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The Very Real Consequences Your Diet Has On Your Quality Of Sleep

The Very Real Consequences Your Diet Has On Your Quality Of Sleep

It’s true, the things you eat on a daily basis can actually have an impact on the amount of sleep you get. 

Considering what you do throughout the day, all of it will result in the quality of sleep you will receive at night. We are going to specifically pinpoint how your diet can have a very real effect on the level of sleep you can have. 

What it comes down to; how healthy your daily meals are

We know, annoying, but eating a healthy diet seems to solve all problems, huh? Well unfortunately there is plenty of science behind this theory to back it up. 

If you struggle to maintain a healthy diet, you are not alone. More than half the American population would agree with you. In fact, according to statistics done by The Barbeque Lab, out of the 209 million adults in the U.S., “117 million of them have a preventable chronic illness related to their eating patterns. That’s about 55% of the population.”  

Millions of Americans struggle to keep to a healthy diet, sometimes it is very difficult to do so. Regardless of why, if you notice you have trouble sleeping and all other resorts you’ve sought out aren’t making sense, this may be why. 

What are we specifically talking about?

Saturated fats, sugar, and low amounts of fiber. All of these ingredients or lack thereof have been found to lead to a disrupted sleep pattern. 

A study performed by Sleep Education chose 26 adults. Each had a normal weight and was an average of 35 years old. 

Participants that were encouraged by a nutritionist were given meals with lower saturated fats and higher protein intakes resulting in a faster and deeper sleep. It was noted that greater sugar and saturated fat consumption led to a night of more disruption and less deep sleep. 

On average, the adults that were able to choose their meals took around 29 minutes to fall asleep. This is very different from the average 17 minutes it took the other group of adults who were given specific meals.

Foods with concentrations of saturated fats

Some of the most common foods we consume are full of saturated fats. By no means are we trying to tell you to completely cut them out of your life. It may be beneficial though to limit how much you are eating of these on a day-to-day basis. 

Some of these foods include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Cream
  • Cheese
  • Coconut
  • Butter 
  • Ice cream 
  • Some fried foods
  • Beef fat

It is recommended by the American Heart Association that we aim for a “…dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat.” 

The example given was that if you require 2,000 calories a day, it is best to try to keep it up to 120 calories consisting of saturated fat. 

There are alternatives that you can implement to your daily eating schedule. 

  • Lean meats (veal, chicken, turkey, etc.) 
  • Poultry without skin
  • Fish 
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Liquid vegetable oil (avoid tropical oil)

Steer away from these too close to bedtime

What time we choose to eat food also has an impact on the quality of sleep. The late-night sugar snack is going to do nothing for you when you finally decide to fall asleep. 

Why? Our circadian rhythm. Our body follows a 24-hour cycle which during that time will digest the food we intake on a daily basis. When we wake up and are hungry for breakfast, that is our circadian rhythm at work. So when we mess with the classic times for meals (breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, and dinner in the evening), we throw off our cycle, which impacts sleep. 

Foods/ingredients to avoid before bed 

  • Sugar 
  • Caffeine 
  • Saturated fats 
  • Chocolate 
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream 

If you are craving something at night consider:

  • Cherries 
  • Bananas 
  • Turkey 
  • Almonds 
  • Milk
  • Kiwi
  • Tea (Chamomile, Passionflower) 

These kinds of foods are low in sugars and fats which as we have discussed are the ingredients that lead to a rough night’s sleep. 

Let’s touch on the basics 

You probably learned this in your early years of education but it doesn’t hurt anyone to go through it again. Due to the fact that so many people struggle to maintain a healthy diet, we want to go through the food groups we all need to fit into our daily meals. 

Taking information from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, here is a chart of food groups and how much you should consume on a daily basis. The number presented is representative of serving size. 

Food Group 1,600 Calorie diet 2,000 Calorie Diet 
Grains 6 per day6-8 per day 
Vegetables3-4 per day4-5 per day
Fruits 4 per day4-5 per day
Low fat/fat-free Milk & Milk products 2-3 per day2-3 per day
Lean meat/poultry/fish 3-4 one ounce servings or fewer per day6 one ounce servings or fewer per day
Nuts, seeds and legumes3-4 per week4-5 per week
Fats and oils 2 per day2-3 per day
Sweets and added sugars3 or less per week5 or less per week

Consider implementing this to your daily schedule

Now that you are more aware, hopefully this may be a solution if you are struggling to fall asleep. If you require any extra help you can always take a look at our Relaxium Sleep supplement which contains ingredients  to promote deep, relaxing sleep. 

To restful and healthy days ahead. 

The Relaxium Team 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Sources:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/dash-eating-plan

https://sleepeducation.org/study-links-diet-sleep-quality/#:~:text=A%20new%20study%20suggests%20that,deep%E2%80%9D%20or%20slow%20wave%20sleep.

https://thebarbecuelab.com/healthy-eating-statistics/#:~:text=93%25%20of%20Americans%20want%20to,say%20they%20eat%20healthy%20ALWAYS.

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats#:~:text=AHA%20Recommendation,of%20saturated%20fat%20per%20day.

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-what-you-eat-affects-how-you-sleep-ncna805256

https://thebarbecuelab.com/healthy-eating-statistics/

https://sleepeducation.org/study-links-diet-sleep-quality/#:~:text=Higher%20saturated%20fat%20consumption%20was,meals%20provided%20by%20a%20nutritionist.

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-foods-to-help-you-sleep#2.-Turkey