Diets high in saturated fat have been shown to cause sleepiness during the day, but a whole food, plant-based diet may reduce the symptoms for people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a common sleep-related breathing disorder. A pilot study found that eating a whole food, plant-based diet for just 21 days had an effect similar to stimulant medications like modafinil in reducing daytime sleepiness. These results may be due to weight loss, an increased production of melatonin which improves sleep quality, and a healthier gut microbiome.
Patel K, Lawson M, Cheung J. Whole-food plant-based diet reduces daytime sleepiness in patients with OSA. Sleep Medicine. 2023. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2023.05.007.