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How Diet Affects Sleep Quality

How Diet Affects Sleep Quality
By Ellie Porter, managing editor of SleepHelp.org
 
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Food has a lot of different effects on our body, depending on what type of food we eat. It gives us the energy we need to get out of bed in the morning while also nourishing every part of our body. What you might not realize is that what we put in our bodies has a huge impact on the amount of and quality of sleep we get. If you want to make sure you are eating foods that are good for you and good for your sleep, keep reading!

Some foods and substances, like caffeine or nicotine, can delay your sleep for hours after you use them. Caffeine stays in your system for up to 8 hours after you drink it, so keep your coffee or energy drink intake to the mornings whenever possible.

You can also help yourself regulate when you will feel tired by avoiding foods that are high in sugar, which will cause your blood sugar to rise and fall throughout the day. If you find yourself needing an energy boost in the early afternoon, as we so often do, try doing about 10 minutes of exercise like jumping jacks. This can give you the endorphin rush that you need to get through to the end of the workday and help you to sleep later on.

You will also struggle to sleep if you are hungry.  While eating late at night can cause problems for your digestion,  going to bed hungry isn't a good option for you either. If you need to eat a late night snack, try to make it something that combines dairy and cereal.

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Other foods, like foods with spices or acidic ingredients you aren’t used to eating, can cause you to struggle to stay asleep once you’re in bed. Alcohol is also often thought of as something that helps you to get to sleep, and it can.  however, it will also cause you problems when it comes to staying asleep. The more you drink, the more likely you are to need to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. This will lead to several disruptions of your sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and miserable in the morning.

Anything that causes you to have indigestion at night is something you should try to avoid whenever possible,  no matter how delicious. The more uncomfortable you are, the lower the quality of sleep you will get.

The place we lay our head at night also affects the quality of sleep we have. If your bed is not comfortable, you are going to struggle to get to sleep. No if’s, ands or buts about it. You should be replacing your bed at least once every ten years, and your pillows every three years in order to feel as well rested as possible. You might also find that a weighted blanket will help keep you grounded in the present moment and fall asleep easier at night.

Listen to your body. It will tell you when you have eaten or drunk something but doesn't agree with it. Try your best to avoid those foods whenever possible in order to be your best self.

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Sunday, 21 July 2019

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