You’re Sleeping on Your Stomach — Even if You Sleep on Your Back!
For this study, 26 adults, evenly divided between men and women, spent five nights in a sleep lab. For the first four days, the subjects were given controlled diets that were high in protein and fiber, but low in fat and sugar. On the fifth day, subjects were allowed to pick their own meals. Although sleep data was collected every night, only data from day three and day five were analyzed.
It was found that on day three, when subjects ate controlled diets, they fell asleep in an average of 17 minutes, compared to the 26 minutes it took them to fall asleep on day five, when they had chosen their own diets, which were higher in fat and sugar than the controlled diet, and lower in fiber and protein. Patients also had better, more restful sleep with fewer interruptions.
The findings of this study remind us that diet has a powerful impact on all aspects of our lives, including how well we sleep. It also suggests that if you’re having difficulty sleeping, you might consider what you’re eating.
Other Approaches to Improving Sleep
But if your diet already matches the recommended profile, you might consider other possible factors that could be disrupting your sleep. For example, don’t consume caffeine in the afternoon. Caffeine can disrupt your sleep, even if it’s consumed hours before bedtime.
The same is true of alcohol. Although you might think a nip of alcohol will help you fall asleep, it actually disrupts your sleep. Make sure you don’t drink alcohol for several hours before bedtime.
Try banning laptops, tablets, smartphones, and TVs from your bedroom. These distractions can induce you to stay up later than is good for you, and the light they emit can stimulate wakeful biochemicals in your brain, disrupting your sleep long after you’ve turned them off.
Get a regular routine going. If you’re getting to sleep and waking up at the same time every day, you’re more likely to get quality sleep. Try to be active during the day, too. Daily exercise leads to improved sleep.
But if these things don’t keep you from waking up regularly at night, or if you think you’re sleeping a full night but waking up tired, you may have sleep apnea. To learn more about sleep apnea and get educated on the latest sleep apnea treatment options in Columbus, please call (614) 848-5001 for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.