You might think that what you eat during the day won’t affect how you sleep at night, but that is false. To perform well at work or even at home with your family, you need to have a good night’s sleep for at least 6 hours. A lot of people, however, are having a hard time doing that, and that’s where healthy eating comes in. Here’s how sleep and healthy eating are related and combined:
- Healthy eating leads to better sleep
Your poor choice of food intake during the day can cause poor and interrupted sleep patterns during the night. You may have consumed food high in fat and low in fiber, which could prevent you from getting into a deep sleep as your body will likely work twice as hard to digest, for example, the heavy burger that you ate before going to bed. Sleep lets your body rest, which means that your normal bodily functions, such as digestion, operate only at minimum levels. If your body needs to digest heavy food while it should be at rest, chances are that your sleep will be interrupted.
Instead of eating heavy, unhealthy snacks before bed, you can have light snacks like yogurt, a banana, apricot strips, and others that can be found in this healthy snacks guide from SnackNation.
The food you must consume to encourage better sleep should be those that will also make you lose weight. When you lose body fat and weight, you are reducing the risk of having sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea. If you eat more healthy foods overall, you are indeed improving the quality of your sleep. Here are things you should eat and avoid consuming:
- Eat more vegetables and fruits, and consume more protein and whole grains.
- Avoid fatty and processed foods like burgers and fast food meals.
- Avoid high sugar foods like creamy desserts and synthetic fruit juices.
- Certain foods and drinks can keep you up at night
There are also specific types of food or beverages that will keep you up at night. If you drink coffee before bed, don’t expect to sleep for the next few hours because coffee contains caffeine, which provides you with energy. Caffeine also makes you more alert, which is terrible news for your sleep. Other drinks that contain caffeine are sodas, tea, hot cocoa, or anything that includes chocolate.
You should also avoid foods at night that have lactose because they cause diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramps, which can disrupt your sleep. Foods with lactose include cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt. Avoiding or limiting the intake of these kinds of foods before going to bed will undoubtedly improve your sleep for a more productive day ahead.
You can check some great sleep studies to help you monitor your sleeping patterns and decide whether you need professional intervention or just a simple change in diet.
- Proper hydration leads to improved sleep
Water is an essential sustenance for your body that tends to get overlooked. When you are dehydrated before going to sleep, your mouth and nasal passages might become dry, leading to a parched throat, which could cause you to wake up. Dehydration may also cause muscle cramps, which could wake you up in the middle of the night with excruciating pain. With proper hydration, it is less likely for your sleep to become interrupted.
- Binge drinking can disrupt your REM sleep
If your lifestyle does not permit you to totally get rid of liquor, then you can limit your consumption of alcohol instead. While alcohol can make you sleep if you consume it in large amounts, when the effects wear off, you may have the tendency to visit the bathroom two to three times at night. Moreover, alcohol also disrupts your Rapid Eye Movement or REM sleep, which is known as the most restorative stage of sleep. Having your REM sleep disrupted can lead to a cycle of unhealthy sleeping patterns that can affect your overall well-being.
Through a combination of healthy eating and good sleeping habits, your overall health will slowly show signs of improvement, such as your belly trimming down, your muscles starting to show, and having better moods that could enhance your perspective and attitude towards life. As a result, you can perform better at work while also being able to give proper care and love to your family. Your sleep and your diet go hand in hand, so you cannot neglect one or the other in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle.