Diet Quality and Sleep
The current belief among researchers and health care professionals is that the relationship between diet and sleep is reciprocal. Research confirms that sleep deprivation causes an increase in energy intake, potentially due to a change in circulating appetite hormones, ghrelin and leptin. However, the effect of food intake on sleep quality and duration is not as well understood. Emerging research suggests that fat and protein affect both sleep quality and duration, while carbohydrates seem to alter the time it takes to fall asleep. Other areas of research include sugar, fiber, fruits, and vegetables effect on sleep. While the research is in the early stages, health professionals can safely recommend improving diet choices to improve sleep quality. Other areas related to sleep and diet that should be discussed with patients include caffeine and alcohol consumption. Daily caffeine intake can alter sleep duration, onset, and perceived quality, while alcohol consumption before sleep can lead to disrupted, poor-quality sleep.