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Will changing my diet help me sleep better?


Have you ever noticed that sleep affects your levels of hunger? Or how about the other way around, do you think what you eat affects your sleep patterns?




New studies have claimed links between the way we eat and the way we sleep at night. A study published in the journal Appetite found differences in the diets of people who slept for seven to eight hours a night compared with those snoozing for five. Are their sleep patterns actually a result of the foods they are eating or indirectly a result of their lifestyles? This is a question I have to ponder. However studies have proven that less sleep is associated with high blood pressure, poorer blood-glucose control and obesity.

This study in particular showed that the people who slept a normal seven to eight hours of sleep ate the greatest variety of foods. Those who slept the least drank less water, took in less vitamin C, had less selenium (found in shellfish, meat, and nuts) but ate more green, leafy vegetables. On the other hand, longer sleep was associated with more carbohydrates, alcohol and less choline (found in eggs and fatty meats) and less theorbomine (found in chocolate and tea).

It is still unknown if a change in diet would affect how long we sleep for. This study shows only an association between diet and sleep, but it may not be a direct link.

In conclusion, the evidence on what diet would help us sleep best still isn’t clear. Maybe there isn’t one? There is however more research on the relationship between sleep and weight, with studies showing the shorter amount of sleep a person gets, the hungrier they feel. A night of disrupted sleep results in less energy the next day and more hunger.

For now, the best advice on this topic is to try to keep a varied diet and a sensible bedtime.

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*Disclaimer - Results may vary from person to person

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