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Sugary, caffeinated drinks could cost you sleep

Sugary, caffeinated drinks could cost you sleep

People who get little sleep are likely to drink more sugary and caffeinated drinks, study finds.

Researchers from the University of California have analysed data from nearly 19,000 American adults, and found that those who regularly slept five or fewer hours a night drank 21 per cent more sugar-sweetened, caffeinated beverages such as soda and energy drinks than those who slept seven to eight hours a night.

People who regularly slept six hours a night consumed 11 per cent more of the drinks than those who got more sleep.

"We think there may be a positive feedback loop where sugary drinks and sleep loss reinforce one another, making it harder for people to eliminate their unhealthy sugar habit," said lead author Dr. Aric A. Prather. "This data suggests that improving people's sleep could potentially help them break out of the cycle and cut down on their sugar intake, which we know to be linked to metabolic disease."

Researchers said they didn't know whether sugary drinks cause people to sleep less, or whether sleep deprivation leads them to consume more sugar and caffeine to stay awake, with previous studies indicating both could be true.

The study found no link between the amount of sleep and consumption of juice, tea or diet drinks.

A growing body of research has linked sugary beverage consumption to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions including high blood sugar and excess body fat, which can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lack of sleep is also associated with a higher risk for metabolic disease.

Recently, several studies have linked the two factors in school-age children, showing that children who get less sleep are more likely to drink soda and other sugary beverages during the day.

The study is published in the journal Sleep Health.

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