sugary food disturbs sleepToo much fatty and sugar-packed food leads to a lousy night’s sleep, researchers have found.

Studies have shown that people packing in the calories with sugary and fatty foods sleep less deeply than those who eat a healthy, fibre-rich diet.

Fibre-packed meals help people nod off quickly and get a good night of restorative sleep, while those on a sugary diet find it harder to drop off and have lighter, more disturbed sleep.

And, sleeping badly leads to a craving for more sugary food the next day, trapping people in a cycle of high-sugar and poor sleep.

A study of 26 men and women who spent five nights in a New York sleep lab found that the healthy eaters took 12 fewer minutes to fall asleep.

But more importantly, once they were asleep, the healthy eaters had far better quality sleep.

Sleep quality was influenced by just one day of greater fat and sugar and lower fibre intake.

Anyone struggling to sleep should first look at their diet.


What goes on when you sleep? – Your brain recharges, your cells repair themselves, your body releases important hormones

How much sleep do we need?

Babies – 16 hours
3-18 – ten hours
10-55 – eight hours
Over 65 – six hours

What do we dream?

Men dream about other men 70% of the time, while women dream about men and women equally

Do you dream in colour?

12% of people dream only in black and white. This number used to be higher but with the advent of colour TV more people started dreaming in colour

Does everyone dream?

Dreaming is normal and most people dream. People who don’t dream may have a personality disorder

Can you die from lack of sleep?

Sleeping is essential. You will die from sleep deprivation before you will die from starvation. It takes two weeks to starve but ten days without sleep will kill you

Which animals sleep the longest and the shortest?

Koalas sleep the most, clocking up 22 hours of zeds a day, while the Asiatic elephant needs only 3.1 hours of sleep.