Before going vegan, there were certain health benefits I already expected such as weight loss, increased energy and a healthier heart. What a pleasant surprise it was to discover that I was also getting a better quality sleep at night! I researched this secret benefit as soon as it came to my attention. Apparently the key to a great night’s sleep had been under our nose all along! Here’s the reason why a plant-based diet will lead to a deeper and more sound sleep for both adults and children.
Digestion is taking place while we sleep. This is a known fact. Meat takes longer to digest than plant-based foods. All food must pass through your gastrointestinal tract (aka your bowels), which runs 25 feet in length from top to bottom. Meat and dairy products are higher in fatty content than fruits, veggies, and grains, therefore, the time and energy exerted to digest them is greater. This process effects your sleep quality. While a meat-eater is trying to sleep, their body is hard at work trying to process animal flesh. Naturally, this leads to many unwanted wake-ups throughout the night.
Alexander Vgontzas at Penn State Medical School found through his research that a fattier dinner meal may in the short term make people sleepier, but will ultimately interfere with their sleep at night, provoking more awakenings. Generally, people don’t remember all of their awakenings, but they will feel slower and more lethargic the next day.
Even for those who are not vegan, it would likely make a big difference if they eliminated animal products at dinner time. Doing so would put a longer distance of time from your last consumed animal product to the moment your head hits the pillow. Who knows…you might just find yourself enjoying vegan meals! Your body will certainly thank you…and so will the planet. 🙂