People following a high-protein diet to lose weight may enjoy a benefit beyond shedding pounds—a better night’s sleep.
“Most research looks at the effects of sleep on diet and weight control, and our research flipped that question to ask what are the effects of weight loss and diet—specifically the amount of protein—on sleep,” says Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. “We found that while consuming a lower calorie diet with a higher amount of protein, sleep quality improves for middle-age adults. This sleep quality is better compared to those who lost the same amount of weight while consuming a normal amount of protein.”
In the study, 44 overweight or obese adults consumed either a normal-protein or high-protein diet designed for weight loss and were asked to rate the quality of their sleep throughout the process. Participants consuming higher levels of protein reported better sleep after three months on the diet. The findings appear in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.