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How Does Sleep Affect Your Diet?

How Does Sleep Affect Your Diet?

Did you know that what you eat can actually affect your sleep? Although it's a given that if you eat some hefty BBQ or five-alarm chili you will be up long into the night cursing the food gods for your discomfort, there’s a little more to it than that. This article is going to go over some things you might not know when it comes to the relationship between your diet and sleep patterns.

Fats and Carbs – We crave carb-loaded, fatty foods when we are tired. Lack of sleep actually affects the natural endocannabinoid system that is in our brains, the same that’s affected when ingesting cannabis. In other words, when you go without sleep your brain gives you a bad case of the munchies.

Bacteria in our stomachs – Scientists are just beginning to understand how stomach microbes affect our circadian rhythms, which play a role in regulating when we sleep and wake up. Stomach microbes affect levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in the body that drops when we are asleep.  A study showed that disrupting stomach microbes in rats and then feeding them high-fat diets resulted in obese rats, compared to rats fed high-fat diets and didn't have their stomach microbes disturbed.

Fruits and Veggies – The more exhausted you are, the less you consume; people who don't get the right amount of fiber and eat high quantities of saturated fat slept more lightly and woke up more during the night compared to people who have high-fiber diets.

Disorder – Sleep eating disorders are a real thing and can be dangerous. This is where people will eat when they are sleeping and not remember doing it. This disorder is more common among women but affects 1 in 3 of the population and is more evident in people with eating disorders, with 10%-15% also have sleep eating disorders.

Getting enough sleep is crucial, not only for your peace of mind, but also for your diet as well. Those deadlines are important, but your well-being should be your top priority; don't be afraid to go to bed at 8 p.m., your body will thank you in the long run.