Why is ultra-processed food (UPF) associated with an increased risk of Insomnia?

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  • Poor diet quality increases stress and anxiety, contributing to insomnia.
  • Rapid spike and drop in blood glucose levels cause nighttime wakefulness.
  • A poor nutritional profile disrupts metabolic processes, leading to sleep disturbances.
  • UPF are associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, which increase the risk of sleep disorders.
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      Ultra-processed food (UPF) may be a contributing factor to the insomnia experienced by one-third of adults, according to a recent study. Researchers from Sorbonne Paris Nord University analyzed health and sleep surveys from 38,570 participants and found that those who reported chronic insomnia, on average, consumed a higher proportion of UPFs. The researchers suggest that this effect could be due to the lack of healthy, sleep-promoting chemicals in UPFs. Products like ice cream, white bread, instant soup, and soda which are thought to make up 57.9% of the diets of U.S. citizens are often rich in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, but poor in fiber and essential nutrients like calcium. These foods have been implicated in rising rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer in Western countries. Regular consumption of such manufactured treats and meals may also be a risk factor for chronic sleeplessness. The sleep–wake cycle is promoted by melatonin, which is synthesized exclusively from tryptophan present in the diet. This amino acid is typically found in dairy, fish, fruit, and vegetables, but is scarcer in processed foods.

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