Who needs sleep when you can have sugary caffeinated drinks? A new study set to be published in next month’s issue of Sleep Health has found that treating sleep deprivation could actually help reduce someone’s sugar intake.

This research leaves some questions unanswered: It’s still not known if drinking sugar-sweetened beverages causes people to sleep less, or whether sleep deprivation makes people seek out more sugar and caffeine to stay awake. Considering previous research, it’s possible that both could actually be true.

"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," lead researcher Aric A. Prather said in a press release from UC San Francisco.

Researchers at UCSF reached these conclusions after examining the 2005 to 2012 records of more than 18,000 United States adults from an ongoing study of dietary habits and health status. Participants reported how much sleep they usually got during the work week and their total consumption of various beverages — including caffeinated and non-caffeinated sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice, drinks with artificial sweeteners, and plain coffee, tea and water.

"Sleeping too little and drinking too many sugary drinks have both been linked to negative metabolic health outcomes, including obesity," Prather said. "Given the likely two-way relationship between sugary drinks and short sleep, enhancing the duration and quality of sleep could be a useful new intervention for improving the health and well-being of people who drink a lot of sugary beverages.”

Source: Prather AA, Leung C, Adler NE, Laraia B, Ritchie L, Epel ES. Study Links Shorter Sleep and Sugar-Sweetened Drink Consumption. Sleep Health. 2016.

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