Health + Wellness

High-Fat Foods Affect Your Sleep

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A new research reveals that men who consume diets high in fat are more likely to feel sleepy in the day and suffer from sleep problems at night.

Continuing our discussion on the importance of sleep and health, researchers from the University of Adelaide recently conducted a study on 1,800 Australian men aged 35 to 80, and found that high fat intake was associated with daytime sleepiness and poor sleep.

Based on data collected over a 12-month period, the results suggest that those who consumed the highest fat intake were more likely to experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Among those surveyed, 41 percent of the men reported experiencing daytime sleepiness, while 47 percent reported having poor sleep quality at night.

According to the study, sleep can be regulated by various hormones induced by our food intake, and a high fat diet affects our sleep by altering the circadian regulation of our hormonal, central nervous and metabolic systems.

The researcher added that having poor sleep and feeling sleepy during the day would in turn, increase one’s cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods, which is again associated with poor sleep outcomes. Therefore, the poor diet-and-sleep pattern can become a vicious cycle.

The study also found that obesity was strongly associated with a higher risk of daytime sleepiness as well as sleep difficulty. Depending on one’s body weight, insulin resistance induced by a high fat diet could also be one of the mechanisms leading to increased risk of poor sleep.

While the study is only limited to men, it is equally important for women to pay closer attention to watch the fat in their diet. 

Some examples of high-fat foods include deep fried foods, dairy products, creamers, fast food, butter, frozen desserts, chips, and hydrogenated oils. The key message here is simple – eating healthier foods is beneficial to our sleep quality and our overall wellbeing. How well we sleep would in turn help stave off other major ailments such as Type II Diabetes and other weight-related problems.

 

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