Even if you don’t know what they’re called—whether you call them sodas or pops or something else—carbonated soft drinks are extensively consumed in the United States. Recent statistics show that 63% of teenagers and 49% of adults regularly consume one of these drinks. Soft drinks are also the most common source of added sugar in the average American’s diet, according to the American Dietetic Association. Health concerns associated with the consumption of sugary drinks, such as obesity, diabetes, and tooth damage have been connected to their widespread popularity.
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Soft drinks have been linked to shorter naps in both adults and children, according to research. As a rule of thumb, persons who drink caffeinated beverages are more susceptible. To add insult to injury, sleep quality might be negatively affected by the consumption of soft drinks because they have been related to a lack of physical activity during the day and increased screen time at night.
How Does Soda Affect Sleep?
Sugar-sweetened beverages include sodas and other carbonated liquids (SSBs). Brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, and glucose are examples of sweeteners. In addition to soft drinks, SSBs include sugar-sweetened beverages such as fruit juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks.
Soft-drink consumption has been linked to a number of sleep disorders, according to scientists. Among them:
Caffeine: Around 85 percent of Americans consume at least one caffeinated beverage every day, and 96 percent of the country’s beverage caffeine consumption is accounted for by caffeinated soft drinks, coffee, and tea.
Consuming a caffeinated beverage close to bedtime can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. Adults who sleep five or fewer hours per night and those who sleep six or fewer hours per night consume 33 percent more caffeinated SSBs than those who get the seven to eight hours advised by one study.
Caffeine consumed in little doses throughout the day is not always harmful. Caffeinated beverages can also help keep night shift workers awake and aware. It takes many hours for caffeine to wear off its effects, so you should avoid drinking it in the hours preceding up to your customary bedtime.
Weight Gain: Obesity and sugary soda consumption go hand in hand. Due to their high sugar content, studies have shown that these beverages can contribute to weight gain. If you drink a 12-ounce amount of a sugary beverage, you could be consuming anywhere from 10 to 13.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Low-calorie counts may also be a factor in the problem. Even if they contribute sugar to a person’s diet, 12-ounce soft drinks typically comprise 150-170 calories, which does not lead to feelings of satiety. As a result, it’s possible that people will have to consume more to make up for this shortfall.
Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Obesity is a key risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that leads sufferers to experience nighttime awakenings due to choking or gasping for air.
Overweight hypoventilation syndrome (OHS), which causes shallow breathing during sleep, may also induce excessive daytime drowsiness. Those who have OHS have a BMI more than or equal to 30 kg/m2, which places them in the 95th percentile for the adult population.
You may also be more likely to snore as a result of weight increase, which can interrupt sleep for you and your partner. Obesity is frequently recommended as a treatment for those who snore because of their weight.
Heartburn: Hemorrhagic acid reflux is caused by an under construction in the lower portion of the esophagus, the sphincter of the esophagus. Reflux occurs when stomach acid returns to the esophagus. A condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be present if heartburn symptoms occur frequently (GERD).
People who suffer from regular heartburn may wish to steer clear of meals and beverages that bring on these symptoms in order to have a better night’s sleep. SSBs and other carbonated beverages have been linked to a 24% increase in the likelihood of heartburn symptoms that interrupt sleep.
Nocturia: The term “nocturia” refers to the frequent need to relieve one’s bladder in the middle of the night, which can cause sleep deprivation. In adulthood, nocturia affects around one-third of those who have it. Drinking caffeinated SSBs, especially before going to bed, may cause nocturia, as underlying medical disorders and other factors including medicine.
Sleep and SSBs may have a bidirectional link, which is worth noting. The foods and beverages we consume can be affected by changes in our biology and behavior, according to some research. When ghrelin and leptin, two appetite-regulating hormones, are out of balance due to lack of sleep, you may find yourself eating more during the day.
How Can Soda Drinkers Improve Their Sleep?
Studies show that limiting SSB intake is beneficial to one’s health due to the fact that it has little nutritional value and can interrupt sleep and cause other medical concerns. Many others, on the other hand, are unable or unwilling to reduce their sugar intake because of their strong cravings for sweets.
If you want to sleep better and cut back on sugary drinks, try these suggestions:
- Coldwater can be used in place of soft drinks. This reduces the quantity of sugar you eat and improves your overall hydration at the same time.
- Drink milk or 100% fruit juice instead of water if you want something with a little more taste. Instead of adding sugar, try flavoring your water with fresh fruits and vegetables like berries or cucumbers.
- If you’re looking for a caffeine boost in the morning, opt for unsweetened coffee or tea instead of soda. All caffeinated beverages should be avoided in the afternoon and at night, respectively. You’ll be able to get to sleep on time if you do this.
- To avoid consuming too much sugar or caffeine, be careful to read the nutrition labels on all of the drinks you consume.