Subject: 6 Ways to Sleep Better
SLEEP! It’s the ultimate fat loss, energy, mojo and magic health pill.
Quality sleep helps us recover, keeps us healthy and happy. But, bad sleep; especially if it’s chronic bad sleep, wreaks havoc on our bodies. A couple nights short or interrupted sleep puts us on the road to illness, moodiness and accelerated old age.
We are so lucky to have so much research on sleep! We’ve learned what a great nights sleep looks like, how to create a sleep cave and how to create a sleep ritual.
Now onto the nitty gritty: WHAT TO EAT FOR AWESOME SLEEP?
We can eat to refresh our sleep cycle! Eating well can actually dictate our body’s Circadian Rhythm. Our Circadian Rhythm is our body’s clock. The kinds of foods we eat, and how and when we eat dictates how well our clock runs.
If you want awesome sleep follow these healthy eating rules:
1. Keep Alcohol, Caffeine Moderate.
Although a alcohol seems to make us feel sleepy, the sugar + alcohol is hard to metabolize. It actually disrupts restful sleep. Even 1-2 drinks can put a complete stop to the deep sleep that you need to recover. Caffeine works much in the same way, taken too late will keep you wired!
Solution: Limit the alcohol you have, and stop caffeine by 2pm. Enjoy your coffee in the morningJ .
2. Eat Protein During the Day
Research shows that eating a high protein diet improves sleep. While sugar causes the hormone cortisol to rise and disrupts sleep.
Low glycemic index foods such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, and most vegetables tend to lower the cortisol levels.
High glycemic index foods, such as sugar and refined starches, cause cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol keeps us up at night and sleepy in the morning!
For individuals who start the day with a normal cortisol level, starchy or sugary breakfast food choices can cause the cortisol to rise and remain elevated all day - and all night.
Solution: Eat a protein rich breakfast in the morning to improve your circadian rhythm and increase your alertness and energy in the morning.
3. GOOD Carbs vs. Sugar
We all need carbs! Even if you are on a low carb diet you do need some carbs to regulate your circadian rhythm. Your brain converts carbs to serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) at night. The high glycemic foods with processed sugar keep us wired and raise our body temp. This will make us restless at night.
Solution: It’s a great idea to have quality carbs with dinner. Stick to sweet potatoes, squash, and other whole food starches. Avoid processed sugars such as cookies, pastries, ice cream and chocolate before bed.
4. Eat Healthy Fats
Omega 3’s aid in your sleep processes. More fat keeps your energy level stable for longer, and it takes energy to sleep efficiently.
Solution: Make sure you’re getting good fats with dinner. Coconut oil, krill oil, and grass fed butter are great options. If you’re hungry before bed and worry that it will wake you up having a small amount of coconut oil can help. It won’t spike insulin and affect other hormones.
5. EAT 2-3 hours before bed
Eating lots of food at night is linked to disruptions and circadian rhythms and hormones. Eating also raises our body temperature which keeps disrupts sleep.
Solution: Be sure to eat 2-3 hours before bed so that you can digest and food won’t disrupt sleep. Eat a smaller sized dinner with a blend of protein, fats and carbs.
If you must eat a late dinner, try to eat a large lunch, smalls snacks in afternoon and then a small meal at dinner. Avoid eating the bulk of your calories at night.
6. Take Magnesium (and Zinc)
Magnesium calms the nervous system and fights off inflammation; both of which can keep us up at night. A recent study showed that taking a magnesium supplement improved sleep by 60% in individuals who had poor sleep!
Many foods contain magnesium. These foods include dark leafy greens like spinach, nuts and seeds, chocolate, fish, legumes, and rice. Yet, it is hard to obtain enough magnesium from food alone.
Solution: Eat high quality mg rich foods with dinner. Also, take a quality magnesium supplement 30min – 1 hr before bed. If taking the tablet form, stick to magnesium that end in “-ate” (don’t take supplements made strictly of oxide. Although blends are fine). We’ve also had great success with topical magnesium creams and a powdered drink supplement called Natural Calm.
Sleep plays an important part in our homeostasis! Be sure to EAT your way to great sleep!!!!