According to a recent research study, adults who were unable to sleep more than five hours a night are likely ingesting more sugary, caffeinated drinks than those who are able to obtain a good night's rest. And as we all know, being well rested makes us much more effective on the job.
In recent years, the topic of soda has been a contentious one, with certain cities deciding to place an extra tax on soda purchase in order to limit consumer consumption--and for good reason. Soda, as it turns out, is the main source of extra sugar in the average American diet, as reported by the journal Sleep Health. The drink has also long been seen as a cause of obesity.
Researchers of the study analyzed data from a survey of 19,000 adults, 13% of whom reported sleeping five hours or less a night. It was also found that these participants consumed a whole 21% more sugar-sweetened drinks than those who slept a normal 7-8 hours a night.
The study's lead author, Arthur Prather of University of California, San Francisco, expressed that the way participants' sleep patterns were most negatively affected by soda was through the ingestion of caffeine. He said that the "caffeine typically found in soda...blocks the binding of a particular chemical in the brain responsible for us feeling tired."
While neither caffeine nor sugar were directly tied to poor sleep routines, people who reported sleeping less than 5 hours a night typically led less successful lives overall. Many were found to be smokers, to engage in less exercise, and to have achieved a lower level of final education.
However, the numbers may have been skewed somewhat by adults who may have incorrectly remembered how many hours they slept each night, or how many sugared, caffeinated beverages they consumed. Thus, more research to show a direct relationship may be necessary.
Regardless, if you find that you have trouble falling asleep each night, try going without soda for a few days and see if you notice a difference. The extent to which your sleeping habits--and life--could change might end up surprising you.