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Varied diet leads to better sleep – study


People who eat a good variety of foods are more likely to sleep for the recommended eight hours a night, according to the results of a new US study. Using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and published in the journal Appetite, the research found that people who regularly slept for less than five hours a night consistently drank less water, took on less vitamin C and selenium but ate more green vegetables in their diet, while those who routinely ate excessively fatty foods tended to sleep for what was deemed too long, at nine hours or more. It was revealed that by sticking to a regular diet both groups were suffering ‘unhealthy’ sleep routines.


The study didn’t expand on whether changing diets for those in too short or too long sleep routines would result in an immediately positive response, but participants who ate a varied diet day after day were more likely to experience a sleep pattern of eight hours, which is typically recommended for a rejuvenating sleep.


Diet is inextricably linked to sleep quality, with not just the types of food that you eat but the time of day that you eat having an effect on how quickly you find yourself getting off to sleep and how well you sleep. By missing out on good quality sleep you’re risking the temptation to get into bad dietary habits, as your body craves high energy hits to get through the day. This can lead to excessive between meal snacking and reliance on junk foods.

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