Researchers from Columbia University found what to eat for better sleep for those who indulge in late night meals. Recent studies have been underlining the importance of a good night’s rest. It can influence numerous health factors, and poor sleep quality might result in unfortunate conditions.
It has become one of the greatest concerns of our generation, except diet, that we can directly manage. This is especially a problem in the digital age, with so many distractions that encourage late nights. Researchers conducted a study on 26 adults, all at an average weight, with the median age of 35 years old. The participants spent 5 days in a sleep lab, monitored carefully on the quality and duration of their sleep.
Throughout the study, all went to bed at 10 P.M. and woke up at around 7 A.M., with an average sleep time of 7 hours and 35 minutes.
In the first four days, the participants were given pre-selected meals of healthier diets, such as protein and fiber. On the fifth and last day of the study, they were given the liberty to eat whatever they wanted, which implied meals filled with saturated fats and sugar. The sleep data was observed on the third night of eating pre-selected meals and the fifth night.
According to lead author of the study, Marie-Pierre St. Onge from the university’s Medical Center, diet quality influences sleep quality. In fact, just one day of unhealthy eating can successfully ruin the quality of your rest, expressed through various disruptions and less time spent in deep sleep. That, in turn, may result in health complications such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and other cognitive impairments in time.
On average, the participants on the healthier pre-selected meals needed 17 minutes to fall asleep. When they switched to the unhealthier option rich in saturated fats and sugar, it took them 29 minutes to fall asleep, with less restorative qualities and more disruptions. The dangers of such fragmented sleep have been well recorded.
According to St. Onge, the association has numerous significant implications by emphasizing the fact that high-quality sleep is paramount to good health. The observation might aid those suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders by changing their diet. It could also help others in achieving better rest that will be ultimately a benefit.
Previous studies have shown that the population tends to sacrifice sleep above any other activity. Be it responsibilities, entertainment, or social activities, the well needed rest is often the aspect that gets mostly neglected. It’s important to achieve good quality sleep, and a better diet could help in that aspect.
Late night meals should be rich in fiber or protein, while sugar and saturated fats should be avoided. Oatmeal has been deemed as the best option for those who need a quick snack before going to bed.
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