Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Eat to Dream: Study Shows Dietary Nutrients Associated With Certain Sleep Patterns

From the 6 February 2013 article at Science Daily

You are what you eat,” the saying goes, but is what you eat playing a role in how much you sleep? Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of health and well-being. With the increasing prevalence of obesity and its consequences, sleep researchers have begun to explore the factors that predispose individuals to weight gain and ultimately obesity. Now, a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows for the first time that certain nutrients may play an underlying role in short and long sleep duration and that people who report eating a large variety of foods — an indicator of an overall healthy diet — had the healthiest sleep patterns.

..

The authors found that total caloric intake varied across groups. Short sleepers consumed the most calories, followed by normal sleepers, followed by very short sleepers, followed by long sleepers. Food variety was highest in normal sleepers, and lowest in very short sleepers. Differences across groups were found for many types of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

In a statistical analysis, the research team found that there were a number of dietary differences, but these were largely driven by a few key nutrients. They found that very short sleep was associated with less intake of tap water, lycopene (found in red- and orange-colored foods), and total carbohydrates, short sleep was associated with less vitamin C, tap water, selenium (found in nuts, meat and shellfish), and more lutein/zeaxanthin (found in green, leafy vegetables), and long sleep was associated with less intake of theobromine (found in chocolate and tea), dodecanoic acid (a saturated fat) choline (found in eggs and fatty meats), total carbohydrates, and more alcohol.

“Overall, people who sleep 7 — 8 hours each night differ in terms of their diet, compared to people who sleep less or more. We also found that short and long sleep are associated with lower food variety,” said Dr. Grandner. “What we still don’t know is if people altered their diets, would they be able to change their overall sleep pattern? This will be an important area to explore going forward as we know that short sleep duration is associated with weight gain and obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Likewise, we know that people who sleep too long also experience negative health consequences. If we can pinpoint the ideal mix of nutrients and calories to promote healthy sleep, the healthcare community has the potential to make a major dent in obesity and other cardiometabolic risk factors.”

 

Read the entire article here

 

 

February 8, 2013 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Nutrition | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. They are only beginning to tap the surface of sleep disorders. I often wonder if the fatigue from inadequate sleep results in mental and physical illnesses. One study showed when we lose an hour by turning the clocks back, the next day-Monday- there are increased MVAs, heart attacks, etc.

    It is my understanding in adults at least 6 hours of sleep is sort of the minimum time to undergo the processing needed for an adult to function best on a daily basis. Children need more sleep.

    Sleep is no longer about REM and non-REM, it is a necessary part of our bodies cycle in processing and functioning.

    Comment by Angela | February 9, 2013 | Reply


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