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Improve your sleep patterns by following healthy diet and lifestyle trends!

 Lynn Griffith on 29 Jun, 2015

(TRFW News) Getting enough sleep is essential for healthy functioning.  The National Institutes of Health recommend that children get at least 10 hours of sleep, teens get 9-10 hours of sleep, and adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  The National Health Interview Survey reports that 30 percent of adults average less than 6 hours of sleep per day.  In 2009, only 31 percent of high school students reported getting 8 hours of sleep on a school night. (1)

Improving your lifestyle may help improve your sleep hours!

Research suggests that improving your lifestyle may also help improve your sleep.  A group of researchers from Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania investigated how diet correlates with sleeping patterns.  Researchers examined 4,548 people from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants’ nightly sleep hours were compared with their diets. (2)

Results showed that people in different sleep categories also had very distinct diets.  Those who slept the fewest hours ate the most calories, drank less water, consumed fewer red and orange fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants and lycopene.  Those who slept the most consumed the least amount of calories, consumed less chocolate and tea, less saturated fat, less fatty meat and less carbohydrates. (3)

A diet low in chocolate, tea, saturated fat, fatty meat and carbohydrates is linked to healthy sleep hours

A recent study from Perelman School of Medicine studied 44 participants, ages 21 to 50, and found that those who ate less late at night were able to curb concentration and alertness deficits that are associated with sleep deprivation.  Those who fasted at night performed better in regards to reaction time and attention lapses than those who ate during the late night hours.(3)

The new study also suggests that late bedtimes and chronic sleep restrictions may be associated with weight gain and increased consumption of calories.(3)

A related study recommends that those who suffer from chronic sleep restriction decrease morning caloric intake, or increase physical activity to help compensate for decreased morning resting metabolic rate, and to prevent weight gain.(3)

Tips for a better night’s sleep:

If you desire to get a better night’s sleep, the CDC recommends following these basic tips.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Avoid eating large meals before bedtime.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Avoid using nicotine before bed. (1)

If you are one of the 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. who struggle with sleep, it may help to examine your daily eating patterns, water consumption, and diet.  By making small changes in your daily routine, you may find improvement in your sleep patterns and a healthier lifestyle.

Sources for this article include: