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Carbohydrates Promote Sleep

At least if you want to sleep well. We explain how our diet affects sleep.

Does shift work really throw your sleep rhythm off balance? Does Jetlag greet you after long-haul flights? And after an eventful day in the office, do you still lie awake for hours? Japanese scientists have the solution! And that has nothing to do with sleeping pills, but with the right foods. Their study, published in Cell Reports magazine at the end of July 2014, shows that what we eat affects our sleep patterns.

Many diets recommend avoiding carbohydrates in the evening. So no pasta, no potatoes, no rice … because they ensure that our body produces more insulin. And that blocks fat burning. At the same time, insulin also makes you tired. In that respect, carbs in the evening are perfect for helping you fall asleep, researchers at Yamaguchi and Saga University have found.

Pasta makes you tired

In order to fall asleep relaxed despite shift work or jet lag, we can promote the necessary sleep with insulin-stimulating, carbohydrate-rich foods – and thus prevent our sleeping and waking phases from getting out of balance. For a fit start to the day, we should again avoid carbohydrates at breakfast. So better no rolls, pancakes, or sugary cornflakes in the morning.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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