How Foods May Affect Our Sleep
by Anahad O’Connor
When it comes to sleep, the importance of our diets can easily be forgotten.
Researchers have found that diets that involve high sugar, saturated fat, and processed carbohydrates can be poor for our sleep. Whereas plants, fiber, and rich unsaturated fats can help with our sleep.
Another sleep aid that you probably hadn’t heard of is Tryptophan. “An amino acid found in many foods, including dairy and turkey, which is one of the reasons commonly given for why so many of us feel so sleepy after our Thanksgiving feasts.” — Anahad O’Connor
Tryptophan is competing with other amino acids, though. So one way to enhance its uptake is through pairing foods that have it with carbohydrates.
On the topic of carbs, “eating carbs may help you fall asleep faster, but it is best to consume ‘complex’ carbs that contain fiber, which may help you obtain more deep, restorative sleep.” — Anahad O’Connor
”Diet and sleep are entwined. Improving one can help you improve the other and vice versa, creating a positive cycle where they perpetuate one another.” — Dr. Susan Redline
Other studies in this piece show that losing sleep can nudge people to consume junk food the following day.
“So in men, short sleep promotes greater appetite and desire to eat, and in women, there is less of a signal that makes you stop eating,” — Dr. St-Onge
My two cents: There’s nothing more true than the positive loop that sleep provides. It’s sort of crazy to think about how a quality night of sleep triggers more energy the following day. More energy allows you to be more productive/active, which will probably get you to eat healthier. Healthy eating makes you sleep better and the loop goes on and on.
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