Lack Of Sleep Linked To Increased Snacking

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

Emily Wilcock

Writer and expert

Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.

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