Animal Fat and Sleep

Seth Roberts, a fun blogger/author/professor and champion of self-experimentation, theorizes that animal fat may help him sleep. Funny coincidence- since I’ve upped my beef intake over the last few weeks, my insomnia issues has been nonexistent. Two data points don’t make a scientific study, but I’d be interested to see some research on this. I’ve got a few theories:

  • Fat tells your body that you’ve just made a kill, and hence don’t have to stay up all night hunting for sustenance.
  • The sleep-promoting chemical tryptophan, rather than fat, is the cause- foods containing one tend to contain the other.
  • Carbohydrate-based meals at night spike insulin, increasing hunger and making sleep more difficult. Substitution of carbohydrates with fats eliminates this.
  • Fat is yummy, yummy food makes us happy, happy people sleep better.

Roberts also proposed the theory that standing on one foot for a few minutes a day could help your sleep. I tried it, and it did seem to improve things, but separating that effect from expectation bias and dietary change is kind of tough.