Sleep & Diet: What's The Connection?

Sleep & Diet: What's The Connection?

We all know that sleep and diet play important roles in a healthy lifestyle. What we put into our bodies can directly influence our quality of sleep. Even certain foods and drinks can make it easier or harder to get the sleep that we need. At the same time, getting enough sleep is associated with maintaining a healthier lifestyle and can also be beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight.

So what’s the connection? Let’s dive into how sleep and diet affect each other below!

How Does Diet Affect Sleep?

Your eating habits play a crucial role in obtaining a night of good, quality sleep. If you are finding it hard to get or stay asleep, the culprit could be the foods consumed during the day.

Here are a few foods and drinks to avoid before winding down for the night:

Fatty Foods: Because digestion slows down while you sleep, fatty and high-protein foods can impact your sleep due to being harder for your body to digest. This can cause indigestion, making it harder for you to drift off to sleep.
Sugar: Too much sugar in your diet directly affects blood sugar levels, which impacts your energy levels throughout the day. Also, by limiting sugar, you can help keep your energy consistent without reaching for excess caffeine, so you can catch quality Zs at night.
Alcohol: We all do it - winding down with a glass of wine or a beer at dinner is a common experience, but even one drink can have a negative impact on your sleep. Once the effects of alcohol wear off, you’ll likely find yourself waking suddenly and struggling to go back to restful sleep.

How Does Sleep Affect Diet?

There is nothing better than waking up from a solid night’s rest. But when that doesn’t happen, we can look to our diet to be the cause of that restless sleep.

Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can increase habits such as overeating and choosing unhealthy foods. And sure enough, studies have also found a correlation between insufficient sleep to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity.

In addition, insufficient sleep can also affect parts of the brain that determine how we think about food. In current studies that focus on limited sleep, brain activity is enhanced in areas that are involved in viewing food as a positive reward, making us more vulnerable to eating too much.

Vicious cycles of overeating and unhealthy food choices can lead to weight gain, which raises the risk of obstructive sleep apnea, and other breathing disorders that cause persistent sleep interruptions. As a result, repetitive patterns can emerge in which poor sleep triggers poor eating habits that can play a role in further worsening sleep.

The connection between sleep and diet is undeniable. When you maintain a healthy diet and make better food choices, you’ll see the quality of your sleep improve. A consistent sleep schedule is key for living an active lifestyle. Positive change is right around the corner, and it all starts with what you put into your body!