Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to our health and mental well being, so any tips we can use on getting the right amount is welcomed by many. A study, published by Appetite has found differences in the diets of those who sleep for around eight hours a night, compared to those who only manage five.
The study used data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and discovered that those who get the recommended seven to eight hours sleep a night ate a more varied diet. Those who sleep less drink less water, have less selenium (found in shellfish, nuts and meats) and take in less vitamin C. Those who sleep more than the recommended amount reportedly consume more carbohydrates and alcohol, but less theorbomine (found in tea and chocolate).
Researchers concluded that both short and long amounts of sleep can be associated with a less varied diet, however they said they don’t know if changing our diet would affect our length of sleep. The study only reveals an association between long and short sleep being unhealthy, although this is a link we have seen before in the 2011 review of evidence about the amount of sleep we get and our risk of heart disease.
The evidence about what kinds of food we should eat for optimum sleep is not yet clear, however more research on the relationship between weight and sleep has revealed that the less sleep we get, the hungrier we are likely to be.
So even though we do not yet know exactly what to eat for a good night’s sleep, you can’t go wrong with a more varied diet and sensible bedtime.
Sleep and weight are often intertwined issues – if you are experiencing problems with either, seeing a hypnotherapist could help. For more information, please see our pages on Insomnia and Weight Loss.
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