Did you eat well? I mean did you sleep well? Confused? We may not realise but the relation between healthy eating and a restful sleep is almost inseparable. What we eat influences the quality of our sleep. So, if you are facing sleep issues you should take a look at your eating patterns and food choices you make. In this article, I will take you through a few basics about following an eating habit which doesn’t come in the way of a good night’s sleep.
Choose foods that promote sleep hormone: Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by our body. Secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, it is also known as the ‘sleep hormone’. Some foods naturally contain melatonin and are therefore great to have as an evening meal or as a light night time snack. These include bananas, porridge oats and sweet corn.
Also, certain foods which contain Tryptophan can also be eaten in the evening, as these helps induce production of serotonin, which is required to make melatonin. These include dairy products, soy, nuts, seafood, chicken, whole grains, beans and pulses, eggs, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
As most of these foods are high on protein, it is important to consume in moderation and to eat at least 2-3 hours prior to sleep so that it does not create any discomfort.
What to avoid: Always avoid food with high sugar or fat content as it can cause sleep disturbances. Also, skip that cup of coffee in the night. The stimulants in the coffee will not let you sleep!
Incorporate nuts in your daily diet: Include 7-8 nuts – Almonds, Walnuts, Cashew, or Groundnuts in your daily diet. Also, Chia, Flax seeds should be incorporated into your daily nutrition intake. Rich in nutrients, they are linked to additional health benefits like lowering of blood sugar levels and protection against certain types of cancers.
What is the best time to eat? The ideal time to have lunch is to have it about 3.5 to 4.5 hours after breakfast to maintain steady blood glucose and keep hunger manageable. The best time to have dinner is at least 2-3 hours before going to bed to promote optimal sleep, efficient use of calories and to promote healthy digestion and repair. It is important to resist the temptation of desserts or fried food as they can disrupt your sleep, besides causing heaviness and indigestion in the stomach.
- The key to eating right is to love what you eat and also to eat mindfully by fully focusing on your meal. So, minimise distractions, including television, when you eat.
- Stress can lead to overeating and disturb a good night’s sleep. It is therefore important to follow a de-stressing routine. One of the easiest ways to de-stress is to do mindful meditation with Dozee from the comforts of home.
- Always eat in moderation.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Pregnant women and those with any kind of medical condition are advised to consult their physicians before making any changes to their diet plan.
About Ranjani Raman: Ms. Ranjani Raman is a Dietitian, Child Nutritionist, and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is also certified by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for lectureship all over India and holds a life membership in the Indian Dietetic Association. Her passion towards the subject made her start her own Nutrition services company called Nutrition Tattva in 2013, based in Bangalore, through which she and her team offers various services such as Nutrition counselling, personalized diet plans, corporate and school nutrition programmes. She has over 7 years of experience in the field of therapeutic nutrition, preventive health, diabetes management, food testing, and nutrition labels.
About Dozee: Dozee the multi-functional health monitor that helps you track your sleep patterns, heart rate, respiration and even stress levels in a most convenient way. Simply place the device below the mattress and sleep on your bed. Dozee also provides solutions to lifestyle problems such as stress through its guided meditation feature. To know more, visit www.dozee.io