A new study has found that a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat and sugar is associated with a sleep deeper, more restorative and less awakenings.
It is best to sleep disorders a diet that includes more fiber and less saturated fats and sugars.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, was conducted by the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
To sleep well at night is recommended to increase the intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and eating less processed foods. This is a healthy diet that affects favourably in cases of cardiovascular risk.
For the study, 26 normal weight adults are enrolled between the ages of 30 and 45 who have not had any trouble sleeping and were monitored for 5 nights in a sleep laboratory, spending nine hours in bed every night by 10 : 00 to 07:00.
Objective data were collected sleep every night with polysomnography.
During the first four days, the participants consumed a controlled diet; Day 5, the food intake was self-selected.
The results showed that the duration of sleep did not differ after the days of controlled feeding against the day of intake of food, self-selected. However, sleep quality was different, with less deep slow wave sleep.
The analysis of food consumed has shown that increased fiber intake predicted less Phase 1 (very light) with more slow-wave sleep.
The percentage of saturated fat intake predicted less sleep slow wave, and the highest percentage of sugar and other carbohydrate intake were associated with more awakenings.
The original purpose of the study was to investigate whether sleep is a causal factor in the development of obesity.
The results of this part of the study has shown that people tend to overeat when sleep is limited, and in particular increase their fat intake.
What you eat affects how well you sleep, and current results suggest that this seems to be actually the case.
If sleep is limited it creates a poor diet with increased fat and sugar, and which in turn will negatively affect the sleep. So it becomes a perpetual cycle.
Carbohydrate intake delays circadian rhythms and reduces the secretion of melatonin, which would delay the onset of sleep. The hormones also come into play, as there is a greater awareness of the reward value of food when sleep is limited. And when we are tired our decision making is not so disciplined, so we are more likely to be tempted to eat unhealthy food.
The researchers acknowledge that further studies are needed to confirm the results. But if the diet is to play a causal role in the quality of sleep, the recommendations on the basis of a healthy diet can be justified for those who have sleep disorders, including insomnia, short sleep duration, and poor overall quality of sleep.
The researchers add that these findings could also have implications for some dietary therapies based on high percentages of fat, low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet that has been promoted for several neurological disorders.
Increase our understanding of the impact of diet on nocturnal sleep will have many important and practical ramifications for public health.