fast food at least two times a week, compared to the teens who got more sleep the night before.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, most teenagers need around 9.5 hours of a sleep, while some need about 8.5 hours, but only 15% of teens get 8.5  hours of sleep on school nights.

A recent study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology showed that sleep deprivation could make people want larger food portions.   The researcher of this study, Pleunie hogenkamp of Uppsala University suggested that, “sleep deprivation enhances food intake regardless of satiety.”

Last month a study that was shown at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society showed that sleep loss is linked with high blood level of a molecule, which regulate the feelings of reward that comes from eating.  This could be a reason why people seem to crave food after a bad nights sleep.

In reference to Sleep-Deprived teens skimp on produce, eat more unhealthy food:study