Health Tip – Nov. 5 – Fatigue and Fatty Food
If your energy begins to flag late in the afternoon, the problem may be what you’ve eaten earlier in the day. A new study from Penn State’s College of Medicine showed that you can avoid daytime sleepiness if you skip fats at breakfast and lunch and opt for carbohydrates instead (protein consumption didn’t seem to make any difference).
In this small study the connection of dietary fats to daytime sleepiness held true regardless of participants’ gender, age, body mass index, total calorie consumption and how well they sleep at night. The 31 participants spent four consecutive nights in a sleep lab. They ranged in age from 18 to 65 years, all were healthy, none were obese, and all habitually slept normally. They were given meals five times during the study to assess dietary influences, and the participants’ daytime sleepiness was evaluated with the Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT).
The researchers noted that earlier studies have found that diet affects sleepiness as perceived by participants (subjective sleepiness), while the current study shows a similar association between diet and sleepiness as measured in the sleep lab (objective sleepiness).