Losing weight on a high-protein, low-carb diet has an unexpected benefit. Besides a slimmer body, it can help you sleep better.
That’s the finding of two new Purdue University studies that show going on a high-protein weight loss plan improves sleep.1
In the first study, 14 overweight men and women increased their protein intake while reducing overall calories. This had the effect of lowering carbohydrates. At the end of a month, the participants sleep improved by 8% based on a sleep questionnaire.
The second study followed dieters for four months. Researchers divided 44 obese or overweight people into two groups.
One group ate their usual amount of protein while reducing calories. The other subjects doubled their protein intake while also reducing overall calories.2
Both groups lost weight. But there were dramatic differences in how they slept.
At the beginning of the study, both groups’ sleep quality was the same. But by the fourth month, the high-protein group was sleeping longer and more soundly. Their sleep improved by 35%. They also reported improved daytime alertness and performance.
The regular protein group had no improvement in sleep. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has declared lack of sleep a huge public health problem. It estimates up to 70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder.3
Sleep Like a Caveman
We have long recommended the high-protein, low-carb Paleo-style diet for weight loss and overall health.
Here are the Paleo diet basics:
- Eat protein at every meal. The best sources are organic eggs, wild-caught salmon, and organic, grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, and chicken.
- Lower carbs by swapping out grains for leafy green vegetables.
- Add healthy fats including avocado, olive, and coconut oils.
- Eliminate added sugars and dairy other than grass-fed butter.
- Eat plenty of nuts, seeds, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables.
Eating more protein—and cutting back on carbs—may be a great long-term solution for better sleep. But there are also natural sleep aids you can use tonight to get the rest you need. Discover five of the best of them HERE.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch