Can’t sleep? Eat a steak

I’ve always advocated a high-protein diet over the low-fat, high-carb lifestyle the so-called “experts” over at the AMA stubbornly continue to push. And unlike the AMA, I certainly don’t need more research to support this recommendation.

But I’m always thrilled when I come across it, anyway. And the latest study on the virtues of high-protein diets is especially exciting, because it sheds some important light on a topic a lot of people misunderstand. Namely, how your diet affects your sleep.

Not one, but two new randomized, controlled studies show that high protein diets are king when it comes to ensuring a good night’s sleep. Results appeared in the March issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The first of these studies was smaller — featuring 14 overweight subjects, with a mean age around 56 years old. And it demonstrated quite definitively that increasing protein intake boosts sleep quality.

The second study was larger — 44 subjects. One group maintained “normal” protein intake (in line with the RDA, which is roughly .36 grams per pound of body weight daily). The other group followed a high-protein lifestyle, eating almost double the RDA of protein per day (Still not as high as I recommend — generally, 1 g of protein per pound of body weight — but it’s a definite improvement.)

Both groups had identical sleep scores at the outset. But by the end of the 16-week study, the subjects in the high-protein group enjoyed significantly better sleep than the subjects who stuck with those paltry RDA recommendations.

This research is a really good reminder that the big picture counts a lot when you’re tackling sleep issues. Your daily eating habits are an important piece of the puzzle — but they’re just one piece. To really get the quality rest your body needs, you need to address all the factors that might be standing in the way.

In fact, there have actually been some exciting new discoveries in the field of sleep science recently. I’ll tell you about a particularly promising one in the upcoming June issue of my Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (so if you’re not already a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started).