This Hidden Culprit in Your Diet Could be Causing Your Insomnia, Study Shows
We all know that processed carbs are refined sugars aren’t good for your weight loss progress or health in general.
This food group has often been vilified by the advocates of a high-fat diet, but now new research is showing that the ramifications of eating ‘bad’ carbs could go well beyond your physical appearance.
In a recent study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that excess consumption of refined carbs could also hinder your sleep cycle, preventing you from getting a good night’s rest.
The paper, published on Dec. 12 studied postmenopausal women and the effect of diet on their sleeping patterns.
The results showed that those who ate more refined carbohydrates found it harder to fall asleep in comparison to women who chose whole foods and complex carbs. Could this mean that diet could be a major culprit behind insomnia?
The study was an extension of a different experiment in which over 50,000 women were asked to fill in and submit their food diaries with accurate information about what they ate throughout the day.
Surprisingly, women who indulged in a carbohydrate-rich diet showed a 15% higher risk of developing insomnia. Most of these women used carbs like pasta, white bread, sugary desserts, and more processed foods to satisfy their cravings, which could have contributed to their sleeping problems.
However, participants who picked healthier carbs were less likely to experience sleeplessness. So what exactly is it about processed carbs that has such a direct impact on your sleep? Well, it has a lot to do with your blood sugar levels.
According to health experts, processed carbs have a high glycemic index, which means that they break down into simple sugars relatively quickly after ingestion, leading to a spike in insulin to normalize the blood sugar level.
This fluctuation can result in other chemical byproducts inside our bodies like cortisol, a stress hormone that can affect your sleeping pattern.
One way to counter this is by incorporating more fiber in your diet. The high fiber content in brown rice, whole grain pasta, brown bread and oats means slow down the digestion of these foods which prevent the spike in insulin.
Researchers also recommend replacing refined sugars with natural alternatives like honey and fruits. The slow absorption of these complex carbs will keep the body’s hormone levels stable, ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep so that you wake up fresh and well-rested.
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