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Fiber And Sugar In Food Influence The Quality Of Your Sleep

Update Date: Jan 18, 2016 03:50 PM EST

If you're keen to get good sleep, then eat more fibre, and cut down on the sugar, according to researchers at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

Consuming great quantities of fiber made people spend more time in "stages of deep, slow-wave sleep", yet with greater sugar intake or saturated fat, there could be "less slow-wave sleep" and more interrupted periods of sleep too, according to scienceworldreport.

"This study emphasizes the fact that diet and sleep are interwoven in the fabric of a healthy lifestyle," said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Nathaniel Watson, who was not involved in the study. "For optimal health, it is important to make lifestyle choices that promote healthy sleep, such as eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly."

Researchers probed 26 adults, that is 13 men and 13 women, with an average of 35 years, all of which weighed normally in the beginning.

The subjects spent five nights in a sleep lab, in which nine hours were spent in bed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Hence, the sleep hours were between 7 hours and 35 minutes every night.

Some objective information on sleep was gathered through polysomnography or testing that was used to find out sleep disorders. The sleep data was analysed from the third night, after 3 days of "controlled feeding" and then on the fifth night and another cheat day in which the subjects could eat anything at any time they wished.

By eating foods low in saturated fat and higher in protein, they could sleep off just 17 minutes. But when they picked meals of their choice the sleep was delayed by 29 minutes.

"The finding that diet can influence sleep has tremendous health implications, given the increasing recognition of the role of sleep in the development of chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said principal investigator Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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