Two new studies show how sleep (or a lack thereof) can affect our eating habits, stress levels, and more
We've sung the praises of a good night's sleep many times before—just last week, science proved getting a crappy night's rest will basically give you a case of the munchies. On the heels of daylight savings time (hope you didn't miss that lost hour of sleep too much this morning), scientists are continuing to learn more about the role sleep plays in our lives, specifically as it pertains to our health and well-being.
Yesterday, Jawbone released a new review of past research in conjunction with some of their own community-garnered data, and there were some fascinating findings. For example, data scientist and study author Kirstin Aschbacher found that Jawbone UP users who went to bed earlier logged over 200 calories less than those who went to bed late. She also found that those who go to bed between 7 and 11 p.m. are far more likely to eat healthy foods like veggies, fruits, and high-fiber carbohydrates. Night owls tended to consume more caffeine, more processed meats, and more saturated fats. (Find out How to Avoid Weight Gain When Eating Late.) What's more, if you work on shifting your bedtime earlier—without making any activity changes—you could potentially consume 100 calories less per day, says Aschbacher. That's some food for thought, right?
Experts have also confirmed that we ladies need more hours of shut-eye then men. Specifically, about twenty more minutes a night (so go ahead and hit snooze!). The study, which was conducted by Dr. Jim Horne, Britain's leading expert in sleep science and the director of Loughborough University's Sleep Research Center, found that "women's brains are wired differently, so their sleep need will be slightly greater. Women tend to multitask—they do lots at once and are flexible—so they use more of their actual brain than men do." Which is exactly why your noggin needs more rest, says Dr. Horne, who published his findings in The Daily Mail UK. (Do you what exactly your body does while you sleep?) Dr. Horne says women's need for more sleep (citing that women don't currently get enough) could be due to a variety of factors, including being awoken by one's partner (men tend to be larger than women, notes the National Sleep Foundation), pregnancy, or excess worry (because of course we're also more stressed out than men).
What these two studies suggest is that women need to place a precedent on getting a great night's rest. And hey, who are we we to argue with science? If nothing else, your bed is way cozier than any other place in the world.