On my way into work the other day, I was listening to Virgin Radio. Ryan Seacrest was on air and told listeners to stay tuned to hear about this new diet, the one he was talking about was the Sleep Diet. In my 14 years of combined academic and work experience in the field of kinesiology and fitness consulting I have not once come across this diet. The segment did not air while I was in the car and when I arrived at work I immediately looked up the ‘Sleep Diet’. The earliest result returned in my google search showed articles from 2013. The News tab returned results showing mainstream media sources, Fox news, Huff Post, The Daily Meal, reporting on the ‘Sleep Diet’.
The news articles are based off a peer reviewed study published in the Lancet that looks at the impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function. The researchers used 11 young male participants (small sample size, all male) and measured them after six days of sleep debt, four hours of sleep a night. They measured the same group after a sleep recovery period where they slept for 12 hours a night. Their findings suggest that sleep deprivation is harmful to carbohydrate metabolism and endocrine function. They believe this may increase the severity of age related chronic disorders.