It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if you eat garbage, you’ll sleep like garbage too.
A 2016 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that eating sugar before bed was associated with “lighter, less restorative sleep with more arousals.” They found that participants whose diets consisted of more sugar and fat spent less time in deep sleep, a phase that is essential for cell-regeneration, recovery, and immune function.
They also discovered that those who ate more sugar had more trouble falling asleep, and were more likely be pulled out of deep sleep without waking up, which can leave you feeling chronically tired even if you get the right amount of hours.
This can also work in reverse, as individuals who are getting more high quality sleep are less likely to gravitate towards sugar and refined carbohydrates for an un-sustainable energy boost.
The study also linked fibre intake with deeper, more restorative sleep. They posited that a diet rich in fibre, with less sugars and simple carbohydrates and may be a useful tool to improve sleep. If you want to start sleeping more soundly, try slowly cutting back your sugar intake to see if that helps you wake up more well-rested.