Sleep Matters

Does your diet affect the way you sleep?

Have you heard “you are what you eat,” and it may just be true? Our body is composed of various chemicals and vitamins, which we get from the food we eat. These nutrients help our body to function properly, including sleep. If you consume a diet low in vitamin D or magnesium, this can affect your sleeping patterns.

Most people don’t realise that their diet and lifestyle choices can be affecting the quality of their sleep. In fact, your habits could be responsible for your lack of sleep without you even realising it. Here are some ways your diet may affect the way you sleep.

The two types of sleep!

Sleep falls into two categories. The first is REM sleep, or rapid eye movement. The other type of sleep is called Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM). Your heart rate and breathing become slower during this time, which can last up to an hour in a healthy young adult. Each type of sleep is vital for your health.

Of the above two types of sleep, REM sleep is most important for getting restful sleep. During this period, you are dreaming, and your brain is active. If you do not get enough REM sleep each night, you can have difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or even be moody all day.

How does your diet affect your sleep?

You may not be aware of this, but your diet plays a significant role in how well you sleep at night. Studies suggest that eating the wrong foods can cause poor sleep. Conversely, establishing healthy habits around food consumption could mean the difference between sleeping like a baby or tossing and turning all night.

Eating habits play a significant role in our lives, and they can have an impact on many aspects of our health. Sometimes it isn’t easy to stay healthy and eat the right things, but you can make it easier with some self-discipline.

Best diet to help you sleep well

You had a long day, you’re tired, and all you want to do is get some rest. But when it comes down to it, your body doesn’t really want to sleep. You toss, turn and jump out of bed for a snack because you’re hungry (or so we tell ourselves). 

You can see the power of what you’re eating when it comes to your sleep. The food you eat before bedtime is just as important as the number of calories you consume during the day. 

Fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are excellent sources of magnesium, calcium, and melatonin vital for sleeping. 

A balanced balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can aid in sleeping better. A balanced diet reduces the chance of developing heartburn and reflux. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right foods and avoid poor eating choices before going to bed.

What foods will keep you awake at night

“Sugar rush” is a phrase used about a child’s hyperactive behaviour after consuming an abundance of sugar. However, sugar can have a profound effect on adult behaviour as well. It may not seem like it at first glance, but sugar can actually make you feel more awake when your energy levels are low. If you drink alcohol, you’re likely to wake up more frequently during the night.

You probably don’t give much thought to what you eat and drink before bed. Everybody knows that eating before going to bed is a big no-no. Some people may choose a snack like an apple or crackers, while others might prefer a warm glass of milk. But some foods are better left alone before heading off to dreamland as they affect the quality of your sleep.

Does an unhealthy diet cause sleep disorders?

Sleep problems are a leading cause of stress, depression, and anxiety in modern society. 

Studies have shown a direct correlation between obesity and obstructive sleep apnea.

Food impacts our well-being, and the same goes for sleep. A diet with abundant fresh, whole foods and plenty of leafy greens can help you sleep better than a diet full of processed foods and sweets.

A poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle is the leading cause of sleep disorders. The first thing to note is that no single food or nutrient can cause insomnia; everyone reacts differently to different foods. There are, however, some ways you can reduce the likelihood of an unhealthy diet causing sleep disorders by eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods and keeping your portion sizes in check.

If you suffer from a sleep disorder, you must start eating healthy foods and follow a proper exercise routine. You will overcome sleep disorders such as insomnia and chronic fatigue if you start eating well. 

The importance of good sleep!

Sleep can be hard to prioritise, especially in our age of always-on technology. But when it comes to health and wellness, you should not ignore rest. 

The average person needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. While some people can get by on fewer hours, getting that number of hours every night is necessary for a healthy body and mind. Getting enough sleep allows the body to repair itself, replenish its energy levels, and rebuild damaged tissues, so you wake up feeling refreshed instead of exhausted.

A good night’s sleep can help jumpstart your day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get between seven and nine hours per night. But most people are not getting enough quality shut-eye.

Sleeping well is crucial for your mental health and wellness, as well as your physical health. 

The importance of rest cannot be understated. Our brains are incredibly active while we sleep, consolidating memories and learning new information into usable data. 

Photo by Claudia Mañas on Unsplash

Other ways to improve your sleeping habits

  • Speaking with your physician to improve your sleeping habits and nutritional intake is a good start. Your doctor will help you identify your sleep issues and sleep disorders. They will suggest a program for you towards better sleep and healthy living.
  • Making your bedroom more conducive can ensure quality sleep. For example, you can ensure your room temperature is balanced to aid in your sleep.
  • Another tip for improving your sleep is investing in a good mattress. A good quality mattress is an excellent investment. It will not only provide comfort but also restore your health every night.
  • A regular sleep routine is an essential aspect of good sleep hygiene. Sleeping at least 7-9 hours for adults is recommended. It includes the two sleeping phases- REM and NREM.
  • Allowing yourself enough time to unwind from the day’s activity and getting ready to go to bed is another aspect of good sleep hygiene. It includes avoiding food and drinks like caffeinated drinks or spicy food that make sleeping difficult.