Loads of us don’t get enough sleep.
Whether it’s because we’re working early, partying late or simply can’t stop clicking ‘next episode’ on Netflix, burning the candle at both ends is a common condition of modern life.
Studies suggest that getting at least seven hours sleep is the best thing for your health – but what are the health implications if you’re regularly missing that target?
Even if you feel fresh as a daisy on six hours or less, a new study has found that without enough sleep you might be lacking in some key vitamins and nutrients.
A new report presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition found that there is a potential link between nutrition and the amount and quality of sleep a person gets.
Put simply – people who get less than seven hours sleep on average also get less vitamin A, D, and B1, as well as magnesium, niacin, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus.
‘This work adds to the body of growing evidence associating specific nutrient intakes with sleep outcomes,’ said lead researcher Chioma Ikonte.
‘Our findings suggest that individuals with short sleep duration might benefit from improving their intake of these nutrients through diet and supplementation.’
But the scientists did admit that their findings aren’t entirely conclusive – they can’t be certain if it is the lack of sleep that definitely causes the deficiencies.
‘Whether chronic short sleep causes nutrient insufficiency or the nutrient insufficiency causes short sleep still needs to be determined,’ says Ikonte.
‘A clinical study that investigates (impacts of) supplementation with these nutrients on sleep outcomes is needed to demonstrate cause and effect.
A recent study has also found that a lack of sleep can ’cause obesity’ in children, because they are more likely to make poor dietary choices.
So what these studies do appear to show is that the amount of sleep we are getting does have an effect on our nutritional health. Time to set an earlier bed time.
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