Food for Thought: Changing your diet can help get a better night’s sleep


About 27 percent of Americans report sleeping poorly most nights. What you eat for dinner or snack on can dramatically affect your sleep.

A study at Columbia University found fiber, fat and sugar in your diet influences how well you sleep.

Study participants spent five nights in a sleep lab. Participants fell asleep faster when they ate a meal low in saturated fat. When they ate a meal high in saturated fat, they spent less time in the deep sleep. Saturated fat comes from cheese, cream, butter and fatty meats like hot dogs and sausage.

When people ate more fiber, they spent more time in deep sleep. Fiber comes from plant foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In addition, the more sugar people ate, the more they were aroused from their sleep.

The researchers noted that just 1 meal can make a difference in the quality of sleep. So, eat high fiber meals and snacks that are low in saturated fat and sugar to improve your deep sleep.

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