Researchers: Fat food disrupts healthy sleep

Researchers: Fat food disrupts healthy sleep

Fat food: tired during the day, awake at night
(aid) - Men with a high-fat diet apparently sleep less well at night and are often tired during the day. They also have a higher risk of sleep apnea, in which dangerous breathing interruptions occur repeatedly during sleep. This is the conclusion of a study by the Australian University of Adelaide, in which around 800 men aged 35 to 80 were involved.

The subjects provided information about their eating and living habits in questionnaires in the past twelve months. Based on this data, the average intake of macronutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates) was calculated. The men also described their sleep quality and fitness during the day. The physical functions during sleep were recorded for one night in order to record possible sleep disorders and respiratory arrests. The body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference served as a measure for assessing body weight.

Protein and carbohydrates in the diet had no effect on sleep quality. In subjects with the highest fat intake, however, the risk of pronounced daytime fatigue was almost twice as high. The relationship was independent of factors such as age, waist size, BMI, physical activity, shift work and chronic illnesses. Daytime sleepiness can be a problem, especially at work, when attention and concentration decrease.

In addition, people with a particularly high fat intake had a three times higher risk of severe sleep apnea with more than 20 dropouts per hour. However, around 30 percent of this effect can be attributed to an excessively high BMI. One reason for the reduced quality of sleep can be an altered hormone release. The exact relationships should be examined in further studies. It is also not clear whether the results can also be applied to women.
A vicious circle easily arises, the scientists point out. Those who sleep poorly and are tired during the day have less energy. This leads to a greater desire for foods that are high in fat and sugar, which in turn affects sleep. In short, a balanced diet can help you get fitter during the day and sleep better at night. (Heike Kreutz, aid)

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