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MyFitnessPal 3 mins read

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 20TH NOVEMBER 2023 - While Aussies may blame stress for why they struggle to sleep, new research has found it’s not just your thoughts keeping you up at night. Sleep nutrition expert Olivia Arezzolo says there is a major link between the foods we eat, and the quality of our sleep.


“Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress, which can lead to poor nutrition choices and overall fatigue. Each element is intertwined, creating a vicious cycle that can impact overall quality of life when one is imbalanced,” said Olivia


Although sleep is the biggest priority for almost half (42%) of stressed out Aussies according to new research commissioned by number one global nutrition and food tracking app, MyFitnessPal, it is still suffering the most with 60% saying their sleep is negatively impacted by stress.


Alarmingly, despite the research finding nine in ten (89%) were aware sugar isn’t the solution when stressed and run down, almost a third (31%) are – when stressed – actually increasing their intake. 


What’s more, half (50%) of Aussies admit they turn to sugary or high-fat snacks during late night hours at least once a week. This could have drastic consequences for sleep as respondents who did this were also more likely to state their sleep quality had worsened over the past year (40% compared to 20% average). 


“Stress can influence us to consume more readily available, less nutritious foods, diverting our attention from the healthier alternatives that are well known for helping alleviate stress, and promote sound sleep, ” said Olivia.

For example, foods high in sugar and fat can impact our sleep. Being less digestible, and keeping us alert, it can have a ripple effect on our energy levels. This can make us less motivated and less likely to do things such as physical activity.”


Women were the most likely (83%) to cite nutritional value as their biggest consideration when thinking about the food they eat. Yet, when overtired or stressed, they were also found to be the most likely to swap foods high in nutritional value for sugary, processed foods (58%), indicating women could be losing track of healthy habits in the moments that matter. 


“These results show that women in particular are struggling to put their knowledge into practice when they feel stressed or run down. We want to give Aussies the tools they need to understand the relationship between the quantity and quality of what they eat and their overall wellbeing,” added Katie Keil, Chief Marketing Officer at MyFitnessPal.


MyFitnessPal’s recently launched ‘Sleep’ app integration has been created to help users more easily keep track of how their food choices impact their sleep - giving them insights into their ‘wellness trifecta’ in one place. 


By presenting users with sleep cycle information using data from connected sleep devices (such as Apple Watch or FitBit), alongside their food diary, users can see how their nutritional choices are impacting their sleep and overall well being.


To learn more about ‘Sleep’, visit MyFitnessPal is free for download via App Store and Google Play.


- Ends  - 


Key Facts:
  • Australia’s leading sleep expert says stress isn’t the only thing to blame for restless nights, linking the foods we eat to the quality of our sleep.

  • New research shows that although Aussies are prioritising their sleep, 60% say it is being negatively impacted by stress. 

  • Aussies are struggling to put their knowledge into practice, with women succumbing to sugary, processed foods (58%), despite 83% normally prioritising nutritional foods.

  • With over 200 million users worldwide, MyFitnessPal is supporting Aussies stick to healthy habits through it’s free ‘Eat Right, Sleep Tight’ plan that aims to help users break the cycle of exhaustion  

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