What You Eat Affects Your Sleep
Mar 29, 2018

Tracy Campbell
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 2 min.

If you want a good night’s sleep, pay more attention to what you eat. A new study explains how what you eat affects your sleep, which means you could be resting more peacefully by changing your eating habits.

One of the most interesting and surprising findings by the research team at Columbia University Medical Center in New York was that just one day of eating more of certain foods could have an impact on sleep. What are those foods?

Fiber, which is found in foods such as whole grains, vegetables, beans and legumes, seeds, and fruits

Saturated fat, which is found in meats, dairy, poultry, and oils

Sugars, which are found not only in desserts but also in most processed foods

Sleep study

The randomized, crossover study included 13 men and 13 women (average age, 35) of normal weight. They each spent five nights in a sleep lab, where they slept for an average of 7 hours and 35 minutes per night. Data were collected nightly and analyzed from night 3, after the participants had had three days of controlled feeding, and night 5, after one day of eating whatever they wanted.

The researchers discovered the following:

Participants fell asleep faster after they ate meals that consisted of lower saturated fat and were higher in protein than meals the subjects chose themselves

It took the participants an average of 29 minutes to fall asleep after eating foods and beverages they chose, but only 17 minutes to fall asleep after eating controlled meals

Participants experienced less slow wave sleep after eating whatever they wanted

Eating more fiber was associated with more slow wave sleep

Eating more saturated fat was associated with less slow wave sleep

Eating sugar and other carbs not considered to be sugar or fiber was associated with waking up more often during the night

Slow wave sleep, aka deep sleep, is non-rapid eye movement sleep. During slow wave sleep, your heart and respiratory rates are low, you have extremely slow brain waves, and no muscle activity. This stage of sleep is necessary for regenerating tissues, recharging your energy, strengthening the immune system, and building muscle and bone.

More specifically, researchers from the University of Chicago School of Medicine have found that loss of slow wave sleep is associated with a decline in human growth hormone. This hormone is involved in stimulating bone growth, immune function, protein production, muscle glucose uptake, burning of fat, and maintaining cardiovascular health. Therefore, a reduction in the release of this hormone can result in increased body fat, loss of muscle tone, immune system malfunctions, and other problems.

If you want a good night’s sleep, pay more attention to what you eat. A new study explains how what you eat affects your sleep, which means you could be resting more peacefully by changing your eating habits.

The findings of this new study suggest that your diet has an impact on your sleep, and that making some modifications could improve sleep quality. According to the study’s principal investigator, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition, “The finding that diet can influence sleep has tremendous health implications, given the increasing recognition of the role of sleep in the development of chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

by Exam Health

Leave your comments / questions for this practitioner

To write a comment please
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Nutritional Therapy
$10 USD
coaching session
Nutrition for your Neurodivergent Brain

If you have ADHD or other brain differences you know how challenging it can be to live up to your potential. I can help you gently re-nourish your brain while helping you connect to your intuitive eating wisdom (yes, you do have it!). As a Registered Dieitian with a Master's in Ed Psych and over 30 years of experience with neurodiverse individuals, I can help you reduce anxiety, hyperactivity, fatigue, brain fog, sleep problems and other difficulties.

Sign up for a discovery session to see how individualized nutrition can lead to a happier, more fulfilling life!

*Note: Young people between the ages of 13 and 18 must bring a parent or parents.

Laura May
Mindful Eating
$88 USD
coaching session
Intuitive Eating session

This is a service for highly sensitive people and empaths who are looking to reconnect with their intuition and inner wisdom so that they reach their ideal body weight and feel confident in their skin without dieting or intense exercising.
This is a 1-hour session.

If you are not sure whether this is a good fit for you, I offer a 45 min discovery call which you can use to ask me questions and test our chemistry. If interested, please book your discovery call from my services.


Maria Nikolakakou
Nutritional Therapy
$10 USD
Discovery Call

Whether you’re looking for feeling in control of your life and food habits, making peace with your body and falling in love with it, dropping stress burden, develop toned body, drop some weight or eating healthy everyday, learning to plan and prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family, I’m here to help you every step of the way.
Each of my coaching sessions are designed for you reaching your goals and living your happiest and healthiest life possible.

Book a discovery call and see if this is the right fit for you.

Nutritional Therapy
$150 USD
Nutritional Therapy Consultation

Hi my name is Aria and I am the founder of Heal with Nutrition. I am a registered Nutritional Therapist and a Naturopath who has a passion on Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle, combining alternative medicine with food.

The key to my success is the holistic approach I offer. My focus is to investigate and address the root cause of imbalances in the body. I can help you understand the importance of nutrition and how it can positively or negatively influence your quality of life. I can support you through your nutritional journey to achieve your goals; these can be weight loss or gain, improved overall health or helping address a pre-existing condition. I can also teach you how to use natural, home remedies to help prevent and treat seasonal illnesses and ailments.

As a mother of 3 feeding my children healthy and nurturing food was my number one priority. Over the years, I have become creative with different food options to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. I can educate you on how to feed your whole family and keep them as healthy as possible.

I love inspiring people and helping them find the right food for them, a regime that will support their individual state of balance and happiness.

Aria Alexandrou
Registered individuals enjoy all the possibilities of Core Spirit.