RadioMD: Train Your Body

High Protein Diet Can Help You Sleep

May 17, 20169 min
A high protein diet may help you get better quality sleep.Adults need at least eight hours of sleep per night. You need the energy from that rest and you need sleep support to make healthy food choices.A recent study of 14 obese adults over a few weeks examined the effects of protein on weight loss. Both groups had the same caloric intake, but one group ate low protein diets and the other high. The weight loss in both groups was the same, but high protein participants had better quality sleep and more energy.Protein contains tryptophan, an amino acid you hear mentioned at Thanksgiving as the catalyst for post-dinner napping. Tryptophan converts to serotonin, making you feel happier and giving you energy. The serotonin then converts to melatonin, making sleep easier.If you have a hard time getting to bed, be sure you have some protein at dinner.Dr. John Higgins joins host Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss how protein can help you sleep.

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