How Sleep Can Influence Your Eating Habits

Person sleeping


It is important to be aware that your sleep quality can affect your daily food choices.

  • Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Lead to Cravings: Poor sleep is linked to wanting more sugary and processed foods. People who are sleep deprived tend to be more drawn to high-calorie foods.
  • Sleep Problems Can Cause Overeating: A lack of sleep can make you snack more frequently. People who do not get enough sleep tend to increase their food consumption.
  • Lack of Sleep Could Mean Less Produce Intake: Sleep deprivation often leads to selecting foods that offer less nutritional benefit. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is one step you could take to improve your overall sleep quality. Not only do fruits and vegetables promote overall health, they can also lead to longer sleep duration.

Tips for Better Sleep:

  1. Have a Nighttime Routine: Routines help guide the body. A nighttime routine will signal your body to start unwinding before you get into bed. 
  2. Make Your Bedroom Relaxing: If you are having trouble falling asleep every night, try making your bedroom more relaxing for sleep. Dim the lights. Turn off the TV and your phone at least an hour before bed. 
  3. Do Not Eat Too Late: Try to eat an earlier dinner to allow your body time to digest the meal.
  4. Avoid Caffeine: Be mindful of coffee, energy drinks, soda, or other caffeinated beverages. If you drink these, try to limit them to earlier in the day. 
  5. Move Your Body: Schedule regular movement throughout the day to improve your sleep. Avoid exercising too close to bedtime to allow your body to wind down before bed.

Sources: Sleep Foundation

Written by: Lauren Hinze, EFNEP Student Intern

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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