A high-protein weight-loss diet may help people sleep better, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. For four months, 44 overweight or obese people were put on either a normal-protein or high-protein calorie-restricted diet and were asked to complete a standard sleep-quality questionnaire once a month.
At three-month and four-month follow-up, the high-protein dieters reported improved sleep, compared to the lower-protein group. The normal-protein diet provided the daily recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein, which is a modest 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (that works out to 65 grams for a 180-pound person). The high-protein diet provided almost twice as much protein: 1.5 grams per kilogram of weight. The extra protein came from isolated milk protein added to foods; carbohydrate intake was reduced to compensate for the extra calories from protein.
It’s also possible that the lower carbohydrate intake contributed to the better sleep quality, the researchers noted.
If you do decide to increase your protein intake, check first with your health care provider about your kidney health.
Also see Do You Need More Protein?