Researchers partly funded by NHLBI found that the sleep of postmenopausal women would benefit from lower consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar, foods that are high on the glycemic index. The findings, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also indicates that a diet high on vegetables, fruits, and nuts is associated with lower risk of insomnia, and should be considered in its treatment and prevention.
The scientists analyzed data from 77,860 postmenopausal women, all participants in the NHLBI-funded Women's Health Initiative. They found that older women who ate the highest amount of refined carbohydrates were 11% more likely to report having difficulty getting a good night’s sleep. They also had a 16% higher likelihood of developing new insomnia during the 3-year follow up period.