September 24, 2018 mdchino

How Your Diet Affects Sleep

In our blogs, we often mention the importance of sleep within a healthy lifestyle and/or weight loss plan. Sleep affects your energy levels and metabolism, and obviously impacts your ability to carry out all the tasks on your to-do list (including exercise). Inadequate sleep can trigger weight gain, cravings, and problems at work. How you spend one third of your life really does matter!

On the other hand, we all have issues in our lives that can affect the amount or quality of sleep that we’re getting. As you pursue a healthier diet or weight loss plan, keep these dietary tips in mind – not just for your waistline, but for your sleep habits and overall health.

Limit caffeine intake. It’s no mystery why caffeine would keep you up at night. Keep in mind many common beverages and foods contain caffeine, and avoid it after 3 pm.

Opt for herbal tea. A caffeine-free, herbal tea such as chamomile might be the perfect way to relax and unwind.

Try some tryptophan. This amino acid is known for triggering relaxed, sleepy feelings. Snack on a bit of turkey or cheese, or a handful of pistachios, about two to three hours before bed.

Consider magnesium. Magnesium might also help you sleep, so your evening meal could include milk, yogurt, nuts, or legumes.

Or, go for melatonin. You’ve probably heard of melatonin supplements, and how they can help you sleep. But for some people, supplements are too strong, and it’s not a good idea to use them long-term. Many foods actually provide appropriate, small doses of melatonin, such as raspberries and almonds.

Ask whether you’re just thirsty. Some people grab a midnight snack out of habit, when they’re really just thirsty. When a craving strikes, ask yourself if hydration is what you actually need.

Avoid large meals before bed. We’ve made a few recommendations for light snacks that are acceptable within two to three hours of bedtime. But do avoid full meals late in the day, because they only rev up your metabolism.

As always, give us a call if you have questions about your nutrition plan or weight loss diet. We can make recommendations to help you achieve your goals, while also thriving through a healthy lifestyle.

 

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