When it comes to sleep, there are a lot of things that can change whether or not you sleep well. You diet, health, medications, exercise routine can all make a big difference in what kind of sleep you are getting. With so many people turning to a vegan or plant based diet these days, we wanted to look into how eating a plant based diet can affect your sleeping habits. Keep reading to learn more about a vegan diet & sleep.
If you are looking to create the best vegan bedroom ever, then you have to check out our post: The Ultimate Vegan Bedroom
Do Vegans Sleep Better Than Meat Eaters?
One thing to note before trying to answer a question like this, is that a vegan or plant based diet can look extraordinarily different from person to person. Even if you are eating a vegan diet, you can still manage to find a way to eat junk food. By junk food we are referring to high sugar or fatty foods that provide little to no nutrient value.
However, if you are eating a predominantly plant based diet, full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, etc. Then you are likely going to be getting more nutrients than the average meat eater. It is this combined with overall health benefits that are believed to bring vegans and plant based diet eaters better sleep.
Plant-Based Diet & Melatonin:
One reason it is believed that people who eat a plant based diet seem to get great sleep is because of the proteins in vegetables and fruits. The proteins found in many fruits and vegetables are particularly high in tryptophan. This is an amino acid that helps to support natural melatonin production. If you are unfamiliar, melatonin is hormone which our bodies product naturally in order to induce sleep.
This means that for those who struggle to produce their own melatonin either due to aging, or insomnia may benefit from having more tryptophan in their diets. Otherwise tart cherries and tart cherry juice are also a natural source of melatonin. Which means if you prefer to get your melatonin from your diet, drinking some tart cherry juice before bed might just make a great alcohol-free nightcap.
Learn more about tryptophan and melatonin production in our post: Why Does Tryptophan Make You Feel Sleepy?
Vegan Diets Are Rich In Antioxidants:
When it comes to eating a diet that is based in plants and vegetables. You tend to have a higher intake of antioxidant rich foods that have plenty of vitamin c and vitamin e. This can have many health benefits including reducing sleep apnea episodes. Combining vitamin c and e together tends to have a boost in sleep quality as well as less reported drowsiness throughout the day.
While a purely plant based diet may lead to needing vitamin supplements in other departments like B12. It tends to be rich in other vitamins that many meat eaters tend to eat less of like vitamin c and e.
Can A Plant Based Diets Ruin Your Sleep?
Again, we have to mention that their are vastly different kinds of vegan and plant-based diets. If you are not eating a lot of nutrient rich foods, then it is possible that you will be missing some vital vitamins and minerals in your diet. It was once believed that milk and meat where the only place to get different kinds of nutrients and a protein rich diet.
We now know that this is not the case. However, it is important to talk to a nutritionist and your doctor to ensure your new diet is rich with all of the nutrients you need in order to stay healthy. (Something meat eaters could benefit from as well.)
Curious about keto? Learn more about what the Does The Ketogenic Diet Affect Your Sleep?
Vitamin D & Vitamin B12 Supplements:
Two of the most common vitamin deficiencies for vegans and vegetarians are Vitamin D and B12. These are predominantly found in animal products. Which is why it may be beneficial to supplement your diet with these vitamins. Many people who meat also struggle to get the nutrients they need from diet alone.
Often our sleep quality is merely a reflection of our overall health and wellbeing. When you are missing certain vitamins and minerals, it can take a negative toll on your health and main bodily functions. This includes your ability to fall asleep easily and get quality sleep throughout the night.
Learn more about how Vitamin D affects your sleep in our post: Vitamin D And Sleep
Potential Weight Loss:
Anytime you are looking into a major diet change, there is a possibility of healthy weight loss. In fact, it is the main goal for many diet changes. If you are hoping to lose weight with your diet change, then this may also increase the sleep benefits you will experience.
Typically with weight loss, there is a significant increase in overall sleep quality. This is not only due to general increase in comfort at night and energy throughout the day. It also has a lot to do with lowering or even eliminating other sleep disorders like sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome, or even standard snoring.
Even if the only advantage for sleep that comes from a vegan diet is the associated benefits from weight loss. It would be more than enough to be worth considering going on a plant based diet.
Learn more about the sleep benefits associated with weight loss in our post: Sleep & Weight Loss
Top Vegan Bedroom & Sleep Products:
When it comes to being vegan it is a lifestyle, not just about food, but every aspect of your life. Which is why finding products that coincide with your lifestyle are important to find as well. Which is why we have several suggestions for our favorite vegan bedding and sleep products.
Top Vegan Mattresses:
Several brands focus on creating natural mattresses. However, natural can mean the use of animal and animal bi-products, like wool. So finding a natural mattress that is also vegan might take a little extra looking. Which is why we wanted to make it easy and share our favorite vegan mattresses. Giving you amazing sleep benefits and fitting in perfectly to your lifestyle needs.
Top Vegan Pillows:
You may not always think to double check that your pillow is vegan. However, with down and wool becoming rather popular materials to use in bedding, it is best to ensure that your pillows are animal product free. If you are wanting to live, eat, and sleep a plant based lifestyle than these amazing pillows are for you. Many of which are made with cool and natural plant based materials.
On the hunt for a great vegan mattress topper? Check out our review over the Avocado Vegan Mattress Topper
Vegan Diet & Sleep: Final Thoughts
If you don’t want to take our word for it, perhaps these words from Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, and associate professor of nutritional medicine and director of the Sleep Center of Excellence at Columbia University Irving Medical will be convincing. “A healthier diet, namely one with more plant-based foods, may improve sleep health and lower your risk of insomnia.”
While the vegan diet has not been deeply studied for sleep benefits or even show signs of any kind of miracle cure. There is significant evidence that it can be a healthy dietary choice with many benefits, including increased sleep quality and energy throughout the day. We hope this information helps you determine whether or not it is something you are wanting to pursue or continue doing.
If you have any questions, we would love to help you out in anyway we can. Click the link to send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.