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Lack of Sleep Causes People to Binge on Sugary Drinks, Scientists Say

Nov 17, 2016 04:22 AM EST

Late last week on Nov. 9, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco published a report on an issue of Sleep Health detailing the relationship between sugary drink consumption and sleep loss.

The study, as reported by Science Daily, tried to uncover whether deficiency in sleep equates to consumption of sugary drinks like soda and artificial juices. While there needs to be further research surrounding the correlation, it seems like the UCSF scientists were right to assume that not getting enough rest is one reason why people drink unhealthy amounts of sugar.

Aria A. Prather, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychiatry in UCSF, and his team analyzed records of 18779 participants in the ongoing National Health and Nutrition Survey or NHANES. The NHANES charts the number of hours participants sleep during the work with together with their consumption of various liquids including coffee, soda, tea, water and fruit juice.

After eliminating pre-existing health conditions that could affect sugar consumption and health, the researchers discovered that individuals who get less than five hours of sleep every night drank 21 percent more sugary drinks than those who get to sleep longer. Likewise, participants who get six but less than eight hours of sleep consume 11 percent more sugar-sweetened beverages.

According to Prather, it makes sense that short sleepers drink more caffeinated drinks as it helps them cope with the demands of the workday.

"Short sleepers may seek out caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages to increase alertness and stave off daytime sleepiness" quipped Prather as reported by Science Daily.

The recently conducted study is important especially considering the increasing number of people suffering from obesity in the united States. According to Food Research and Action Center, more than 60% of adults in the country are considered overweight. Likewise, more than 30% are obese.

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