Study after study has revealed how drinking alcohol before bedtime can have a negative effect on the sleep patterns of healthy adults by inhibiting their ability to reach the deeper, more replenishing REM levels of sleep. But, can the same be said for eating dinners that are high in fat?
A recent study published in the journal SLEEP, authored by Cibele Chispim of the Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil focused on 52 healthy volunteers between the ages of 20 and 45. The researchers analyzed the participants eating habits and then subjected them to a polysomnioographic recording of their sleep.
The results led the researchers to believe that there was a link between inhibited REM sleep and the consumption of fatty meals before bed. “We showed that an increased fat intake was associated with a lower percentage of REM sleep, a higher arousal index and apnea-hypopnea index, and a lower sleep efficiency,” said Crispim. “These results showed that total fat intake and dinner fat intake seem to influence negatively the sleep pattern. However, researchers in the nutrition and sleep area should be carried out to better understand these associations.”