Healthy Diet: Healthy Sleep

The link between nutrition and sleeping patterns has been somewhat ambiguous in modern medicine due to the lack of research in the subject, recent research however has intensified the link between a poor diet and poor sleeping patterns.

Research by the Journal Appetite indicate that there is a link between what we eat and how we sleep.

Although many people recognise that what we eat can play a part in our sleeping pattern there has been relatively little research in to what foods can disrupt or benefit our sleep cycles.

Unsurprisingly research has shown that individuals with a healthier diet and lifestyle were more likely to get the appropriate amount of sleep (7-8 hours). Those who had a varied diet, including a sufficient amount of vitamin C (think oranges, broccoli and strawberries) were known to have more consistent sleeping patterns.

Individuals who consumed a lower variety of food were found to have more erratic sleeping patterns. These individuals were either not getting enough sleep (5-6 hours) or too much sleep (more than 9 hours).

Studies show that if you eat a calorific diet consisting of foods with high levels of saturated fat, you’re far more likely to have a shorter sleeping pattern consisting of 5-6 hours, this is below the recommended amount. Shorter sleepers on average had a lower intake of vitamin C and a higher intake of the nutrient ‘choline’ found in fatty meat products.

The study also mentioned that those who consumed a higher intake of alcohol either overslept or slept for a shorter period of time.

The Snoring Link

Fatty foods and alcohol are known to increase your likelihood of snoring, alcohol in particular is known to relax the muscles and soft tissue in your throat which in turn makes you more likely to snore.

Scientific research has established that snoring can play a significant role in disrupting your sleeping pattern.

Conclusion

The worrying aspect of the study is perhaps the fact that individuals who didn’t get the required amount of sleep were more likely to gain weight and suffer from subsequent issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study confirms that there is a significant link between our diet, our sleeping pattern and our overall health, evidently the issues are strongly interlinked.

By Richard Owen