Background: Disturbed sleep may negatively influence physical health, cognitive performance, metabolism, and general wellbeing. Nutritional interventions represent a potential non-pharmacological means to increase sleep quality and quantity.
Objective: (1) Identify an optimal suite of nutritional ingredients and (2) validate the effects of this suite utilising polysomnography, and cognitive and balance tests.
Methods: The optimal and least optimal combinations of six ingredients were identified utilising 55 male participants and a Box-Behnken predictive model. To validate the model, 18 healthy, male, normal sleepers underwent three trials in a randomised, counterbalanced design: (1) optimal drink, (2) least optimal drink, or (3) placebo were provided before bed in a double-blinded manner. Polysomnography was utilised to measure sleep architecture. Cognitive performance, postural sway, and subjective sleep quality, were assessed 30 min after waking.
Results: The optimal drink resulted in a significantly shorter sleep onset latency (9.9 ± 12.3 min) when compared to both the least optimal drink (26.1 ± 37.4 min) and the placebo drink (19.6 ± 32.0 min). No other measures of sleep, cognitive performance, postural sway, and subjective sleep quality were different between trials.
Conclusion: A combination of ingredients, optimised to enhance sleep, significantly reduced sleep onset latency. No detrimental effects on sleep architecture, subjective sleep quality or next day performance were observed.
Keywords: nutrition; polysomnography; sleep onset latency.