The type of nutrition apparently decides how well, how restful and how deep a person sleeps.
Some cardinal mistakes in nutrition cause bad, little restful and restless sleep.
At the same time, the quality of sleep can be improved very well with a healthy diet. With this the deep sleep phases become longer, you sleep more relaxed and calmer, and you wake up rested and refreshed. So if you sleep badly, you can change this condition with the help of certain changes in your diet and thus improve the quality of your sleep!
Improving sleep quality with nutrition
In January 2016, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published new study results in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, according to which certain nutritional errors significantly worsened the quality of sleep. Conversely, eating healthily or avoiding clearly harmful foods could improve sleep and nocturnal recovery, and thus sleep quality ( 1 ).
The randomized crossover study involved 26 adults (of normal weight and an average age of 35 years) who each spent five nights in a sleep laboratory.
Eating errors lead to sleep disorders
The following dietary habits were found to be particularly unfavorable for the quality of sleep:
- Too little fiber
- Too many saturated fats
- Too much sugar
In the said study, all three factors led to lighter, less restful and restless sleep. For example, while a high-fat diet shortens the deep sleep phase, a high-fiber diet ensures that you stay longer in the deep sleep phase. The more sugar you eat, the more restless your sleep will be.
Eating according to a nutrition plan helps you fall asleep faster
The sleep researchers also discovered that their study participants fell asleep faster when they followed a dietitian’s diet plan, which contained less saturated fat but more protein than homemade meals. If the participants ate their own food and drink, it took them almost half an hour to fall asleep. While those who followed a nutrition plan fell asleep after an average of 17 minutes.
Even 1 day with an unhealthy diet worsens the quality of sleep
“Our key findings are that diet can affect sleep quality,” said study leader Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY. “It was surprising that even a single day of poor nutrition – high in fat and low in fiber – worsened sleep quality.”
It is best to do everything you can to improve your sleep quality!
Dr. Nathaniel Watson – President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine – advises doing everything you can to get a good night’s sleep: “This study shows that nutrition and sleep quality are closely linked. For optimal health, sound sleep is important. You should take all measures to improve the quality of sleep, including a healthy diet and sufficient exercise.”
Dr St-Onge also pointed out that poor sleep quality leads to chronic complaints such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, so that one should improve the diet to avoid these health problems ( 2 ).
Ashwagandha, a medicinal plant from Ayurveda, also promotes healthy sleep. The plant is also called sleeping berry and can be used wonderfully with an evening ashwagandha nightcap.
You can find more tips for healthy sleep here: