Our lifestyle pattern plays an important role in long-term health and well-being. While adopting a busy lifestyle, we are often neglect and decrease sleep hours. Our busy lifestyle also leads to improper nutrition that affects our body. Food is important for having a proper sleep. But how does diet affect sleep quality? We are about to find the reason.
How Diet And Sleep Are Related?
Some studies have reported the link between diet and sleep. The dietary pattern and habits affect not only daytime alertness but also nighttime sleep. Some studies also said the diets that affect sleep or sleep patterns affect our dietary intake too. Hence, diet and sleep go hand in hand and are interlinked.
Let’s take an example. A diet rich in fat and sugar like confectioners, sweet beverages, and low fiber can disturb sleep. Such diets that include unhealthy saturated fats can cause sleep deprivation, especially slow-wave sleep, which is our deep sleep. It is also a sleep stage where the body restores physical and mental energy, builds bones and muscles, and strengthens the immune system.
On the other hand, lots of evidence show that sleep influences our eating behavior. Sleep-deprived people are often hungry, craving high-calorie foods, going for bigger portions, and desiring every unhealthy food type. It eventually leads to obesity and related metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart attack.
How Does Diet Affect Sleep Quality?
The most important element for good sleep is the timing of the meals. A human body has a natural cycle for sleep. If the body is working with an active metabolism, its temperature will increase. However, during sleep, the body’s temperature drops down as its associated metabolism slows down. Digestion is a part of these metabolic events. During sleep, if the digestion process is still undergoing, it can affect body temperature.
‘Heartburn’ or ‘acid reflux’ occurs when the stomach acid, which helps to digest the food, along with the stomach content travels up in the esophagus (food pipe), causing irritation and burning of the chest. If the evening meal is rich in fats and spices, it can lead to indigestion and encourage acid and gastric juices to flow upward into the esophagus, causing heartburn. When you sleep, it’s easier for the stomach content to flow towards the esophagus. So, acid reflux can easily affect sleep. Food items like fried foods, salty snacks, coffee, tea, onions, peppermint, and chocolate can contribute to such symptoms and give poor quality sleep.
Portion size also matters. If the diet is too little, it can wake you in the middle of sleep simply because of the hunger pangs. On the other hand, big portions can make you feel uncomfortable. A small snack can take the edge off your hunger, but a big portion can override your digestive system. Hence, it can lead to waking you up in the middle of sleep. So, if a person has poor dietary habits, it leads to a poor sleep pattern or quality.
Diet And Quality Of Sleep
|Sr. no.||Diet||Symptoms And Quality Of Sleep|
|1.||Rich in calories, fat, and sugar, energy drinks, sugar-sweet beverages, and low in vegetable or skipping breakfast||Digestive discomfort, making you alert and leading to poor sleep quality|
|2.||Heavy dinner and in a big portion||Bloating like symptoms, restlessness, poor quality sleep|
|3.||Low in vegetables, causing a deficiency of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium||Muscle cramps and pain leading to a quantity of sleep|
|4.||Rich in unhealthy fats and sugar which can lead to obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart attack||Sleep apnea, snoring, insomnia, restlessness|
|5.||A spicy and acidic diet can cause acid reflux or heartburn.||Discomfort from heartburn can affect sleep|
|6.||Low in fiber can cause constipation||Discomfort from abdominal pain can cause restlessness even during sleep|
|7.||Liquids in an excessive amount, high in caffeine or alcohol||Full bladder and frequency of micturition|
Read Also: 6 Healthy Foods That Help You Sleep Better