Diet Affects Sleep… And Sleep Affects Diet

A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine has found an effect of diet on sleep.

The researchers studied the diet and sleep patterns of 26 healthy adults and found that:

  • Sleep duration did not change with diet type, however
  • Improved sleep quality was associated with a diet higher in fibre, lower in saturated fat, and lower in sugars and carbs.

The mechanism is thought to be due to:

  • Effects of food on the circadian rhythm – eg. high carb intake delays circadian rhythms and reduces melatonin secretion;
  • Psychological components – eg. sleep deprivation results in a heightened awareness of the reward value of food (you get a greater burst of pleasure from eating food even though you’re not actually hungry);
  • Hormones – yes. Always blame hormones.

You would already know this, but a vicious cycle exists: poor sleep – poor diet – further poor sleep.

So, diet influences sleep – nah, didn’t really surprise me.
BUT carbs not helping sleep? That did… Coz I know what I always wanna do after a big pasta meal 😉


St-Onge MP, Roberts A, Shechter A, Choudhury AR. Fiber and Saturated Fat Are Associated with Sleep Arousals and Slow Wave Sleep. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015 Jun 22. pii: jc-00089-15.

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