A new study reveals diets high in fat might disrupt your natural body clock, or circadian rhythm, leading to sleep disorders. Most people know that drinking caffeinated beverages, eating a really heavy meal, or viewing electronic devices right before going to bed can make it difficult to sleep, but little else is really known about how environmental factors can impact our body’s natural sleep cycle.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago sought to better understand how inflammation and a diet high in fat, that triggers inflammation, can affect sleep cycles. The results of the study were published in October, 2018 in the Journal Genes and Development.
Inflammation is your body’s way of defending itself from foreign invaders and can stimulate healing however, chronic, systemic inflammation can damage your health and has been shown to play a significant role in the development of diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, MS, and lupus.
The food you eat can have a major effect on inflammation; eating certain foods can trigger or increase inflammation. Researchers investigated the impact of inflammation on genetically modified mice. By modifying these mice, they were able to activate and deactivate inflammation which allowed them evaluate the impact inflammation had the mice’s circadian rhythms.
The researchers discovered inflammation and the circadian rhythm are influenced by the same genetic factor, NF-kappa beta (NFKB). NFKB triggers a series of chain reactions that ultimately cause the pain and tissue damage associate with inflammatory diseases. NFKB also influences circadian rhythms or sleep cycles. This discovery led them to suggest that a diet high in fat, that triggers inflammation and NFKB, could lead to circadian rhythm disorders or disrupted sleep patterns.
Foods that stimulate inflammation:
- Sugar and aspartame
- Saturated fats found in foods like red meat, full fat dairy products and pasta,
- Trans fats found in processed foods, fast food, fried foods frozen foods, margarine and lard
- Omega 6 fatty acids found in corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil and mayonnaise
- White flour products such as bread, crackers, white rice and white potatoes.
- Products containing gluten such as wheat, barley, rye
- Dairy products
Foods that help reduce inflammation
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables
- Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna and sardines
- Fruits such as tomatoes, berries, cherries and oranges
At the Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic, we will help you develop a customized health plan that can help you sleep better. Many common conditions can disrupt a good night’s sleep including hormone imbalances, heartburn, thyroid disease, inflammation, and a poor diet to name just a few. At the Anti-Aging and Wellness Clinic we want to help you look and feel your best which includes helping you get a good night’s sleep.
Our comprehensive Age Management program includes:
- Comprehensive laboratory testing
- Bio-identical hormone therapy
- Stress reduction
Downloaded from genesdev.cshlp.org
Hee-Kyung Hong et. al., Requirement for NF-kB in maintenance of molecular and behavioral circadian rhythms in mice. Genes & Development 32:1-13.