To Your Health
March, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 03)
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Nutrition for Sleep

By Editorial Staff

Specifically the Mediterranean diet, suggests a new research review – if you're interested in improving your sleep quality. Your answer is probably yes, along with millions of other people, since sleep habits are increasingly poor due to a range of factors, including excessive nighttime screen use.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods and healthy fats, according to the Mayo Clinic. That means "lots of vegetables, fruit, beans, lentils and nuts; a good amount of whole grains, like whole-wheat bread and brown rice; plenty of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as a source of healthy fat; a good amount of fish, especially fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids; [and] a moderate amount of natural cheese and yogurt." The diet limits red meat, sweets, sugary drinks, and butter (little or none).

Nutrition for Sleep - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The new research reviewed 20 studies involving more than 21,000 participants. Writing on their findings in the research journal BMC Nutrition, the authors stated: "Summarizing previous findings, we found that adherence to [the Mediterranean diet] might help sleeping better. Sleep disturbance can be linked to poor health outcomes and increase the risk of developing metabolic disease and cardiovascular events. Nutrition can profoundly affect the hormones and inflammation which directly or indirectly contribute to good or bad sleep quality."

Are you getting enough sleep? Even when you do, are you still waking up feeling tired, sluggish and grumpy? Your diet might be one of the culprits. Give the Mediterranean diet a try and see if your sleep habits improve. (By the way, the diet is also linked to better health overall, including lower risks of chronic disease.)