Healthy Diets Can Mean Healthy Sleep

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A recent study published in the journal Appetite found a connection between foods people eat and how well they sleep at night.

People with normal sleep eat the most variety of foods

Researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and found that people who sleep 7 to 8 hours each night have more variety in their diet compared to people who sleep less or more.

People who slept less than five hours drank less water and lacked certain nutrients

People in the very short sleep category drank less water, and ingested less lycopene, which is found in foods red and orange in color, such as tomatoes, and total carbohydrates.

People who slept between five to six hours were lacking certain vitamins

Those people in the short sleep category had a lower intake of Vitamin C, tap water and selenium, which is found in nuts, shellfish and meat. They had a higher intake of lutein/zeaxanthin, which is found in leafy greens.

People who slept nine hours or more took in less choline and other nutrients

The people in the long sleep group had a lower intake of choline, which is found in eggs and fatty meats, theobromin, which is found in chocolate and tea, dodecanoic acid, a saturated fat, and a lower intake of total carbohydrates. They also had a higher intake of alcohol.

Implication that changing diet might affect sleep pattern

Researchers say exploring the idea that changing your diet could boost quality of sleep is important for the future, as it is known that poor sleep is associated with weight gain, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.