Food and sleep have a deeper connect. (File Photo)
For postmenopausal women struggling with sleep, the right diet might actually help. According to a report in The New York Times, which quotes a study, 77,860 postmenopausal women were examined and it was concluded that when they consumed foods with a low glycaemic index, there was a lesser risk of suffering from insomnia.
The same report points out that foods with low glycemic indexes like nuts, vegetables and wholegrain breads consist of carbohydrates. These are absorbed slowly and "cause lower, and slower, rises in blood glucose and insulin levels after being consumed". The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, entailed participants filling up lengthy questionnaires regarding what they ate and how often. They also shared their degree of insomnia, both at the beginning of the study and three years later.
When compared to one-fifth of participants whose diet had the lowest glycaemic index, it was found that those who had the highest glycaemic index in their diet were 11 per cent more susceptible to suffer from insomnia. However, some low-glycaemic index foods, like dairy and whole grains are not linked to reduced insomnia. Those who ate more fruits and vegetables were 14 per cent less likely to suffer from insomnia. Contrary to this, women who consumed the most refined grains, were at 16 per cent higher risk of suffering from insomnia when compared to those who ate the least.
The findings of the study, however, suggest merely an association. “Randomised controlled trials examining dietary patterns in relation to insomnia are needed to clarify these findings,” the authors commented.