Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body and overall health. But did you know that roughly 62% of adults worldwide feel that they don’t sleep well when they go to bed? Sleep is an essential function that allows the body to repair, re-energize, and regulate, leaving you refreshed and alert for the next day ahead. So, how can you catch more of those ZZZ’s? In this blog post, we’re sharing four simple diet tips to eat your way to a better night’s rest.
Studies have found that eating less fibre, more saturated fat, and more sugar is associated with lighter, less restorative, and more disrupted sleep. Although it is still unknown how fibre influences sleep, scientists believe it could come down to how your body digests different types of carbs. Fibre-rich carbs such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are broken down slowly and don’t cause huge spikes in your blood sugar levels. The Heart Foundation recommends that adults should aim to consume approximately 25–30 grams of fibre daily.
How can you incorporate more fibrous foods into your daily diet?
Boosting your B vitamin intake
- Snack throughout the day on dried fruits, nuts, or wholemeal snacks
- Swap white rice for brown
- Substitute multi-grain bread to wholemeal
- Enjoy foods that are delicious but are still good for you. Our Toffee crunch cookie has 14.5 grams of fibre and it's delicious. Who said fibrous foods have to be boring!
Did you know B vitamins improve your body’s ability to regulate its use of sleep-inducing tryptophan and produce more system-calming serotonin? If your diet lacks B vitamins you may be seeing a direct influence on the quality of your sleep. B vitamins and magnesium play an important role in the synthesis of melatonin – the hormone responsible for inducing restful sleep.
B vitamins can be found naturally through:
- Dark leafy green vegetables
- Dairy and eggs
- Chicken breast
- Banana’s and potatoes
In terms of magnesium, dieticians say consuming a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds provides about one hundred percent of your daily needs. The best thing about pumpkin seeds is that they are so versatile you can practically toss them into any dish or snack on them whole throughout the day.
Cut the coffee and alcohol
Although a glass of wine (or three…) may help you fall asleep quickly, the quality of your sleep will be felt the next day. Alcohol consumption tends to leave you feeling lethargic and fatigue. Not only that, but you’ll wake up feeling extremely dehydrated. Ditch the alcohol and turn to herbal beverages. Warm milky drinks or herbal teas are the best beverage option before bed. Chamomile, valerian root, or lavender teas are perfect relaxants that can help to calm you and get you ready for a goodnight’s sleep. Remember to avoid any caffeinated drinks before bed as they will interfere with the process of falling asleep.
Time to unwind
When you’re trying to unwind and retire for the evening, you’ll want to ensure you feel as light as a feather. Where possible, always try to eat at least two hours before heading to bed. Our bodies fall asleep at a specific temperature, but digestion raises our body temperature and disrupts the sleep cycle. Ensure your food has enough time to digest before you go to bed.
As well as the timing of your evening meal, try keeping your dinner lighter than your daytime meals. Meals that consist of vegetables and steamed fish are easy to digest making it easier for you to unwind. A good rule of thumb to follow is….
“Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dinner like a pauper.”
We often don’t make the connection between what we eat and how we sleep. But the correlation between dietary intake and quality of sleep is quite evident. Sleep is vital for overall good health and well-being so any simple diet tips that can help assist in a better night’s sleep is always a good idea. Try these four tips out and let us know you sleep.