Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How what you eat affects how you sleep

A study looked into how what you eat affects your sleep and found diet quality and influence sleep quality.

A recent study held by researchers from the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York has found that a person's diet greatly affects the quality of sleep that they get.
"Our main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality," study leader Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center, said in a press release.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that a diet containing more saturated fat and more sugar and less fiber is linked to less restorative, disrupted sleep.
"It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters," St-Ongeadded.
The study looked into the sleep quality of 26 adult participants (13 men and 13 women). These participants weighed normally and had an average age of 35. They were given controlled diets for four days and were given freedom to choose the food they want on the fifth day of the study.
The participants spent five nights in a “sleep lab,” spending 9 hours in bed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. They slept an average of 7 hours and 35 minutes every night. Participant sleep data were gathered every night using polysomnography. Moreover, the data were analyzed after three days of feeding on controlled diets and after the fifth night where the participants chose their own food.
The researchers found that, when a participant consumes more fiber and less sugars and less saturated fat,he/she will be spending more time in the stage of deep, “slow wave” sleep, which is more restorative. On the other hand, greater sugar intake was linked to a heightened number of arousals during sleep.
The researchers also found that the participants were able to sleep quicker when they ate the fixed meals, which had low amounts of saturated fat and higher amounts of protein compared to the meals the participants themselves selected. These fixed meals were provided by a nutritionist.
The participants, after eating the meals they selected on their own, were able to sleep an average of 29 minutes after consuming their food and drink. On the other hand, it took them only an average of 17 minutes to sleep after eating the meals provided by the nutritionist.
"The finding that diet can influence sleep has tremendous health implications, given the increasing recognition of the role of sleep in the development of chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease," St-Onge said.
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