Article: Vegetarianism and Sleep Quality


I can’t cast my mind back far enough to remember whether becoming vegetarian improved my sleep. It probably didn’t make any difference at first, as I didn’t cook anything healthy as I had no idea how to cook and, living in a bedsit without an oven, I didn’t have anything to cook my meals on anyway, so I probably relied on the local chippy in Leytonstone. I certainly remember buying massive pancake rolls and chips on a regular basis and, although the pancake rolls contained a dubious meat-looking substance, the man behind the counter assured me they were vegetarian. Even so, I’m sure my diet in 1990 was just as bad as when I was a meat-eater and, eating food that’s difficult to digest still digesting at night isn’t going to aid restful sleep. Or, as Matt Frazier (No Meat Athlete) puts it at no. 50 of his list 75 ways going vegetarian has made my life better: ‘I sleep a million times better when I don’t go to bed all bloated and full of animal parts.’


These days, I usually sleep well. When I’m eating healthily and exercising, that is. I’m also one of those annoying people who are awake as soon as I’m standing and don’t need three cups of coffee to wake up. In fact, I don’t drink tea or coffee at all. The only thing I would like to change about my sleep is that when it comes to the experts’ suggestion of us needing 7-9 hours a night, I’m well up there in the upper limit. I’d love to be able to wake up bright and breezy after just four hours or so a la Margaret Thatcher (which is where I’d like the similarity to end), but I’m usually asleep well before midnight.

I say ‘usually’, because over the last few weeks, I’ve been staying up late, eating crap and not exercising. I had a friend recommend Bedstar to me as she said it may have been my sleeping quarters – but I reckon it was probably the diet. This has culminated in me having the worst sleep ever over the last few days; only drifting off now and again until about 6am when I manage to go to sleep for a few hours, then wake up later than I’d like to wake up and feeling rubbish.

But, it’s Juneathon and therefore exercise is expected of me and when I’m exercising regularly, my eating habits improve and therefore my sleep.

How about you? Do you find there’s a connection between your eating and your sleeping? Let me know.

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1 comment

  1. For me it’s wine. I sleep much better without having a glass (or more) before bed. It makes a huge difference but I miss it!

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