Linking sleep quality with healthy food decision-making and day-to-day cravings in adolescents can potentially reduce the risk of developing chronic diseasessuch as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Teaching adolescents how to improve sleep could improve their sleep quality, thus increasing the rate of healthy decision-making and reducing cravings for high-saturated fat, high-calorie, and high-sugar foods. In addition, teaching adolescents about this link could increase awareness of these cravings and how to manage them when a night of poor sleep happens.
Diet can also, of course, influence sleep. Late-night sugar, caffeine, and alcohol intake are known to negatively impact sleep. A recent study assessing the link between Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence and sleep quality found that those teens who adhere more to the MD were more likely to meet sleep recommendations and fewer sleep issues.(10)