They say you are what you eat, and that adage applies to how you sleep, as well. According to a new study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers identified the Mediterranean diet as one that contained the main qualities linked to better sleep quality.
Researchers reviewed 20 studies published between 1975 and 2021 to compare sleep quality to diet. They found people who ate similarly to the Mediterranean diet experienced better sleep. The diet, which is named for the eating habits of those living in the Mediterranean region, includes high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, as well as moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy and wine, and low consumption of meat.
“It seems that those who eat more fiber, healthier fats (such as polyunsaturated fats), serotonin- and melatonin-rich fruits and vegetables, and anti-inflammatory nutrients (such as antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids) have better sleep,” study author Katherine Wilson told Eat This, Not That! of the results. “But more studies are needed to explain what drives these associations.”