Researchers at Northwestern University split 52 people into groups of "normal" or "late" sleepers, and monitored their eating habits for one week. This is how they categorised the groups:
– Normal sleepers: went to bed by just after midnight and woke around 8am.
– Late sleepers: went to bed well after midnight and woke in the mid-to-late morning.
The late sleepers had poorer quality of sleep and poor diets, the study found. On average, they slept more than an hour less a night than the normal sleepers and consumed significantly more kilojoules at dinner and through late-night snacking. They also ate more fast food and less vegies than the normal group.Experts say eating after 8pm is the strongest predictor of a higher BMI, meaning it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it. To help keep your belly blubber in check, get more than six hours’ sleep a night and have your last meal at least two hours before bedtime.