Half were given help to sleep longer (being told to avoid caffeine, establishing a relaxing bedtime routine and not going to bed too full or hungry) and the rest carried on sleeping their usual amount.
So if you're trying to get healthy or trying to lose a bit of weight, maybe start off seeing just how much kip you're getting and work from there.
Researcher Dr Wendy Hall said it "suggests a simple change in lifestyle may help people consume healthier diets".
In the study, the researchers recruited 21 individuals to participate in a 45-minute sleep consultation created to extend their sleep time by up to 1.5 hours per night. But missing out on the recommended minimum of 7 hours of nightly shut-eye is also linked to various health conditions, such as obesity and cardiometabolic diseases, which include diabetes, heart disease and stroke, according to the study, published today (Jan. 9) in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The remaining 21 volunteers received no such advice.
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The study found that 86% of participants in the sleep extension group increased the amount of time they spent in bed.
After carrying out this study, they reduce their unhealthy sugars intake by 10kg equivalent, which is also the equivalent of half a slice of cake with icing, or three chocolate digestives.
Researchers looked at 42 healthy people who were slightly sleep deprived - getting between five and seven hours sleep a night.
As a result, the trained half stayed in bed for 55 minutes longer and slept for an extra 21.
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86 percent of the people in the sleep consultation group increased their amount of time in bed, and half increased their actual time spent asleep, from 52 to nearly 90 minutes. In contrast, no change was see in a control group whose sleep did not improve.
The group has provided a chart which contained some suggestions to get better sleep.
All the participants had a motion sensor on their wrists which kept a record of their sleeping hours and also record the amount of time they spent in bed before sleeping. "This further strengthens the link between short sleep and poorer quality diets that has already been observed by previous studies", added lead researcher Haya Al Khatib.
He continued that they hope to further examine nutrient intake and sleep patterns, especially in longer-term studies and populations that are at a higher risk of obesity or cardiovascular problems.
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