The less we sleep, the more we guzzle sugary drinks

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If you’re grabbing fewer zzzs than you should at night-time, then you may well also be glugging too many sugary drinks as a result, putting your dental health at risk from erosion and tooth decay.

That’s according to scientists, who claim that if you’re sleeping five or less, you’re more likely to guzzle more energy drinks, fizzy drinks and caffeinated beverages due to those lost hours of rest.

The authors say it’s not yet clear whether drinking sugar-sweetened beverages causes sleep disruption, or whether this makes people hunt out those sugary fixes.

Seemingly, sugary drinks and sleep loss feed another, making it harder for people to break the cycle.

The American scientists say that improving sleeping patterns may be the key to breaking it.

Researchers found that people grabbing less than fives hours a night in bed also drank 21% more caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages.

People who slept six hours per night regularly consumed 11% more.

The answer to improving the health and wellbeing of people who drink a lot of sugary beverages may then lie in improving sleep patterns.

For patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), snoring can put paid to a good night’s rest for them and their partners.

OSA is a serious condition that involves the recurrent partial or complete collapse of the upper airway during sleep and is usually associated with snoring, oxygen desaturation and sleep fragmentation.

It is estimated that 1.5 million of us Brits suffer with it, but the vast majority of those affected (around 85%) remain undiagnosed and untreated.

Left untreated, OSA deprives patients of a healthy night’s sleep, causing excessive daytime sleepiness, which in turn adversely affects cognitive function and mood. And seemingly an increase in sugar drinks, this new study suggests.

A recent survey suggests that 31% of us sleep less than six hours at night while 69% are considered to have insufficient sleep, according to the research.

The Royal Society for Public Health claims some of us are missing out on as much as one full night every week.

Another study – published online here – suggests that smartphone screen-time is also associated with poor sleep – whilst poor sleep may lead to increased screen-time, taking a peek at your smartphone screens before bedtime may also negatively impact sleep.

Meanwhile, Tesco, Lucozade and Ribena have all cut sugar in their drinks to avoid the upcoming sugar tax and the NHS is considering banning sale of all sugary drinks – including lattes, smoothies and fruit juices.

 
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