As college students, we are notoriously sleep deprived. Our busy schedules often force us to sacrifice sleep for a few extra hours of studying, which, in the long run can be detrimental to our learning. I’m sure you are not surprised to hear that college students are some of the most sleep-deprived people in the country.
A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine looked at the type of food we eat and its affect on our sleep quality. The researchers concluded that just one day of foods high in fat and sugar disturbed quality of sleep. For four days, the participants stuck to a controlled diet that was protein-rich and low in saturated fat. However, on the final day of the study, participants were able to choose their own foods, which were determined to be higher in saturated fat and sugar as well as lower in fiber.
As a result of the final day, it took the participants longer to fall asleep and they had less slow-wave sleep. This type of sleep is deep, typically dreamless and restores essential physical and mental energy. In addition, the researchers concluded that the higher consumption of sugar on the final day was linked to more sleep disruptions.
Much of our health depends on more than one factor. For example, getting enough good quality sleep, eating a nutritious diet, as well as incorporating physical activity are some of the keys to success. While this study was eye opening, more research examining the link between a specific diet and sleep is necessary.