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Lack Of Sleep Linked To Increased Snacking

Lack Of Sleep Linked To Increased Snacking
Emily Wilcock
Content Executive3 years ago
View Emily Wilcock's profile

Lack of sleep has a lot to answer for already. Headaches, poor concentration and now increased snacking.  

A study by Researchers at Ohio State University has found that meeting sleep recommendations can actually lead to smarter snacking decisions1 – these can include either not snacking or selecting a healthier and more nutritious option. For example, swap your crisps for an apple (just what you want to hear). 

The Study 

20,000 American adults aged 20-60 kept 24-hour food diaries and had their sleeping patterns tracked.  

The participants were split into two groups — those who hit seven hours of shut eye and those who didn’t. Researchers analysed the participants’ snack-related nutrient intake and categorised all the snacks into food groups. 

Three snacking time frames were established: 02:00-11:59 was the morning time frame, 12:00-17:59 for the afternoon, and 18:00-01:59 for the evening.  


The Results 

95.5% of the participants ate at least one snack a day — hats off to the willpower of the remaining 4.5%. And over 50% of snacking calories were from fizzy/energy drinks, crisps, cookies and pastries. 

People who didn’t meet sleep recommendations were more likely to eat a morning snack, and the snacks chosen were high calorie with low nutritional value. It happens. 

The findings did suggest lack of sleep isn’t the only cause of snacking. Staying up late is likely to make you snack too, even if sleeping an ideal amount. The advice given is to go to bed, because if you’re in bed then you’re not raiding the fridge. 


Take Home Message 

Consistently getting seven hours of sleep sounds like a dream come true, actually most people would probably like 10 hours. But then we might miss snack time. While you might snack more when you’ve had seven hours of sleep as long as you make sure you opt for a snack that aligns with your macros, we don’t see any harm in that. 



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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Emily Wilcock
Content Executive
View Emily Wilcock's profile
After completing an internship with Myprotein, Emily returned to university to finish her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Marketing. With experience in lifestyle writing, Emily aims to entertain and educate through her work. Her focuses include recipes, real and inspiring stories, and working with writers to help provide easy-to-digest evidence-based research. Her work on recipes has been previously featured in The Supplement magazine, with a particular focus on high-protein, nutritious meals, plus advice on how to properly fuel your body. Outside of work, Emily’s top priority is food. She’s a self-professed star baker and a connoisseur of all things baked. In her spare time, she’s either cooking up a storm, our looking out for the opportunity to try out Manchester’s newest restaurants. But as a huge fan of carbs, if it’s not pasta or pasta-adjacent, she’s not interested. If she’s not in the kitchen, she’s tucked up with a book for an early night, or you’ll find her in the gym working up a sweat. Afterall, all those carbs require quite the appetite.