How the keto diet can improve your sleep and your emotional health in a very seamless way.
The Keto diet is perhaps one of the most discussed diets in recent times. This unique approach is becoming increasingly more popular and sought-after, due to its many perceived benefits and flexibility and of course fast weight loss when compared to other diet styles. But does it really impact your sleep patterns?
Just to take a step back, let’s take a brief detour: what exactly is the keto diet? Most average diets feature carbs, which in turn, your body will turn into fats, for storage. This is partly how we gain weight and build up most fat content in our bodies. Having said that, the keto diet has a different approach.
It cuts out carbs completely, and instead, it replaces them with an intake of fats. This leads the body to start a process called ketosis, which consists in burning energy resources already within the body.
This diet is great to preserve lean muscle mass when compared to most low-fat diets. It actually changes the metabolism of the individual undergoing the diet, meaning that fat burning occurs even during sleep! For this reason, the keto diet is often considered a great solution for people looking to lose or manage their weight. However, people often talk about other related effects of this diet, in particular, its supposed relationship with a person’s sleep patterns.
Can Keto really affect your sleep? Keep reading in order to find out more!
In most cases, the Keto diet is known for its positive effects on sleep patterns. People who embraced the keto lifestyle reported an improvement in their sleeping habits. In addition to that, the Keto diet is also linked with a positive impact on emotional health, often linked to quality sleep patterns.
In other words, a good night’s sleep often helps with feelings of stress and anxiety, and it can be a great way to significantly improve a person’s mood.
One thing to consider is that beginning with your keto diet can actually be the most complicated part of the process and the most challenging aspect of it. At first, you might experience a decline in energy immediately after switching to a keto diet. This is because your body is used to receiving a certain amount of sugar or carbs. Instead, it will now need to get used to using other energy sources, as described earlier in this article.
After the initial wave of low energy, you’ll start to feel elated and galvanized, and the keto diet will definitely pay off its a massive energy intake, which goes hand in hand with better sleep patterns.
Only a small number of studies have closely examined how keto diets affect sleep, says Michael J. Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist with a specialty in sleep disorders. But what they show so far is that “this very low-carb, high-fat diet may offer benefits for sleep, both through weight loss and other pathways.”
For instance, in a recent study published in the journal, Nutrients, a group of Spanish and Columbian scientists found that a very low-calorie keto diet significantly reduced daytime sleepiness in a group of obese patients.
Previous research from the Medical University of South Carolina followed 6 morbidly obese teens who spent 4 months on a keto diet. While all showed sparse REM (dreaming) sleep and excessive slow-wave (deep) sleep at the beginning of the experiment, the reverse was true at the end.
A separate Swedish study found that children with hard-to-treat epilepsy who followed a keto diet slept better, experienced more REM sleep, and felt significantly less sleepy during the day — all of which improved their overall quality of life.
One theory as to what’s going on: Ketogenic diets could have an effect on a brain chemical called adenosine that’s important to sleep regulation, Breus says.
“Adenosine builds up in the body throughout the day and contributes to our feeling increasingly less alert and wakeful as the day goes on, eventually helping to promote deeper slow-wave sleep at night,” explains Breus. “Studies show a ketogenic diet promotes adenosine activity in the body, helping to relax the nervous system, as well as reducing pain and inflammation — all of which can help improve sleep.”
Resource National Institute of Health
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