Want a good night’s sleep? Change your diet.
As with our time awake, our sleep has been deeply affected by all the tumult of 2020. We can blame pandemic stress and election hangovers all we want, but another fundamental source of insomnia is our diets. Data points to high sugar, saturated fats, and processed carbohydrates for disrupting sleep, while “good” fats and fiber are known for bolstering it. Here’s where it gets even trickier: The more sleep loss one suffers, the more likely one is to crave unhealthy junk foods for quick sugar spikes due to hormonal changes, though the hormones themselves—and the result—differ between the sexes. “In men, short sleep promotes greater appetite and desire to eat, and in women there is less of a signal that makes you stop eating,” Marie-Pierre St-Onge, director of the Sleep Center of Excellence at Columbia University explained to The New York Times. Consider that the next time you wander into the kitchen looking for a midnight snack.