Avoid eating this food before bed

Your sleep may not be truly restful if your mind or stomach is filled with visions of sugar plums.

According to a recent study, consuming a diet high in junk food, characterized by excessive sugar, saturated fat, and processed foods, is linked to lower sleep quality.

The study revealed that when the participants transitioned to a healthier diet, their sleep quality showed improvement.

“Both poor diet and poor sleep increase the risk of several public health conditions,”

Jonathan Cedernaes, study co-author and associate professor at Uppsala University

The National Institutes of Health has established a correlation between sleep problems and a heightened risk of various health issues, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

“[N]o study had previously investigated what happens if we consume an unhealthy diet and then compared it to quality of sleep after that same person follows a healthy diet,”

Jonathan Cedernaes, study co-author and associate professor at Uppsala University

In the study, 15 young male volunteers were randomly assigned to follow both a healthy and an unhealthy diet for one week each. Both diets consisted of approximately equal calorie intake.

The unhealthy diet primarily consisted of pizza, sugary cereal, meatballs, and chocolate wafers. On the other hand, the healthier diet included unsweetened yogurt, muesli, salmon, and vegetables as the main components.

The unhealthy diet contained nearly double the amount of fat — 44% versus 23% — of the healthy diet, and almost double the amount of sugar, too (17% versus 9%).

The participants’ sleep was measured in a sleep laboratory with polysomnography, which uses a device that measures brain waves, oxygen levels in the blood, heart rate, breathing and eye movements, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The study authors noted that their investigation was limited by the participants selected, all of whom were physically active young men with no obesity or weight issues, and by the fact that there were only 15 participants.