We say you are what you eat and that is true in many ways. Food can influence a lot of aspects of our lives from our body shape to our venue choices and environmental opinions. Well, a new study has been looking into the effects of different types of nutritional elements on our sleep patterns and the restorative impact of our Z’s.
- In short, the study found that a diet lacking in fiber and containing an excessive amount of saturated fat and sugar can lead to a troubled sleep that is lighter, often disrupted and not completely restorative.
An assistant professor at the Institute of Human Nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, lead the study and reported that diet quantity is a big factor in sleep quality, adding that what you eat in a single day can have a lasting effect on your sleep settings.
The study was made with 26 adults, with equal numbers of men and women with average weight and with a median age of 35 years. The subjects were made to sleep 5 nights in a sleep lab. With an average of 9 hours spent in bed for each participant, the total recorded amount of sleep was 7 hours and 35 minutes. The food they ate for those 5 days was controlled by the team which started analyzing their sleep data only on the third night. On the 5th day the food intake was to the participant’s discretion.
Results showed that high fiber consumption led to a deeper sleep and more time spent in deep sleep. They also found that a large amount of ingested sugar led to more frequent awakenings. But the most surprising element of the study’s results remains the fact that eating meals prepared by a nutritionist to contain more protein and less saturated grease made the participants fall asleep faster. It took them 17 minutes to fall asleep after this intake compared to an average of 29 minutes when they chose their own meals.
The take out from this study is obvious. Eating healthy does not only affect your waking life, it also affects your sleep which in turn, if done correctly will give you a healthier life.