How Diet Affects Sleep

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

So many people can’t sleep. Could a change in diet help? Learn how diet affects sleep!


0:00 How diet affects sleep

1:25 How sleep affects the diet

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Does diet regulate sleep, or does sleep regulate diet? An interesting study compared a high-carb, low-fat diet to a low-carb, high-fat diet (keto). They found that a low-carb, high-fat diet can significantly increase NREM sleep (non-REM sleep or deep delta sleep). This is the type of sleep where you burn most of your fat, and you wake up feeling rejuvenated.

On a high-carb, low-fat diet, you’re going to be more deficient in zinc. Zinc can greatly influence parts of the brain that control sleep. If you have a sleeping problem, taking zinc before bed may help. You will also be hungry all of the time. On the other hand, if you’re on a low-carb, high-fat diet, you won’t be as deficient in zinc. You will also have decreased hunger.

If you have poor sleep (in quality and quantity), you will notice an increase in the desire to eat. Poor sleep equals more hunger. One study found that poor REM sleep increases the absorption of glucose, which spikes blood sugars, which affects insulin, which makes you hungry. Also, if you’re not sleeping, you could have high cortisol, which can also lead to an increased appetite.

If you’re struggling with weight, don’t forget about getting better sleep. It’s also much easier to lose weight on the keto diet.


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