Main menu


How nutrition can help fight the 'sleep deprivation epidemic'

We know that many of us are not getting the recommended minimum amount of sleep. According to a recent survey by Benenden Health, her health care provider, 68% of UK adults have not been able to close their eyes for seven consecutive hours, with an average nightly average of just six hours for her. I only sit. “Our research highlights the prevalence of poor sleep across the UK. “Matron of Benenden Health Cheryl Lythgoe pointed out that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect mental and physical health.

Data from the British Nutrition Foundation show that the problem is not confined to the adult population.In a survey conducted by the BNF, 43% of adults reported not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep the night before. It turns out that Worryingly, this trend holds true for children as well, with 32% of elementary school students and 70% of middle school students reporting not getting her nine hours of sleep at night. Additionally, 80% of adults and 44% of middle school students reported waking up at least once the night before.

Lack of sleep leads to poor health

Many studies link lack of sleep with many health problems. “The relationship between sleep deprivation and adverse health effects was independent of energy intake and physical activity levels, indicating that sleep itself is important.”According to Jesús Martínez Gómez, a researcher in training at the Cardiovascular Health and Imaging Laboratory at the Spanish National Cardiovascular Research Center (CNIC). and presented findings linking troubled sleep with an increased likelihood of being overweight or obese in teens.

GettyImages-Rawpizel Teenager sleep phone

Sleep deprivation among teens increases risk of being overweight and obese/Photo: GettyImages-Rawpizel

Martínez Gómez emphasized the strong link between weight and sleep. Compared to optimal sleepers, very short sleepers aged 12 and 14 had a 21% and 72% higher likelihood of being overweight or obese, respectively. At age 12 and 14, those who slept less were 19% and 29% more likely to be overweight or obese than those who slept optimally. Similarly, both very short and short sleepers had higher mean metabolic syndrome scores at 12 and 14 years of age compared with optimal sleepers. “Our research shows that most teenagers don’t get enough sleep, which is associated with excess weight and weight gain-promoting traits, which can lead to future problems. there is.Martinez Gomez warned.

In adult life, this can lead to an increased risk of obesity and related NCDs such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A further study, presented at his ESC conference in 2022, suggested that as many as nine in 10 people had “suboptimal” sleep patterns, making them more likely to have heart disease or stroke. . Scientists estimate that if anyone slept “well”, seven out of ten of these cardiovascular diseases could be prevented for her.

“Our research shows that good sleep may maintain heart health, and suggests that improved sleep is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. We also found that the majority of people have trouble sleeping.commented Dr. Aboubakari Nambiema, INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Sciences). “Given that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, there needs to be more awareness of the importance of good sleep in maintaining a healthy heart.”na

GettyImages-Lightfield Studios Heart Health Diet Health

Lack of sleep is linked to heart health risks / Photo: GettyImages-Lightfield Studios

Sleep quality changes what we eat and how we metabolize it

Why is lack of sleep associated with weight gain and associated health conditions?

One reason is that sleep deprivation changes the foods we crave, which can negatively impact our dietary choices, such as consuming more calories and snacking on unhealthy foods more often. There is something. Even mild sleep deprivation increases hunger and alters appetite hormones, driving people toward higher-calorie options. It suggests that it is possible to give

Research published in experimental physiologyResearchers found that night owls had a reduced ability to utilize fat for energy. did. This means that fat can build up in your body, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

GettyImages-Sviatlana Barchan sleep relaxation stress

Sleepers metabolize fat differently / Photo: GettyImages-Sviatlana Barchan

These metabolic differences relate to how night owls and early risers use insulin to promote glucose uptake by cells for storage and energy use. Those who prefer it rely more on fat for energy, have higher levels of aerobic fitness than those who are active at night, and are more active during the day. “The difference in fat metabolism between ‘early risers’ and ‘night owls’ is that our body’s circadian rhythms (wake/sleep cycles) can affect how our bodies use insulin.” A sensitive or impaired ability to respond to insulin hormones has a significant impact on our health. “Professor Stephen Mullin, senior author at Rutgers University, explains:

This relationship between sleep deprivation and junk food cravings can create a vicious circle, as what we eat also affects the quality and duration of sleep.

what to eat to sleep well

While everything from stress to blue light exposure contributes to disrupted sleep patterns, there are some definite dietary dos and don’ts. For example, stimulants like caffeine can make your heart beat faster, increase your alertness, and take hours to wear off.

It has long been believed that warm milk can help you sleep, but in fact, whole milk is one of the largest sources of tryptophan, containing 732 milligrams per quart. However, not all protein sources are helpful.The National Sleep Foundation suggests that digestion slows down at night, so eating large meals or high-protein foods before bed can keep you awake. doing.

Perhaps more misunderstood is the relationship between alcohol and sleep, with many believing that nightcaps help them sleep. I discovered that About half (52%) of those who do report falling asleep within 10 minutes of her, compared to 61% of those who don’t consume alcohol. Alcohol also affected sleep quality, with nearly half of adults who drank alcohol before bed woke her up more than once during the night, compared to 38% of adults who did not. did. Only 29% of all adults surveyed by the BNF agreed that she felt “well rested” when she woke up, but this figure was even lower for those who drank alcohol before bed. was 20%.

gettyImages_TomasSkopal Sleep alcohol

Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it reduces the quality of your rest / Pic: gettyImages_TomasSkopal

Eating sugar can also be overstimulating, and one 2016 study concluded that people who ate a diet high in sugar were more likely to sleep lightly and wake up in the middle of the night. Researchers suggest that diets high in sugar, saturated fats and processed carbohydrates can disrupt sleep, but diets generally accepted to be healthier – plants, fiber, unsaturated fats Foods rich in – seem to have the opposite effect.

A University of Michigan study shows that eating fruits and vegetables can help with insomnia. Raspberries are rich in melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and blueberries are a source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps produce melatonin.

What other ingredients or innovations meet this need?

To date, there are no approved health claims for nutrition and sleep. Nonetheless, there are many ingredients commonly associated with improving sleep.

This association is notable for recent product launches such as OHMG Magnesium Water, which claims to be the world’s first beverage containing three types of magnesium. OHMG associates the beverage with health benefits such as ‘relieving fatigue’ and ‘improving sleep’.

Hollyx Healthy Sleep

Horlicks Healthy Sleep / Photo: Horlicks

Horlicks, meanwhile, is taking a more traditionalist approach to tapping the sleep aid market through its new line of Blends shakes. We fortify our Healthy Sleep SKU with vitamins B12, B6 and C. Vitamins B12, B6 and C have all been linked to “relief of fatigue,” but the traditional herbal remedies chamomile and valerian are also included in the formula.

Elsewhere, CBD has proven a trendy hit with consumers seeking the elusive good night’s sleep, as evidenced by the onslaught of “relaxation” drinks and snacks containing the ingredient. One such innovator. The Challenger brand has secured a listing on Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket group.

“Our mission is to make high-quality CBD accessible, mainstream and widely understood, and being listed on Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, is a dream come true. We are very excited to support the next wave of beverage innovation and it shows that the health benefits of CBD are beginning to become more widely accepted.”Founder Eoin Keenan went wild.