Diet which can help you to get Good sleep
It's common knowledge that if you want to sleep well, you shouldn't drink coffee or eat something extremely sweet right before bed. Aside from these foods to avoid, researchers have been debating what we should eat to promote sleep for decades. What they've discovered so far is summarized in an in-press review paper in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here's the latest on what to add to your plate if you're looking to remove barriers to your sleep.
Diets higher in complex carbohydrates (e.g., fiber) and healthier fats (e.g., unsaturated, especially polyunsaturated) were associated with better sleep quality.
Diets higher in protein were associated with better sleep quality.
Diets rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory nutrients and lower in saturated fat (e.g., Mediterranean diet) were associated with better sleep quality.
Diets that were high or very-high carbohydrate or characterized by high sugar intake were tied to lighter and poorer quality sleep.
As for why these dietary choices might promote (or impede) high-quality, deep sleep, the science isn't crystal clear.
In the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics review, authors speculate that it could be because plant-based diets support the production of serotonin and melatonin—two hormones that are essential in the sleep-wake cycle. The gut-brain connection could also be at play. There's some fascinating emerging research to show that the microbes in our gut can affect certain sleep measures. Those who follow diets high in probiotics, fiber, clean protein, and healthy fats typically have a richer gut microbiome.
On the other side of the coin, diets that are high in refined carbs, sugars, and processed foods have been associated with weight gain. "Excess weight, in turn, can lead to poor sleep quality" and up your risk for sleep problems, the authors share in the report.
While they note that longer-term and more rigorous studies (especially including more women, who tend to report greater sleep disturbances than men) are needed to reinforce these findings, it seems that when it comes to rest, a minimally processed, plant-forward but protein-rich diet pattern a la Mediterranean diet is best.