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Foods that disrupt sleep: New study findings

Foods that disrupt sleep: New study findings Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Researchers from France have identified foods that impact chronic insomnia. Consuming these foods for dinner can lead to problems falling asleep in the evening and reduce the quality of rest at night, referencing a study published in Elsevier.

A team of scientists from the USA and France, led by Marie-Pierre St-Onge from Columbia University, conducted a large-scale epidemiological study to assess the link between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and chronic insomnia. The study utilized France's national electronic nutrition system, which is updated every six months.

Participants completed three daily dietary reports over two weeks. Ultra-processed foods were defined as those containing numerous ingredients not typically used in home cooking: instant noodles, soda, fish and chicken semi-finished products, energy bars, and more.

The average percentage of women in the sample was 77%, with an average age of 50 years. Initial analysis showed that participants with chronic insomnia had a higher percentage of ultra-processed foods in their diet than those without insomnia.

In the full, adjusted sample, the risk of chronic insomnia increased by six percent with each 10% increase in the share of ultra-processed foods in the diet. For men, this risk increased by 5%, and for women, by 9%. Statistical analysis indicated that consuming such foods raises the risk of insomnia regardless of gender, age, socioeconomic status, and various health determinants.

It is worth noting that there has been a significant global increase in the consumption of industrially produced foods. In many countries, people have increasingly turned to semi-finished products because they save time preparing dinner for those who work a lot.

Ultra-processed foods are those that have undergone intensive industrial processing and contain additives like artificial flavors and colors, large amounts of sugar, fat, and salt, but little dietary fiber.

Such foods negatively affect human health, and studies on this topic show that they not only impact sleep quality but are also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.

The World Health Organization recommends adding more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grain products to your diet. Ultra-processed foods, complex carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats should be minimized.

We previously wrote about three foods that can make a person aggressive.

Also, we shared about which product helps preserve the youthfulness of the skin.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.