It is incredibly rare to find a patient with obesity who has healthy sleep habits. I don't think I've ever come across even one person who is obese but sleeps well. Lack of good quality sleep has been implicated in the development of many of the chronic diseases we see today, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. And we know a lot about how poor sleep habits effect dietary choices, appetite and satiety signals.
A fascinating new study released from Columbia University Medical Centre has clearly shown the relationship between diet and sleep quality.
- Low fibre, high saturated fat, high sugar diets led to lighter, less restorative and more disrupted sleep.
- High fibre diets induced more deep, slow wave sleep.
- The higher the percentage of energy absorbed from saturated fat rich foods, the less slow wave sleep enjoyed.
- The higher the sugar in the diet, the more arousals from sleep occurred.
What's the bottom line here? Behaviour choices work in spirals; good sleep leads to better choices, which leads to more wellness, which leads to more confidence to make better choices, which leads to even more good choices and an overall healthier, more engaged person. So:
- Eat fibre: have a diet high in unprocessed plant based foods. Eat lots of different kinds to get all kinds of fibre - this will also ensure you have a wonderful, diverse bacterial population in your gut (another proponent of good health).
- Minimise saturated fat; particularly animal based. Coconut and cocoa butter based saturated fats are likely neutral. Be semi vegetarian and when eating meat, have a mountain of veg with it.
- Eat low glycaemic, unprocessed carbs - whole barley, rye, rice, whole fruit, potatoes with skins etc. Avoid flours made from grains - eat the whole grain instead. Avoid added sugar, juices and anything white. For alternative baking I love www.elenaspantry.com
Eat well and sleep well :-)
Link here: http://www.aasmnet.org/jcsm/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=30412