When expectant mothers can compromise the quality of sleep

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Sleep Health | Sleep Review

There is a well-known relationship between our food intake and the body’s circadian rhythm. New research from UCSI University in Malaysia examines how this relationship – known as chrononutrition – relates to sleep quality and melatonin rhythm during pregnancy.

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For the study, researchers looked at meal timing, meal frequency, eating window, skipping breakfast, and eating in the evening in 114 women who were first-time pregnant. They found that women who ate less frequently or ate less fat during dinner compared to breakfast and lunch were more likely to have poor quality sleep. Eating near bedtime was associated with a melatonin peak that was outside of the usual mid-sleep peak. The results suggest that adverse characteristics of chrononutrition may alter the circadian melatonin rhythm during pregnancy and contribute to poor sleep.

Ai Ni Teoh presented this research at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE.

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