You wouldn’t think dietary choices would differentiate people who have trouble falling asleep from people who have trouble staying asleep. But apparently they do.
This is the conclusion of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, who looked at data collected from over 4,500 participants in a national health survey. The diet of people with sleep-onset insomnia is different from the diet of people with sleep-maintenance insomnia, and both groups make different dietary choices than people who sleep well. It’s possible that making changes to your diet will improve your sleep.
Evidence for the sleep benefits of some foods—kiwi fruit, gelatin, and turkey, to name a few—is slim. It’s a stretch to believe that eating more of them would actually improve my sleep.
But I’m intrigued by findings published recently from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Those of us plagued by short sleep, and who have trouble falling or staying asleep, consume less of certain nutrients than do good sleepers, their data (based on two huge studies) show. For us, foods high in these nutrients may be golden.
Last week I wrote about insomnia and ADHD, but my own bouts of insomnia tend to occur when my attention is too focused on what I’m doing. Take, for instance, the last two months. Trying to meet a slew of deadlines, I slaved away on work projects while also making lavish preparations for the holidays. At night I was often too keyed up to sleep.
But a trip to the Detroit Institute of Art chased away the gloom and the insomnia in one fell swoop.
A new study from Henry Ford Hospital shows that caffeine ingested 6 hours before bedtime has a disruptive effect on sleep and can cause insomnia.
For goodness sake, tell me something I don’t already know! Drinking coffee late in the day has always been a surefire summons to insomnia at my house.
But there’s a lot about caffeine I didn’t know—and that you might not know either—so I thought I’d pass along a few fascinating factoids.
FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER 26, 2013
CONTACT: Lois Maharg, 734-424-1088, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tired of Keeping Vigil at Night? New Book Offers Insight into Insomnia and Tools to Improve Sleep
ANN ARBOR, MI—September 26, 2013—A new book draws on personal experience and science to shed light on chronic insomnia and help poor sleepers get a good night’s rest.
Use your laptop, tablet, or iPhone at night?
Electric lighting–particularly sophisticated devices with LED lighting–can seriously interfere with your sleep, says Charles Czeisler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School.
We’d all like to sleep like babies.
But not all babies sleep the same amount, say researchers at Laval University, whose study of nearly 500 pairs of Canadian twins published yesterday found that genes are a stronger determinant than the environment of how long babies and toddlers sleep at night.
I crave snack food when I’m short on sleep. Cheese, corn chips, salted almonds: these guys are my friends when I’m looking for something to pep me up and fire up the synapses in my brain.
Or so I thought. New research to be presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies next month suggests that fatty foods, far from increasing alertness, actually make us sleepy instead.