When working with my nutrition clients, time and time again a big road block to their nutritional goals keeps coming up; poor sleep quality.
Poor sleep can disrupt our lives on so many levels, and when we have any self improvement goals it can put a big spanner in the works for developing the discipline we need for forming new habits.
I struggled with sleep a lot myself over the years, from the expected disrupted sleep while my daughters where infants, to the less expected adjustment back to having sleep hours when they settled into a routine, then struggling with PTSD induced night terrors, as well as disturbed sleep caused by anxiety, over stimulation and of course bad diet.
It’s been a long journey getting to actual restful sleep. And I can very much say its been life changing! which is why i implore over and over to my clients to focus on getting their sleep on point with these easy to implement tips:
Get the balence; good sleep comes from good hormones. Eating foods throughout the day and especially within your bedtime routine, that either contain or promote the production of hormones that relax your body down into a happy calm and content state will lead to not only getting to sleep faster but a deeper more refreshing sleep.
The main sleepy hormone is Melatonin
It is so crucial in a healthy sleep cycle that a man made version of it is often prescribed for insomnia. However before you rush out to get a prescription, there are ways to get it from food. Try adding these foods to your diet and see if your sleep improves (taking into account any allergies/intolerances you have)
- Almond and Pistachios
- Goji Berries
- Tart Cherries
You can eat any of these as snack through out the day, or combine them to make a yummy homemade trail mix.
Another hormone that helps will good quality sleep is the well known ‘happy hormone’ Serotonin. Low serotonin levels have been shown to link with depression linked insomnia. To increase your serotonin levels look towards foods high in tryptophan, an amnio acid essential in the synthesis of serotonin.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds, walnut sand Edamame all make great snack foods, again add them to a trail mix to get a great mixture of benefits. As for oats, either have them as porridge in the morning or enjoy a baked oats as a small dessert after your evening meal including tofu of-course.
Aside from getting those chill hormone levels up and working there are a few other wonderful gems from nature that can help our body relax down throughout the day and at night.
For instance, lets look at Lettuce, yes lettuce. Have you ever noticed the whitish clear sap with in lettuce? Well if you have, that is called Lactur Carium. Lactur Carium sedates the nervous system, helping you feel calm and relaxed, undoing some of the damage out overstimulated lives creates, making it that little bit easier to snooze off at night. Include a side or main salad with as many meals as you can to get the benefits, and make sure you have a mixture of varieties to get a balance of different nutritional advantages. You can even pop some lettuce in a breakfast green smoothie!
Another wonder of the natural world is Chamomile. Chamomile is perfect to add into your bedtime routine, sipping away on a strong brew of chamomile whilst you read before bed is the ultimate in sleep hygiene. Chamomile works so well because of its Apigenin content. Apigenin is an antioxidant that is known to decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. Perfect if you are someone like me who has suffered with anxiety interrupting sleep.
Although making adjustments in our diet can help loads with our quality of sleep, so does having good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene covers our evening routine, all the way to the atmosphere we create in our bedroom. But this is the subject for my next post, keep and out for my future posts by following the blog or subscribing to my mailing list.
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Please be aware all information in this blog is based on my own personal experience and research, and I am not a medical professional. If you are needing advice about a medical condition, please seek advice from a medical professional.
This blog follows my personal research and learning into health and wellbeing, as well as my own personal comments on the subject matters. All blog posts contain my own personal opinions and does not reflect the opinions of any organisations I may be affiliated with. Any information I provide on my blogs is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes that I am unaware of. All information presented on this blog is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t been seen as advice. I reserve the right to change how I manage or run my blog and may change the focus or content on my blog at any time
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