(Mirror Daily, United States) – Sleep can mean very different things to very different people. For some, sleep can be a loyal, trustworthy friend, ready to step in whenever it is summoned. For others, it can be a long awaited, bitter-sweet partner that only shows up when it feels like it. But why is that? A study from Columbia University shows that a single fiber rich meal works wonders for sleep patterns.
According to the latest study from Columbia University, having a diet rich in fibers can lead to almost instant improvements of your quality of sleep.
Despite previous theories according to which your sleep patterns were affected by your diet, this recent study actually employed scientific means to ascertain the exact impact your diet has on your sleep.
In the study, researchers looked at 26 adults aged 20 to 45, all of them of normal weights, and had them sleep in a sleep laboratory for five nights.
The scientists looked at the subjects’ sleeping patterns in correlation to their day to day meals, some of the subjects allowed to eat whatever they wanted over the course of the day, and some of them had meals controlled by a skilled nutritionist.
As it turns out, food does have quite a large impact on how we sleep, regardless of what type of food it is.
For instance, fiber rich diets may be good because of the fibers themselves, but also because of the other nutrients found in various forms the food can take.
Melatonin, magnesium, and vitamin B6, present in tart cherries, whole grains, and chickpeas respectively, are all naturally occurring chemicals present in our food which help us get a better sleep.
This because they let us spend more time in the deep, dreamless stage of sleep that is slow wave sleep.
On the other hand, the researchers found that consuming sugar and saturated fats before going to bed can have the opposite effect, leading you to feel more tired even if you managed to get enough sleep.
And this happens regardless of when during the day you had your relevant food portion.
The participants were even tested by eating something right before going to bed – some a meal of their choice, and the others a meal prepared by a nutritionist.
The subjects that chose their own meal showed an average time of 29 minutes between eating and going to sleep, while those who ate what the nutritionist selected for them showed a 17 minute average of falling asleep.
Image source: Wikimedia
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