Feeling tired during the day, regardless of whether you’ve had a good night’s sleep? It could be your diet. Penn State medical investigators have found levels of sleepiness and alertness during the day can be closely related to the type of food that you eat.
The study — published in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and to be presented at an upcoming meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in June — found healthy people who eat a lot of fatty foods feel more daytime sleepiness than those who don’t, while eating more carbohydrates increases alertness.
"Excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue are very prevalent in the modern world and on the rise. It appears that a diet high in fat decreases alertness acutely, and this may have an impact on an individual's ability to function and also public safety."
For the study, researchers tracked 31 healthy individuals who spent four nights in a sleep lab — monitoring their bedtime habits, meals, and reports of daytime fatigue and alertness levels.
In addition to finding significant ties between daytime sleepiness and fat and carb consumption, the researchers noted no relationship between dietary protein levels and fatigue or alertness. The findings were independent of the subjects' gender, age, body weight, caloric intake, and the total amount of sleep they were getting each night.
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