How Nutrition Can Impact Your Sleep Quality
The quality of your sleep can significantly impact your overall health, energy levels, productivity, and mood the next day. Some of the main factors that affect how well you sleep are the environment you’re sleeping in, your activity level the night before, and your diet. This article explores how you can modify your diet to improve your sleep quality and help you feel better during the day.
Connection Between Nutrition and Sleep
In general, when you’re well-nourished, you sleep better. That’s because your body functions at an optimal level—including your immune system and metabolism. You also feel more awake and alert during waking hours because of these systems, which means fewer distractions keep you from falling asleep.
On a more granular level, certain nutrients impact your sleep quality. For example, magnesium is an essential mineral for muscle relaxation and proper nerve function. If you’re deficient in magnesium—which can happen if you don’t eat enough leafy greens or whole grains—you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. Magnesium deficiency can also lead to restless leg syndrome and muscle cramps during sleep; these symptoms can be treated with supplements of magnesium glycinate and/or malate (available at most health food stores).
Foods to Avoid
There are many foods you should avoid eating before bed. These include spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods. Drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol can cause your body to release adrenaline, increasing heart rate and blood pressure levels and preventing sleep. Fatty foods stay in your stomach longer, causing it to produce a hormone called gastrin that makes you feel more awake. To get a good night’s sleep every night, avoid eating these types of food before going to bed.
Fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol can lead to heartburn or indigestion. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid gets into your esophagus. This feeling of burning discomfort can happen when you eat meals high in fat and/or do not drink enough water during a meal. It also happens due to stress eating or drinking too much alcohol.
What to Choose Instead
Think about avoiding eating large meals within a few hours of bedtime. In addition, it’s important to stick to a consistent routine so your body can learn when it’s time for bed and sleep. If you want to get better sleep, it’s important to eat healthy foods high in fiber. You should also regularly include lean proteins such as fish, poultry, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, and tofu in your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also good choices because they are high in vitamins, which will help you feel more energized during the day.
Studies have shown a correlation between poor dietary habits and sleeping problems and other health issues like depression and anxiety. If you eat properly, it’s easier to maintain your energy levels throughout the day, prevent tiredness, and sleep better at night. Certain foods impact hormone levels in our bodies and keep us alert or sleepy.