Does Diet Affect My Sleep?
diet and weight loss | food tracking | sleep
Denise - a very happy, easy, and a carefree girl was having sleeping problems so she started a sleep experiment. In this talk, Denise shows a year’s worth of data from her diet and sleep experiment and finds while food matters a little, other things matter more.
How did I come up with this? Basically my life is very happy, easy, carefree, and nothing really to worry about. But like two years ago I started to have sleeping problems and I’m that kind of person who can’t deal with little sleep or no sleep, so I really have to resolve this.
And in order to do this I tried to find an app to use or however I’m going to do it and I decided to use the app Sleep Cycle. It’s easy to use. It basically measures the number of hours you sleep, how much and when you move during the night, and you can also enter drivers on you own that you think that impacts your sleep. So I was quite happy to use that and put it on every night, and it gives you a number in the end that is the percent of you sleep quality.
So for me there are two different levels of sleep quality. The first one is 82%, I am super happy the next day, wake up rested, and feel ready to go. If I’m below 65 it’s not good. I feel like jet lagged, hungover or whatever. I can’t focus on work and sometimes I even have to go home and catch up on the sleep, which is not going very well with my boss. I do this during lunch, but otherwise I have to sleep under my table which I did once.
So I came to this sleep experiment and I set some parameters; going to bed everyday around the same time, eating normal amounts of food, and tracking four categories every night. Categories that say basically what I did and didn’t do and what I ate and didn’t eat.
So the first one is food. So I flagged this, for example I had meat or no meat, pasta or sweets which is carbs or no carbs. I also flagged if I had vegetables. Fast food also dinner cancelling on the left was an option. Having enough water or not and alcohol is also an important factor.
So category two is also about food. It’s eating times, eating on a regular basic, like breakfast, lunch or dinner or eating late which also happens from time to time. And I also came up with another category; social life.
That means working out, chilling at home, having fun with friends, partying, working late so everything that you do basically after work, except working late.
So another category I came up with is I call it emotional matters. It’s basically if I feel happy and content with my day, or if I’m stressed out at work. The broken heart is not relationship issues. It’s actually like interpersonal conflicts which can and will happen if you are surrounded by people the whole day, at your work and in your private life. So these are the four categories and to give you a summary, as we can see, food and eating times they are both about food, why is that?
Because when I had the sleeping problems I did some research and I found that food apparently has an impact, so I decided to flag that. I also put social life, emotional matters and this actually did not actually have an impact but it’s quite a big part of my life so I went for that.
These categories is what I rated, and now I would like to give you an overview of what have positive impacts, for me that was eating light, eating regular, being active in a healthy way, working out, fun with friends, and for me surprisingly if I was late in the office, it had a positive impact and I slept like a baby. So overall I felt very happy with my day.
On the other hand there are also like negative factors. For me it was fast food; not very surprising, meat and alcohol, eating late, too much party or any super late night activities and unresolved emotional matters.
So I also decides to weigh the factors that impacted my sleep quality in a negative way, and I found even if I went to a party and had alcohol, meat, fast food, eating late all of these didn’t make me sleep as bad as unresolved interpersonal conflicts. So this was very interesting for me and actually I was also a bit happy about this because I love eating, cooking, and inviting friends for dinner.
So if I have to focus on one thing and sometime you have to because if you control everything in life it’s just not fun anymore. I decided to get my emotional ducks in a row and continue eating. So that was the finding. I also have an online cookbook, and yes drop by.