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  • Elenor MacGregor

5 Ways Nutrition Affects Sleep

Updated: May 26

🌙 Discover the Magic of Restful Sleep: Nurturing Your Child's Well-being in the Serene Month of July 🌙

Hey there, parents!

July is here, bringing with it longer days and peaceful nights filled with twinkling stars. It's the perfect time to talk about the incredible importance of sleep health for your little ones. As an integrative pediatrician, I'm excited to take share this latest research on sleep to help your child enjoy a restful slumber throughout this tranquil month.

Sleep is like nature's superpower—it fuels growth, supports cognitive development, boosts emotional resilience, and keeps your kiddos full of vitality. With the beauty of summer all around, let's unlock the secrets to a rejuvenating and peaceful sleep, ensuring your child wakes up each day refreshed, clear-headed, and ready to take on the world.

New Research!! ⤵️

👉👉 Even if your kid’s and teen’s sleep the exact same number of hours, eating junk food during the day can affect the QUALITY of their sleep—making sleep more shallow and less restorative.

Let’s back up 🚙

Sleep consists of different stages with different functions.

Deep sleep, for example, regulates hormonal release. Each sleep stage is also marked by specific electrical activity in the brain.

A brand new study in the journal Obesity looked at what happened to sleep quality (measured in a sleep laboratory) when healthy young men ate nutritious meals vs. junk food. While they are talking about young men I believe this still applies to other humans big and small! Here’s what they found:

🔹 Participants slept the same number of hours, regardless of which diet they consumed.

🔹 They also spent the same amount of time in each of the sleep stages.

🔹 But slow-wave brain activity (a measurement of how restorative deep sleep is) was less in those who ate the junk food.

This means that the junk food resulted in sleep that was less deep—similar to what happens with aging and insomnia.

Why should you care about restorative sleep?

Because it’s essential for…

💫 Mental health

💃 Executive function

🔥 Healthy Metabolism

🧠 Ability to focus

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