Reference Number: 653
Health: Lifestyle / Sleep
Sleep restriction alters food intake, but less is known about how dietary patterns affect sleep. Current goals were to determine whether: (1) sleep is different after consumption of a controlled diet vs. an ad libitum diet, and (2) dietary intake during ad libitum feeding is related to nocturnal sleep.
Twenty-six normal weight adults (30–45 y), habitually sleeping 7-9 h/night, participated in a randomized-crossover inpatient study with 2 phases of 5 nights: short (4 h in bed) or habitual (9 h in bed) sleep. Only data from the habitual sleep phase were used for the present analyses. During the first 4 days, participants consumed a controlled diet; on day 5, food intake was self-selected. Linear regression was used to determine relations between daytime food intake and nighttime sleep on day 5.
Sleep duration did not differ after 3 days of controlled feeding vs. a day of ad libitum intake. However, sleep after ad libitum eating had less slow wave sleep (SWS, P = 0.0430) and longer onset latency (P = 0.0085). Greater fiber intake predicted less stage 1 (P = 0.0198) and more SWS (P = 0.0286). Percent of energy from saturated fat predicted less SWS (P = 0.0422). Higher percent of energy from sugar and other carbohydrates not considered sugar or fiber was associated with arousals (P = 0.0320 and 0.0481, respectively).
Low fiber and high saturated fat and sugar intake is associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals. Diet could be useful in the management of sleep disorders but this needs to be tested.
As we are writing this ( 2022) there are very few studies have utilised controlled conditions to determine how food intake affects sleep. The current findings showed that daytime fat and sugar/fibre content did affect nocturnal sleep—implying that diet-based recommendations might be used to improve sleep in those with poor sleep quality.
Significance of this study to the baker
This study shows that diet can significantly influence the quality and duration of nighttime sleep. A greater intake of saturated fat and a lower intake of fibre was associated with a lighter, less deep sleep profile. So whilst we love our cultured butter recipe, we also have to add that butter is to be enjoyed in moderation.
Additionally, a diet with a high glycemic index also had negative effects on sleep quality. However, increased fibre intake and a lower GI diet had positive effects on sleep quality. Therefore, a diet rich in fiber and low GI, such as our 100% wholegrain sourdough boule recipe maybe a useful tool to improve sleep depth and quality in individuals with poor sleep, These results are important as it highlights the role of diet on sleep and dietary recommendations for lifestyle management of sleep disorders.
(high fibre, low GI bread)