Constantly having poor sleep quality can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity in women, says a study by Columbia University Medical Center, United States, published on Monday (17).
According to the researchers, it was observed that participants who slept poorly or had insomnia used to overeat and have a caloric diet with low nutritional value. Such eating habits are related to obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
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Sleep itself, in turn, “plays an essential role in cardiovascular health”, as well as “short sleep duration and poor quality of sleep are associated with the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases”, describes the study text.
As for the target audience being only women – 495 women aged 20 to 76 years were analyzed – the researchers justify that women are particularly prone to sleep disorders throughout their adult lives because of the domestic responsibilities they usually assume, in addition to professionals, and for hormonal reasons – one of the side effects of menopause is precisely on the quality of sleep.
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Difficulty sleeping vs. unhealthy eating
The results showed that participants with difficulty falling asleep consumed many foods with added sugars and saturated fat and less whole grains. The most severe cases of insomnia were also associated, in addition to these eating habits, with more caloric diets.
The added sugars :
- They have low nutritional value.
- They are added to foods.
- Sugary drinks, such as chocolate and soft drinks, are the main sources of these sugars.
The saturated fat :
- It is of animal origin.
- Present in red and white meat, mainly in meat fat; in milk and derivatives such as sour cream, butter and yogurt.
- Increases bad cholesterol (LDL), related to heart disease.
On the other hand, the researchers observed that the sleep disorder itself can also be caused by a higher intake and a diet with low nutritional value.
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“It is possible that an inadequate diet has a negative impact on the quality of sleep for women,” explains one of the study’s coordinators in the promotional material, Faris Zuraikat. “[This is because] eating more can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, for example, making hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. ”