Fruits and vegetables may help improve quality of sleep, study suggests

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According to a recent study published in the Sleep Health Journal, there is a link between fruit and vegetable intake and sleep quality among young adults, particularly women.

Erica Jansen, the lead author of the study, revealed that young women who eat less than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are likely to experience persistent symptoms of insomnia.

300 men and 865 women took part in the research. The findings show that more than one-third of participants had difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep at least three times a week for three months or longer. 

Women who raised their daily fruit and vegetable consumption to three or more servings experienced better sleep quality or reduced insomnia symptoms. 

The researchers did not see any differences in their sleep duration throughout the study period. This is expected since bedtimes and waking times are self-reported and are frequently influenced by work, school schedule, and social pressures hence may be less reactive to dietary changes. 

The connection between diet and sleep was weaker among young adult men.  However, it does not automatically imply that all females get more sleep than males after changing their fruit and vegetable intake.

The participants were not encouraged to monitor calorie intake or pay attention to their weight. And because the participants are young individuals with low consumption of fruits and vegetables, findings may not apply to those who practice a healthier diet.

A sleep clinician believes that the results are vital since eating more fruits and vegetables can also be associated with good sleep hygiene, such as following a consistent sleep schedule.

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