What to Eat for a Better Night’s Sleep, According to Science
Ever heard of "cheese dreams"? The idea that eating a delicious slice of brie before bed can make your night-time imaginings more bizarre is not a new one. This study appeared to show that Stilton in particular increases peculiar dreams—about everything from talking soft toys to vegetarian crocodiles, natch. While there's no scientific proof that tucking into cheese pizza before bed will give you nightmares, there is circumstantial evidence. (The Mighty Boosh even wrote an episode around it.)
Cheese-induced dreams aside, does what we eat help or hinder our ability to sleep? According to Life&Style, a study out of Columbia University says yes. Researchers played around with the diets of 26 adults who usually slept between seven and nine hours a night to see what would happen. They found that when participants ate a high-fibre, higher protein, lower saturated fat dinner, they fell asleep in less than 20 minutes and spent more time in a deep sleep. (This kind of deep sleep is important for our memory and immune systems FYI.)
Conversely, when participants ate a low-fibre, higher saturated fat and sugar meal (looking at you cheese pizza), they took almost half an hour to no off and had less restful sleep. "Our main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality," said lead researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge. "It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fibre could influence sleep parameters." We'll say—the idea that just 24-hours of less-than-stellar nutrition can directly affect our beauty sleep is kind of shocking.
The good news? If you're a chronic poor sleeper, switching up your diet may be the simple fix you've been looking for. We find that dabbing a lavender-based essential oil blend like Venustus' God Bless Roll-On ($49) on temples and snoozing on a silk pillowcase help, too.