You Will Change Your Sleep Patterns After You See What It Does To Your Diet
Decreasing the fat in your diet might not only help with weight loss (due to consuming fewer calories), but it may also improve your sleep – and therefore your overall health
Public health guidelines recommend that Americans more often choose lower fat foods, thus limiting intake to below 30% of total calories. However, due to fast foods, convenience foods and an overall “taste” for fatty snacks, Americans typically get about 35% of calories from fat. This not only risks a calorie intake that is outweighing our expenditure, leading to weight gain. It is also affecting our sleep.
University of Adelaide researchers have found that men who eat high-fat diets are more likely to feel sleepy during the day and have sleep problems at night. They are also more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition where the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep – pausing breathing.
This makes a lot of sense, as obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight. But the disease can actually affect anyone, independent of weight.
Study author Yingting Cao used data on more than 1800 Australian men, aged 35-80, and found that even after adjusting for other demographic and lifestyle factors, those who consumed the highest fat intake were more likely to have sleep problems.
"Poor sleep and feeling sleepy during the day means you have less energy, (and) this in turn is known to increase people's cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods, which is then associated with poor sleep outcomes. So the poor diet-and-sleep pattern can become a vicious cycle," says Cao.
"The simple message is a common-sense one, but we need more people to pay attention to it: We need to eat better."
Yingting Cao, et al. Associations between Macronutrient Intake and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea as Well as Self-Reported Sleep Symptoms: Results from a Cohort of Community Dwelling Australian Men. Nutrients, 2016; 8 (4): 207 DOI: 10.3390/nu8040207
University of Adelaide. "Fatty diets lead to daytime sleepiness, poor sleep." ScienceDaily.
Photo Credit: PixaBay Public Domain