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Animal or vegetable protein: study suggests which is best for sleep

Have a good sleep quality It is essential for overall health. Studies have already shown that sleeping well improves mood, concentration, strengthens the immune system and prevents cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. To get a good night's sleep, lifestyle and diet play fundamental roles. Given this, a new study indicates that the type of protein consumed in food can influence sleep .

The work was published in the scientific journal The Journal of Clinical Nutrition at the beginning of March showed that plant-based proteins may be more beneficial for sleep than proteins of animal origin. In fact, researchers discovered that foods of animal origin can actually worsen sleep quality .

For the work, the researchers analyzed data from 83,338 women and 14,796 men which were collected from three bases: the Nurse's Health Study and the Nurse's Health Study 2 (both with data on women), and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (which only includes men). They assessed participants' eating habits using a validated food frequency questionnaire that included more than 130 different food items.

In this questionnaire, participants had to report the consumption of each food in categories from “never or less than once a month” to “more than six times a day”. Using the answers, the researchers calculated the intake of different types of proteins (total, animal, dairy and vegetable).

In addition, participants also completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, which assesses sleep duration, latency (time it takes to fall asleep), efficiency (ratio of total time in bed to total sleep time), disturbances sleep quality and the use of sleeping medications.

What were the results of the study?

According to the study, total protein intake had no impact on sleep quality. However, when comparing protein categories, researchers found differences: women who consumed higher amounts of plant-based proteins reported better sleep quality but the same trend was not as evident in men.

The researchers also found that O Higher consumption of processed red meat and poultry was associated with worse sleep quality , while unprocessed red meat negatively affected sleep only in women. Dairy protein consumption was associated with better sleep in the cohort of participants in the Nurse's Health Study 2, but the same association was not found in the other cohorts. Fish consumption had no effect on sleep quality.

Besides food, what else can help improve sleep?

According to the ABS (Brazilian Sleep Association), around 73 million Brazilians face difficulties getting a good night's sleep . Difficulty sleeping is associated with health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, among others.

For general practitioner Marcelo Bechara, it is essential reduce screen exposure time to improve sleep quality. “Everyday life influences and, currently, what interferes most are screens: cell phones, televisions, tablets and others. Excess light at night affects the process of creating melatonin, the relaxation hormone,” he says.

The specialist explains that other habits also help to improve sleep quality. “Practicing physical activity, a good diet, meditating, having less accelerated thoughts and a controlled routine help a lot. These actions help reduce excess cortisol, the hormone that wakes us up and also stresses us out,” he advises.

Source: CNN Brasil

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