The 2013 article in Appetite said that a deficiency in certain nutrients was linked to specific sleep durations. Shorter sleep was linked to a lower intake of vitamin C, tap water, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and selenium. Longer sleep (more than 9 hours) was associated with lower intake of theobromine and choline. Alcohol was linked to longer sleep duration. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, adults needing 9 hours of sleep each night could be a sign of a sleep disorder or medical issue.
Even though it’s recommended for you to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, it’s also a matter of sleep quality. According to a 2016 review in Advances in Nutrition, you need slow-wave sleep (also known as deep sleep) and REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep each night to strengthen your memory function. The more fat and carbs you eat, the less sleep you’ll get in these stages. Highly processed and sugary carbs can interfere with sleep quality, but adding more fish and vegetables can improve sleep. You’ll need to find the right balance of protein in your diet if you want to sleep well. Eating less than 16% of your calories from protein makes it harder to get to sleep, but eating more than 20% of your diet from protein could have you waking up through the night.