FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Getting enough sleep can help you make healthier food choices, researchers say.
The new study included 542 male motor freight workers, who often work long hours and have irregular shifts. The average age of the participants was 49, and 83 percent were white.
The researchers from the sleep medicine division at Harvard Medical School found that adequate sleep was a strong predictor of healthy food choices, while work experiences were not significant predictors. The findings suggest that adequate sleep mediates the effects of the workplace on healthy food choices.
"Sleep duration and sleep quality are contributing factors to increasing chronic disease trends, in that insufficient sleep duration and sleep disruption have been linked to weight gain, diabetes and early mortality in the long term," the study authors wrote. "Our findings suggest that sleep adequacy, by enhancing [healthy] dietary choices, is one means by which workplace factors may influence chronic disease risk."
The study was published online Nov. 4 in the American Journal of Public Health.
The American Osteopathic Association offers sleep tips.