We are aware of the impact nutrition food may have on overall health, but what about sleep specifically? According to a recent research, our diet has a direct impact on how well we sleep.
For our bodies to be healthy and battle illnesses, appropriate nutrition and rest are essential to health. Although their interaction is significant, it is intricate and involves many interrelated physiological systems. The bottom line is that it’s crucial for maintaining good health to understand the connection between diet and sleep and to maximise both.
Previous research has looked into how our food influences how well we sleep. Few research, however, have examined the direct effects of various foods on the quality of sleep. Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have now investigated if and how various diets affect sleep in a new study.
According to research author Jonathan Cedernaes, “Both poor diet and poor sleep increase the risk of several public health conditions.” We thought it would be fascinating to look into if some of the health consequences of various diets may entail changes to our sleep because what we eat is so crucial to our wellbeing.
The study’s 15 healthy male volunteers were randomly assigned to a food high in fat and high in sugar (HFHS) or low in fat and low in sugar (LFLS). The type of diet they will follow wasn’t disclosed to them in advance. Participants were requested to maintain their typical sleeping patterns, which ranged from seven to nine hours each night, and to record their sleep each day in a sleep diary.
The subjects’ sleep patterns were evaluated in a sleep lab after each food modification. Although individuals slept for the same length of time regardless of the diet they followed, the researchers discovered that there were variations in the two groups’ sleep patterns.
In particular, Cedernaes added, “we looked at slow-wave activity, a metric that might suggest how restorative deep sleep is. It’s interesting to note that when subjects had eaten junk food as opposed to healthy meals, deep sleep showed reduced slow-wave activity. Once we had changed the individuals’ foods to an identical one, this effect persisted throughout the next night as well. In essence, the poor nutrition caused shallower deep sleep.
Slow-wave sleep, sometimes referred to as deep sleep, is considered to be crucial for memory consolidation and brain repair. It lasts between 70 and 90 minutes, is composed of stage 3 non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and takes place in the early hours of the night.
The changes in sleep quality caused by nutrition, according to the researchers, are comparable to those brought on by ageing and insomnia. However, scientists are unsure of the potential long-term repercussions of eating a less healthy diet and are unable to attribute it to a specific dietary component. They are recommending further investigational research.
Functional studies, such as those to check for potential effects on memory function, would also be intriguing, according to Cedernaes. This is significantly influenced by sleep. Understanding the potential duration of the reported impacts would also be intriguing. We don’t now know which components of the unhealthy diet made the depth of deep sleep worse. Investigating whether there is a specific molecular component that is more important would be intriguing.
Do you sleep more if you eat less?
You may frequently wake up during the night if you don’t eat enough and find it difficult to get back asleep. It’s possible that you are physically hungry, and this wakes you up as your body tries to receive the calories and minerals it requires.
Can food affect your dreams?
There are several ways that food might keep us from sleeping. It might not raise your likelihood of having a nightmare on any one night, but it can increase the likelihood that you will recall the dreams you had, giving the impression that you have nightmares more frequently.