There are two things we can learn from a recent study about how food can affect both sleep and memory.  The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey followed over 15,000 adults over the age of 20 for 5 years and recorded diet information and sleep duration numbers.

  • High sugar consumption led to short sleep duration.
  • High consumption of carbohydrates reduced the amount of slow wave sleep by 15%.

When looking at data from 128 over 65 year olds it was found that a high-glycemic diet was linked to greater amyloid burden.  More study needs to be done, but this suggests that diet may play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s.  Poor quality sleep is a risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s.

According to this information your diet is directly tied to the quality of sleep you can expect.  Sleep helps all parts of your body even your memory and brain function.  Therefore it is critical to get good quality sleep throughout your life.  Limiting carbohydrates and sugar are important for sleep function.  If diet and sleep are linked as this study shows it is important to get your diet healthy for optimal sleep health.



…these findings indicate that a regular good night’s sleep plays an important role for brain health and cognitive functions in humans.

Key Points

  • 1The amount of sugar you ingest affects your duration of sleep and cognitive performance.
  • 2High consumption of carbohydrates leads to short and low quality sleep.
  • 3Carbohydrates and sugars should be limited for optimal health.

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