Your food choices may affect how well you sleep, a new study reveals

July 25, 2022

American citizens frequently experience insomnia or troubled sleep. Could our dietary habits play a role? A recent review examined the potential effects of several dietary regimens and nutrients on sleep. It was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

About the Review

The researchers examined 20 earlier reviews on diet and sleep. The articles that examined nutrition and included a sleep assessment using actigraphy or polysomnography were included in the review. Actigraphy makes use of a motion-based wrist monitor to evaluate sleep-wake states and sleep continuity. To determine the various stages of sleep, polysomnography uses sensors that are attached to the head.

Rapid eye movement (REM) or deep sleep, sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep), and sleep efficiency are some of the variables that were measured (time spent asleep). Short sleep latency and good sleep efficiency are ideal conditions for most adults. Overall, sleep is a crucial component of health and warrants more research. Poor sleep has been connected to cardiometabolic diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. It can have a detrimental impact on work productivity, concentration, and reaction speed.

Although many people use sleeping pills or other prescriptions to encourage peaceful sleep, they frequently complain of feeling foggy the next day. Investigating the best dietary regimens and nutrients that can naturally enhance sleep is important if dietary adjustments could be beneficial without having any negative side effects.

Nutrients and Sleep

Quality counts when it comes to carbohydrates. According to several previous studies, a larger consumption of fiber was linked to deeper sleep whereas a higher intake of sugar was linked to more light sleep. That means it's preferable to consume more high-fiber carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and legumes and less processed sugars like soda, candy, and ice cream. Protein consumption is also linked to the quality of sleep. Low protein diets are linked to less effective sleep, whereas moderate protein intake is linked to more REM sleep.

The kind and quantity of dietary fat can impact how well a person sleeps.Shorter sleep latency is related to fat consumption. Overall, larger intakes of saturated fat may result in poorer sleep quality, but polyunsaturated and omega-3 fats had better impacts. A Mediterranean-style diet has the ideal ratio of nutrients for better sleep.

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