In a study conducted by the American Heart Association, there is a connection between teens’ sleeping habits and how they eat. Researchers out of Penn State studied the sleeping habits of 342 teenagers and the correlation between their eating habits. On average, the teens slept seven hours a night. When the amount of sleep varied even one hour in either direction, resulted in these differences in the eating habits of the teens.

  • eating 201 more calories per day,
  • consuming about 6 grams more total fat and 32 grams more carbohydrates daily,
  • 60 percent higher chance of nighttime snacking on school nights, and
  • 100 percent higher chance of nighttime munching on weekends.

“According to the data from our study, it’s not how long you sleep that matters. It’s about day-to-day variations in how long you sleep,” said study author Fan He, M.S., the lead author of the study and an epidemiologist at Penn State University College of Medicine.

The researchers theorized, “sleep duration itself might matter more if the teens were to be extremely sleep deprived, only sleeping four hours nightly for example.”

Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep per night, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

For more information, check out the full study.


Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review ( and NaturalPath (, has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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