Relation Between Nutrition & Sleep Quality

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Struggling to switch off at the end of the day? If you have tried every sleep remedy under the sun and still can’t seem to doze off, it may be because you are eating the wrong foods. It’s no secret that both nutrition and sleep play a fundamental role in our health, but the complex and important relationships between them are frequently overlooked. Take a look at how you can improve your circadian rhythm with the best and worst foods for sleep.

5 Foods Good for Sleep:

Cherries: They are known for being one of the best foods for sleep as they naturally contain melatonin. 

Soothing teas: One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to drink a cup of soothing tea around an hour before you plan to fall asleep.  For best sleeping results, you should avoid teas with caffeine and gravitate towards chamomile or passion flower teas.

Unprocessed Carbs: Whole grain bread, rice, oatmeal are just some of the options that you can choose from. They help in promoting longer and deeper sleep

Turkey: Not only is turkey an excellent source of protein, it’s also great at encouraging sleepiness. This is because turkey is high in tryptophan – an essential amino acid that acts as a natural mood regulator.

Nuts: Nuts are full of heart-healthy fats and proteins that will help reduce inflammation as you sleep. Nuts have the added benefit of boosting your serotonin levels and balancing out your hormones, which also help with sleep. 

5 Foods Bad for Sleep:

Fried food/meats: Fried foods and meats are a bad option if you plan to get a good night’s sleep. It’s very difficult to digest those foods, so your body will be working in overdrive if you eat it before going to sleep.

Sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods send blood sugar levels spiking at first, which then crash while you are sleeping. A crash in blood sugar alerts the adrenals that there is an emergency, which in turn increases the cortisol levels and wakes the body from slumber.

Chocolate/Coffee: The fact that caffeinated drinks like coffee, soda, tea, and energy drinks should be avoided before going to sleep should come as no surprise. Caffeine raises your adrenaline levels and causes you to feel awake and alert rather than tired and sleepy. 

Spicy foods: Spicy foods are known to cause acid reflux and indigestion, which tend to get worse when you lay down. Therefore, the worst time to eat spicy foods is at night before you plan to turn in for the night. Add this to the high levels of energy required to digest the spices and you can kiss goodbye to a deep sleep. 

Salty snacks: Too much salt dehydrates the body and increases water retention, causing tiredness and fatigue. Snacking on salty foods before bedtime leads to disrupted sleep.

Nutrition can influence the quality of your sleep, and certain food and drinks can make it easier or harder to get the sleep that you need. At the same time, getting enough sleep is associated with maintaining a healthier body weight and can be beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight.

If you need help in recognizing the opportunities to eat smarter, sleep better, and live a healthier life call 973-235-9393 and schedule an appointment today!

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