How Nutrition Affects Your Sleep

When thinking about good nutrition, you may think of clean eating, weight loss, and exercise. But what about sleep? It is important to remember that all of our body’s systems are interrelated, and sleep is key to maintaining a healthy, happy lifestyle. Read on for our tips on the best way to eat for a good night’s sleep!

Consistent eating habits are key for quality sleep

You’ve probably heard of the circadian rhythm. This is your internal clock that controls your natural energy levels throughout the day (and night). Having a consistent circadian rhythm has a lot to do with good sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.

 

But did you know that other factors, such as when you eat throughout the day, can throw off your circadian rhythm, too? It is important to eat evenly spaced, healthy meals throughout the day, about every 5 hours. This will help keep your body and mind in its natural rhythm, and will help keep your hormones and blood sugar levels in check so that you can have a restful night’s sleep.

Cortisol’s role

Speaking of hormones, cortisol is an extremely important hormone in controlling sleep, and according to the American Nutrition Association, it can be heavily impacted by what (and when) you eat. It’s no coincidence that healthy, clean foods such as protein and vegetables lower your cortisol levels, which make it easier to go to sleep. Eating sugary breakfasts and skipping meals throughout the day cause spikes in cortisol levels, which can negatively affect your ability to fall—and stay—asleep.

Other sleep tips tied to nutrition:

 

  • Exercise during the day, 3-4 times a week.

 

  • Cut back on caffeine. It is recommended to not exceed 3 cups of coffee per day. Even if you drink it in the morning, it can still affect your ability to go to sleep!

 

  • Avoid sugary snacks before bedtime.

A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for brain function, mental and emotional state, and a healthy life. By understanding how your eating habits affect your sleep, you are one step closer to your best sleep yet!

If you are having sleep problems or think you may have a sleep disorder, sleep therapy may be for you! Give us a call to schedule an appointment today.