By Mark Lange, PhD
Sleep researchers have found that sleep quality is affected by diet. Twenty-six adults who normally sleep 7-9 hours per night participated in this randomized crossover study. The participants first consumed a controlled diet for 4 days and then ate whatever they wanted on day 5. Low fiber and high saturated fat and sugar intake was associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals.
The researchers were surprised that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters. The study emphasizes that diet and sleep are interwoven in the fabric of a healthy lifestyle. For optimal health it is important to make proper dietary choices to improve sleep and exercise regularly.
Source: St-Onge MP, et al. Fiber and saturated fat are associated with sleep arousals and slow wave sleep. J. Clin. Sleep Med. 2016; 12(1):19-24