Late Sleeping Tied to Dietary Habits and Time of Eating

Eating more calories after 8 p.m. associated with higher body mass index independent of sleep

WEDNESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep timing is associated with poor health behaviors and increased calorie intake after 8:00 pm, according to a study published online April 28 in Obesity.

Kelly G. Baron, Ph.D., from Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues evaluated the role of sleep timing on dietary patterns and body mass index (BMI) in 52 volunteers. Participants completed seven days of food and sleep logs, and wore a wrist actigraph for seven days. Fifty six percent of the participants were considered normal sleepers (midpoint of sleep, <5:30 a.m.) and 44 percent were characterized as late sleepers (midpoint of sleep, ≥5:30 a.m.).

The investigators found that late sleepers has shorter sleep duration, later sleep onset and offset, and later meal times. They consumed more calories after 8:00 p.m., and at dinner they consumed more fast food and full-calorie soda, and less fruits and vegetables. Higher BMI was correlated with later sleep timing, shorter sleep duration, calorie intake after 8:00 p.m., and fast-food consumption. Sleep timing was independently correlated with fruit and vegetable intake and calories consumed after 8:00 p.m., but after controlling for sleep duration did not predict BMI. After controlling for sleep timing and duration, BMI was predicted by calories consumed after 8:00 p.m.

"Our data demonstrate that the timing of sleep affects dietary behavior and timing of caloric intake. Interestingly, even after controlling for sleep duration and timing, consuming calories in the evening was associated with a higher BMI," the authors write.

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