Eat Your Way to Better Sleep

Eat Your Way to Better Sleep

Eat your way to better sleep. It sounds unlikely doesn’t it? Insomnia and poor sleep have risen and risen during the course of this pandemic. Weight gain and poor sleep have gripped many of us. Curvy/ cuddly is a great look. This article is about health only, if you are happy and healthy, size is not the issue but its good to know just how much body, mind and sleep health are all bed mates. This article takes a look at.

  • How sleep can impact your diet.

  • Some examples of how diet impacts your sleep.

  • Links for advice and inspiration

  • List of foods that aid sleep

How sleep can impact your diet

It’s not just about the burning of calories while we sleep.

 

  •  Sleep lowers cortisol levels in our body (the stress hormone that leads to weight gain, esp. belly fat) less cortisol = less cravings.
  • Good sleep helps us make wiser decisions when it comes to food choices. Less likely to give in to cravings for unhealthy food.
  • the more belly fat we have the more unbalanced our appetite regulating leptin and ghrelin hormones become.

Some Examples of how diet impacts your sleep 

  • Gut Brain Axis- our stomachs and brains are connected. The more unbalanced these microorganisms etc. the harder it is for  our central nervous system to cope with stress and the more difficult it is to sleep.
  • Carbohydrates –  High amounts of “carbs” do make you sleepy. But if you eat them late at night chances are that you will wake up more often and not get enough deep sleep. Deep sleep is vital to healthy functioning. It’s your body’s time to recharge and re-energize, recover and repair AND it also boosts your immune system! But a moderate amount of carbs help sleep. they stimulate insulin which helps us  by clearing the way for tryptophan to reach the brain. Tryptophan aids sleep.
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weight management tips
  •  Protein – Too much protein in the evening or night stimulates the brain and lowers your ability to sleep and its quality. It’s hard to digest. Better deep sleep is good for muscle growth, so if your working out , less protein might give you better results.
  •  Fat, sugar, salt – Cooking oils, processed meats, cakes and all can worsen inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation as in fibromyalgia can be too painful to sleep through and stress you out. You miss out on getting enough Rapid Eye Movement (dreaming) sleep. REM sleep releases endorphins, which are not only great for anxiety but pain relievers as well.

Inspiration 

I love what Ian Taverner is doing and creating with https://www.facebook.com/Cookfulness/ COOKFULNESS (@cookfulness) • Instagram photos and videos Dealing with chronic pain with  a mindset of maximizing what you can achieve, boosting your overall wellbeing and  embodying how nutrition, mindset, action and mental health can be optimized (and fun!).

 

https://twitter.com/cookfulness

Balance is key

We need to look at our overall consumption in relation to our health. Your nutritional habits could be undermining the quantity and quality of your sleep. For more information and advice, I recommend Laurann O’Reilly, why not check out her website?  Nutrition by Laurann

https://nutritionbylaurann.ie/
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Foods to Aid Sleep

The keyword for this list is moderation! Its also worth bearing in mind to not eat or drink a few hours before bed. Research suggests that having your largest meal during the day and a lighter evening meal can support better sleep.

 Eating tryptophan helps us make serotonin, a relaxing, anti-anxiety neurotransmitter. Calcium, Magnesium and potassium boost serotonin and help us stay asleep. Our bodies use serotonin to make melatonin. Melatonin controls our sleep cycles.  .Here are some foods with those magic ingredients.

 

Tryptophan Calcium Magnesium Potasssium
Chicken/turkey
Eggs
Cherries
Milk/yoghurt
Almonds
Kale/ Spinach
Bananas
Kiwi Fruit
Porridge/ Oatmeal

 

So certain foods in certain amounts can help or hinder sleep. You can optimize the best diet for yourself to maximize your quality of life. Consult a nutritionist or your GP if you have any  concerns. Some foods will actively support sleep as part of a balanced diet. Moderation is key and looking after your nutrition will help you get the quality nights rest you deserve.

Why not give your mind that welcome rest?  It will help you improve your nutrition and ultimately improve your sleep.

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