Sleep deprived and reaching for a sugary energy drink or high-calorie snack to get through the day? Many of us have been there.
In a moment like that, you may not be thinking about the connection between sleep and snacking, but there is a clear one.
Lack of sleep has been linked to poor health, and one study found a related correlation between adults who don’t get enough sleep and their likelihood to eat more unhealthy snacks.
How sleeping and snacking are related
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends that adults sleep seven hours or longer each night. When you don’t meet these recommendations, it can lead to consuming more carbohydrates, added sugar, fats, and caffeine.
Sometimes snack choice can also have an impact on sleep. Consuming alcoholic drinks or drinks with caffeine makes it harder to achieve a restful night of shut eye. It’s best to avoid these drinks six to eight hours before you go to bed.
If you know that you often reach for unhealthy yet convenient snacks, try preparing healthy options ahead of time to grab and go. Cut up fruit and vegetables or portion out more nutritious snacks for convenience.
Getting into a healthy sleep routine
Getting into a healthy sleep routine starts with just that—a routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time consistently is good for physical and mental health.
Turn off devices an hour before bed to help yourself wind down. Find something to do that relaxes you, like reading or meditating.
Making your bed the designated place for rest can also help you fall asleep quicker. So, don’t do homework or work in bed and don’t use it as a common place for snacking. Associating your bed with relaxation and rest can help build a strong foundation for restful sleep.
There are many reasons people may struggle with unhealthy eating habits. Sometimes mental health plays a role. So, if you tend to binge eat or find yourself unable to relax at bedtime, it can help to talk with a Valley Oaks Health therapist to discover the root of the problem.