Do you struggle with sleep? Growing up my problem was waking up, not falling asleep. I was a terrible morning person, so much so that I asked my family to refrain from trying to have a conversation with me in the first 30 minutes of me being awake.

In hindsight, I was probably just a moody teenager.

Now though? I can't get enough sleep! I find myself going to bed too late, or just not enjoying the type of restful sleep I imagine "normal" people have. I've tried the 5,6,7 and 8 hour sleep cycle with some results but the only outcome was that I'm aware now that I need at minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night to feel rested.

Not exactly ground-breaking, but it's progress.

New research however offers more insight into a variety of factors effecting your sleep, mainly how you eat. We're all aware that a double espresso or greasy meal before bed probably isn't the best idea, but what other ingredients should we be avoiding?

In a new study,

Data showed that eating less fiber, more saturated fat and more sugar throughout the day is linked with lighter, less restorative sleep.

While tracking diet and sleep for a group of healthy adults over five nights, they found that diet did indeed have an impact on quality of sleep. Sugar, low fiber and saturated fat can cause sleeping problems such as light, non restful sleep and frequent awakenings during the night. You can see how that would be problematic.

As much as your diet affects your sleep, your sleep can also affect your diet too. The same study also showed that poor sleep patterns have been linked to eating worse overall, worse diet quality and higher rates of both cardiac and metabolic disease.

Here's the good part - you can do something to manage both your diet and your quality of sleep.

1. Make Smart Snack Choices Before Bed

2. Cut Back on Sugar

3. Avoid Heavy or Spicy Before Bed

4. Lay off Alcohol Before Sleeping

5. Pay Attention to Your Caffeine Intake