Because there is little evidence about the effects of certain meals on sleep, researchers decided to undertake a randomized study to investigate the effects of a high-fat/high-sugar diet on deep sleep quality.
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A new study published in Obesity sought intervention-based evidence by investigating the impact of this diet on sleep patterns in healthy people.
The researchers discovered that when subjects consumed the unhealthy diet, their quality of deep sleep deteriorated when compared to when they followed the healthier diet.
A group of 15 healthy men participated in a trial in which they were assigned to one of two diets. For one week, they were randomly assigned to either a high-fat/high-sugar diet or a low-fat/low-sugar diet.
Following each diet, the researchers used polysomnography, a sleep monitoring tool, to record the subjects’ sleep habits in a laboratory setting.
The study discovered that the duration of sleep did not differ significantly between the two diets, as determined by actigraphy (a method of tracking sleep using a wearable device) and in-lab polysomnography.
The researchers discovered that after one week on each diet, the organization of sleep remained comparable.
When they compared a high fat and sugar diet to a low fat and sugar diet, they discovered that the former diet was associated with lower levels of specific sleep characteristics during deep sleep. All of these alterations suggested that the high-fat/high-sugar diet affected the quality of deep sleep.
Dr. Florencia Halperin, chief medical officer at Form, a company that provides medical treatment for obesity and related metabolic conditions that was not involved in this study, told Medical News Today that evidence about the relationship between sleep and metabolic disease has accumulated over the last decade.
Kristen Carli, a registered dietitian nutritionist who was not involved in this study, pointed out a few shortcomings, including the study’s small sample size of only 15 healthy young men.
Dr. Halperin, on the other hand, stated that this study is essential and relevant to patients and the general public because it provides fresh insight into how lifestyle issues such as diet affect our sleep, which in turn affects our overall health.