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Recently published in the scientific journal Cell, a new study may be able to help you if you hope to gain deeper sleep. According to the researchers, a protein synthesized by cells in the brain and intestines could make the difference. And it is thanks to your food that you will be able to secrete it.

This is not the first study to link the quality of sleep to food. Indeed, it plays a key role. The saying encouraging to eat like a king in the morning, like a prince at noon, and like a pauper in the evening leaves nothing to chance. There digestion doesn’t have to be long at night. It is therefore necessary to avoid hearty, sweet and fatty dishes at dinner, which can interfere with sleep.

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A scientific research published within Cell teaches us more. Researchers affiliated with Harvard Medical School (USA) have discovered that deep sleep is partly due to protein called CCHa1synthesized in the intestines and whose secretion would depend on our diet, and particularly on the intake of protein.

Thanks to protein, you can gain deeper sleep

For the purposes of this work, the scientists conducted their tests on small flies called fruit flies. They cleared CCHa1 from their brains and guts. However, it turns out that eliminating this protein from the intestine was enough to impact sleep.

The researchers thus blocked CCHa1 in the intestines of certain flies. In the others, they have multiplied it. They then analyzed the sleep quality of the insects by subjecting them to vibrations while they slept.

The results of the study showed that flies without CCHa1 exhibited a light sleep : they woke up at the slightest vibration. As for the others, in whom the CCHa1 protein has multiplied, they have gained a much deeper sleep. Only strong vibrations could wake them up.

What protein sources should I take at night?

The good news is that you can promote the presence of CCHa1, thanks to your diet. It would be enough to increase the protein intake. The production of CCHa1 would be boosted by a protein intake which would make sleep deeper.

The CCHa1 protein communicates with dopaminergic neurons which are found in the brain. It is the latter that modulate the reactivity to vibrations.

Consuming more protein in the evening could therefore help you gain deeper sleep according to this study.

Be careful however, this is not a reason to consume too much meat at dinner. Foods high in fat will tend to interfere with sleep because they will take too much effort to digest. It would then be counter-productive! Bet on vegetable proteins : THE dried vegetables (split peas, chickpeas, beans, soya, broad beans…), oilseeds (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds…) and cereals (wheat, rice, oats, quinoa…) and eggs are excellent sources.

However, if you want to bet on the meat, bet on the lean meats such as poultry or turkey. By rethinking your diet in the evening, you should easily plunge into the arms of Morpheus!

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