There was a study published last month in the journal “Cell Metabolism” that drew a link between better sleep and diet. But it’s not the association you would think. It’s when we eat that turns out to have several important, overall health outcomes.
The study summary is posted here (but it’ll cost you $32 to download the whole thing). There’s a really easy to understand infographic on their website that summarizes the whole thing nicely … I’d post it here but again, they want $$ for it.
Overall Health Outcomes
The researchers found a large difference in overall health outcomes between mice fed the same high fat diet, but on different schedules. Group 1 had the food available to them 24 hours a day. Group 2 was limited to getting their food during an 8 hour period during the day – 8am to 4pm. Both groups tended to eat the same number of calories in a day – the only difference was with the window in which they consumed these calories.
The differences in the two groups were significant … the group with the 8 hour feeding window:
- Had more robust circadian rhythms – this is a powerful sleep driver.
- More robust metabolic rhythms – this affects sleep as well.
- Had lower “adioposity” (body fat).
- Better motor coordination.
- Better glucose tolerance – better outcomes for diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- Lower inflammation markers – the overall driver behind heart disease.
- Lower leptin resistance – another diabetic/metabolic syndrome marker.
This study, if it can be proven that it correlates well to humans, is a big deal. If all it takes is restricting our eating from 8-4, regardless of our diet, that would be easy to do. For mice anyway, the constant grazing has a real affect on their health.
Just imagine what we could do if we improved our diets and restricted the times that we ate?