It is widely known that people can be divided into early birds and night owls based on their daily active and sleeping hours. Connection between these data and people’s ways of working, levels of productivity, general lifestyle patterns and other aspects has been thoroughly examined in numerous studies. However, there has been no information about how exactly the way we sleep and work affects what and when we eat. Fortunately, researchers have recently performed close investigation regarding these factors’ interdependency and have shared its results with the world in Obesity scientific journal.
Waking up on a certain time in the morning or, for that matter, afternoon ensures establishing of our own biological clock rhythm that has a lot of influence on the way we perform various activities.
For the study presented here 2000 random people with different circadian clock rhythm (‘morning’ and ‘evening’ type respectively) were chosen. While connection between our energy level and lifestyle has been established based on our brain biochemistry, the sphere of nutrition and food choices has been left unattended for quite a long time. However, this new research provides solid evidence that our biological clock has power not only over our metabolism, but also over the ways we choose something to eat, without us even realizing it.
Thus, ‘morning type’ people’s choices had such common features as picking food that is richer with nutrients and more diverse. They also normally have more regular meals timetable and are less likely to become overeaters. At the same time, their daily calorie intake was divided healthier throughout a day, with morning and afternoon periods being the ones where more substantial food was consumed, leaving evenings for light meals and resulting into better night sleep due to absence of such unpleasant things as bloating, heaviness or even stomachache.
Conversely, ‘evening’ people tend to making more chaotic food choices. They often eat less protein and more sucrose in the morning and concluding their days with more sucrose and a share of fat and saturated fatty acids. Such approach to eating also leads to irregularity of meal schedule and more meals throughout the day among ‘evening type’ people. Moreover, such eating pattern ultimately causes worse sleep and reduction in general level of physical activity, creating a vicious circle for night owls. In the end, such people end up in a group with higher risk of developing obesity, heart disease or diabetes.
Food choices and their connection to our sleep regime is particularly important when it comes to establishing regular physical activity in order to both get more fit and lose weight.
The results of the study will now enable clinicians to help people to smoothly correct their daily sleeping and eating schedule. As progress is happening, it will inevitably draw other positive outcomes like better mood, ability to perform tasks better and in a shorter time, speeding up metabolism and re-establishing eating habits.
Armed with knowledge about our circadian clock’s work, we can switch to healthier food choices that will consequently lead to qualitatively different life, much better than the one where both our working and living capacity are reduced.