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Can’t sleep? It may be your diet

trouble sleepingHaving trouble getting a good night’s sleep? The cause may be what you’re eating during the day. In a new study, people who ate an overall healthy diet had the healthiest sleep patterns, while those who struggled to get a full night’s sleep tended to have poorer diet trends.

According to the study, people who slept between five and six hours each night consumed the most calories and had the least varied diet. Very short sleep (less than five hours) was associated with lower intake of lycopene (a substance found in foods such as tomatoes), total carbohydrates and tap water, while short sleep (five to six hours) was associated with lower intake of vitamin C, tap water and selenium and higher intake of nutrients found in green, leafy vegetables.

Previous studies have also shown that short sleep duration can lead to negative health effects, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Eating a healthy diet can help ward off these conditions. Because oversleeping has also been shown to lead to health problems, monitor the amount of sleep you get and aim for seven to nine hours of shuteye every night. Talk with your doctor if you’re having trouble sleeping.

For more resources, contact the Cheshire Center for Sleep Studies.