One nice thing about the basic habits of good health (nutrition, sleep, and exercise) is that success at one leads to gains in the others. When you exercise regularly, you’re more likely to crave fruits and veggies, and more likely to be tired at night and sleep well. Eating well is less likely to disturb sleep, and makes picking up an exercise habit easier. And, according to a new study, sleeping well/more will naturally help you to eat less sugar and junk/processed foods.

Participants in the study who followed a few basic good sleep habits (like not going to bed either very full or hungry) were able to gain an extra hour of sleep a night, leading to a diet with less sugar (in all forms) in it. Previous studies had already made the inverse association, that the worse your sleep the worse your diet. This shows even a slight improvement can help with healthy eating.

It makes sense, even if you’re only a little tired, you’ll be more likely to crave a quick burst of energy from sugar. Tackling fatigue helps to remove that need, letting you naturally focus on eating healthy food that contains the nutrients your body uses as building blocks, rather than food as energy.

To take advantage of the dietary health boost from a good night’s rest, you only have to make very basic changes to your sleep routine.

-Even if you are still craving sweets to get through your day, focus on a healthy, protein and veggie rich dinner. Eat about an hour to two hours before bed, and avoid caffeine and alcohol.

-Make sure all those blinking LEDs are turned off or covered, as they can mess up your sleep (and contribute to a poor metabolism).

-Take 20 or so minutes of time before bed to unwind—free of screens.

-If you need extra help sleeping, try our Sleep Support Pack, which uses natural herbs and minerals to support falling and staying asleep—REAL sleep—so that you can get back on track.

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