How do your eating habits affect sleep?
Is your diet affecting your sleep?
Do you work long hours? Eat your evening meal late at night? Maybe you enjoy a glass of wine to wind down before bed? Or with a few snacks thrown in as a reward.
Most of us experience the effect of food and drink on our sleep.
This blog will help you understand when you eat and what you eat has a big impact on the quality of your sleep.
Let’s explore that...
What are your body clocks?
· Your gut has its own peripheral clock. So, when you skip meals and eat late meals, this clock will go out of sync with your central clock.
· Your central clock in your brain, is driven by sunlight exposure- using night and day as important cues. To optimise sleep these clocks should work in harmony.
How does caffeine impact sleep?
· Caffeine is a big culprit for disrupting your sleep patterns.
· Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 7 hours affecting your circadian clock.
So, the effect of your mid-afternoon caffeine pick -me -up will linger through to bedtime.
The hormone adenosine slowly builds up in your body throughout the day making you sleepier as the day progresses to bedtime. Any caffeine in your system blocks the build-up of adenosine. So, this means you don’t feel tired enough to fall asleep naturally at bedtime.
How does alcohol impact sleep?
Are you partial to a glass of wine before bed?
Most people think of alcohol as a sleep aid. But it has a more sedative effect which knocks the part of your brain out called the cortex and it definitely doesn’t produce quality sleep.
Alcohol causes your sleep to be interspersed with waking episodes, so you don’t get the full 90 min cycles as described in my previous blog which are essential to help you get deep sleep and feel refreshed in the morning. You won’t remember waking up so, won’t understand why you don’t feel bright and alert the following morning.
What are the best foods for sleep?
Research has shown poor quality sleep affects our food choices (Jean Phillipe Chaput, 2004).
Sleeping for less hours, waking up through the night, and going to bed late encourage you to eat more snacks in the evening as you get the late-night munchies. The snacks of choice late at night are usually crisps, nuts, pizza or chocolate, yes?
What does your dinner plate look like? Aim for a quarter of your plate to have protein foods, a quarter of your plate to have starchy foods and a half of your plate to have veg or salad.
Top Tips for a better sleep
· Enjoy caffeine drinks up to lunch time and try decaffeinated alternatives
· Aim to avoid alcoholic drinks before bedtime
· Try and choose a balanced evening meal
Enjoy a great night’s sleep
Say Yes to a Healthier You!
Discover the energy to do more of what you enjoy in life
If you enjoyed reading this blog, you may enjoy other blogs in this series.
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04/07/2020 Copyright Shamshad Shah 2020