Fat Intake Can Disrupt Sleep

USP LogoResearcher Cibele Crispim of the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil conducted a study to find out how fat intake is related to sleep. She studied 52 volunteers between 20 and 45 years old. She had her participants record what they ate over a three day period. Polysomnographic recordings were also taken to evaluate their sleep. (note: polysomnographic recordings are comprehensive measurements of the biophysiological changes that occur during sleep.) According to Crispim, "We showed that an increased fat intake was associated with a lower percentage of REM sleep, a higher arousal index and apnea-hypopnea index, and a lower sleep efficiency. These results showed that total fat intake and dinner fat intake seem to influence negatively the sleep pattern."

This study points to yet another detrimental health implication from too much fat intake. Indeed, given that people are more likely to eat when they are tired, the results suggest that fat intake can lead to a negative spiral whereby fat intake disturbs sleep and then reduced sleep increases the likelihood of overeating.

Some important things to remember about getting a adequate sleep are:

A. Maintain a bedtime routine the same way you would with kids. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each day.

B. Set a calm, relaxed atmosphere around bedtime. Don't do strenuous exercize even several hours before bedtime. Keep lights down low and the tv off.

C. Don't eat a big, or fatty meal, before bedtime.

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