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Avoid these seven foods if you have trouble sleeping
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Research carried out by researchers at Sorbonne Paris Nord University, in France, between 2013 and 2015, analyzed questionnaire responses from more than 38,000 adults about sleeping and eating patterns. The research sought to show the relationship between ultra-processed foods (UPF) and insomnia. To do this, participants answered questionnaires about their diet for 24 hours, every 6 months.

The relationship between ultra-processed foods and insomnia

One of the research results shows that 19.4% of adults who took part in the research showed symptoms of chronic insomnia. Furthermore, the research also shows that ultra-processed foods accounted for 16% of the total amount eaten during the day. “This large epidemiological study revealed a statistically significant association between UPF intake and chronic insomnia, independent of sociodemographic covariates, lifestyle, diet quality and mental health status.”, says the conclusion of the published article. Furthermore, the article explains that participants were asked to report in detail their diet, including all foods and drinks, including quantity and portion size.

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Ultra-processed foods are considered to be those that have a large amount of ingredients, including additives to improve flavor, that contain hydrogenated fat and foods of industrial origin. Seven foods that can disrupt sleep are:

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  • Soft drinks
  • Ready-made sauces
  • Packaged snacks (chips)
  • Sausages
  • instant noodles
  • Cake mixes
  • Loaf bread

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Researchers from Sorbonne Paris Nord University show that ultra-processed foods may be linked to chronic insomnia (Photo: reproduction/SolStock/Getty Images Embed)


The importance of a good night's sleep

The body performs the main restorative functions during sleep, such as muscle growth, protein synthesis and tissue repair. Furthermore, it is also during sleep that the body replenishes energy and regulates metabolism. Although experts recommend an average of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per day, this hour can vary, depending on the age and development needs of each person's body.

Some of the benefits of maintaining regular sleep include reducing stress, improving mood, sociability and concentration, general disposition, as well as avoiding accidents that can be caused by sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can cause several problems such as immunological changes, increased stress and lack of attention and concentration in everyday life.

Recommendations for getting a good night's sleep include creating a conducive environment – reducing light, especially reducing screens and reducing noise -, avoiding stimulating activities before going to bed and maintaining a regular bedtime. If you have difficulty sleeping, it is recommended that you seek out a healthcare professional to find out what may be causing the lack of sleep and deprivation.

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Featured photo: ultra-processed foods can be one of the causes of chronic insomnia (Reproduction/andreswd/Getty Images Embed)

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Avoid these seven foods if you have trouble sleeping

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