Eat Fugly, Sleep Better

Eat Fugly, Sleep Better

Jun 03, 2024Jonathan Englert

Did you know that eating fugly could help you sleep?

It’s true. A recent study in the Frontiers In Nutrition academic journal found that there’s a link there: The better you eat, the better you sleep.

The paper itself is like most academic papers – rather dry to read. However, the crux of the point can be found in the conclusion:

“Targeted interventions focusing on fruit and vegetable sub-groups with pronounced associations, such as green leafy vegetables and fruit vegetables can lead to impactful behaviour change.

“This study highlights a significant link between sleep duration and FV consumption among adults. The associations persisted across most FV subgroups, even after conducting sensitivity analysis, suggesting a strong and consistent relationship.”

This study was a pretty comprehensive one – over 5,000 people were studied. It was observational in nature, meaning that the researchers didn’t investigate the biological mechanisms at play (i.e. they didn’t test and see if there were reactions going on within the body that were helping people sleep better). So part of the conclusion is that people who eat healthily are also likely to be healthy in other areas too. They’ll be getting plenty of exercise, for example.

However, plenty of fruits and vegetables have nutrients such as melatonin in abundance, which help people regulate the circadian rhythms that allow better sleep.

And it’s not the first study to notice the link. This study focused on adults, whereas one in 2024 found that teens would eat less fresh produce after a poor night’s sleep, resulting in a negative cycle.

Why This Matters

People are sleeping less. A report from earlier this year found that over half of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep (the recommendation being eight hours per night), and we live similar lifestyles here in Australia.

This has been a problem that we have been aware of for well over a decade. An article as far back as 2009 found that people were sleeping less because of factors like economic stress and the demands of modern life.

It should also go without saying that other factors in life can impact on sleep. As much as having a family is a joy, there is sleep deprivation attached to that.

Given that there is a well-known association between a lack of sleep and mental health declines, we need every aid we can find to make sure we get enough shuteye.

In extreme circumstances, people might resort to specialised medication, but for most of us it shouldn’t need to come to that. Making sure that we eat well and get enough nutrition, as well as find a little time to get out and exercise, should help us keep out sleeping rhythms in tune.

So they might be fugly, but the Good & Fugly weekly deliveries are anything but a nightmare. In fact, they may help you have the most restful sleep that you can remember, and then you’ll be fully ready to attack the next day.

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