Do the foods we eat - or dont eat, for that matter - really influence our sleep patterns? New research suggests that they might.
A common piece of folk wisdom is to avoid eating a big meal before bed, or else we won’t sleep well. But do the foods we eat—or don’t eat, for that matter—really influence our sleep patterns? New research suggests that they might.
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania wanted to discover if certain nutrients could affect our sleep, leading to shorter or longer sleep durations. In their survey, participants were divided into groups based on their typical sleep duration:
The standard length of seven to eight hours is considered to be the optimal sleep duration, and a key part of overall health. Previous research also shows that short sleep patterns are linked to obesity, weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
The participants also discussed their full day’s dietary intake, in detail, including how much water they drank.
Here’s a bit of what the researchers found, based on the sleep pattern groups.
Although the researchers don’t know yet if altering our diets could change our sleep patterns, it’s always a good idea to eat a varied and healthy diet. These alive articles discuss some of the key nutrients mentioned above, that short and long sleepers could be missing out on: