Insomnia? Eat more fiber

fiber before bed
What you eat may influence how you sleep. Credit: Pixabay/Public Domain

You know how your mother always used to tell you not to eat fatty or spicy foods before bed? Mine swore up and down it would give me nightmares — or at the very least fitful sleep.

She was right — as always — and now there’s some scientific proof to back that up.

I tend to eat pretty early in the evening these days, but every now and again I’ll slip in some ice cream or a few cookies before (or in) bed. As it turns out, I should be eating some oatmeal or a banana instead. Anything with high fiber really.

That’s because new research has shown that eating less fiber, more saturated fat and more sugar is associated with lighter, less restorative, and more disrupted sleep.

“Our main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality,” said principal investigator Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, N.Y. “It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters.”

No more ice cream or cookies before bed for me!

Continue reading for more information about this study.


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