You might have often heard that you’re eating habits affect your sleep. To put a conformation on this, a new study has found that eating less fiber, more saturated fat and more sugar is associated with lighter, less restorative, and more disrupted sleep.
Results of the study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that greater fiber intake predicted more time spent in the stage of deep, slow wave sleep.
In contrast, a higher percentage of energy from saturated fat predicted less slow wave sleep. Greater sugar intake also was associated with more arousals from sleep.
Principal investigator Marie-Pierre St-Onge said that their main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality. It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters.
The study also found that participants fell asleep faster after eating fixed meals provided by a nutritionist, which were lower in saturated fat and higher in protein than self-selected meals. It took participants an average of 29 minutes to fall asleep after consuming foods and beverages of their choice, but only 17 minutes to fall asleep after eating controlled meals.
According to the authors, the study suggests that diet-based recommendations might be used to improve sleep in those with poor sleep quality.
However, future studies are needed to evaluate this relationship.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.