Sleep plays an important role in our overall health and wellness. But many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep. If you are one of these people that do not sleep long enough then changing your dietary habits may be the answer.
How much sleep should we be having?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the following sleep recommendations for adults are:
- Adults (18-64): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours
The science of sleep?
An important hormone for sleep is melatonin. A big influence on our melatonin levels is from the intake of a type of protein called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid group which our bodies cannot make, it can only be sourced through diet.
Foods that are high in tryptophan to help you get a good night’s sleep?
- Pulses, beans and lentils
If you are hungry before bed, try a glass of milk, a small banana or a few nuts. It takes around an hour for the tryptophan in foods to reach the brain, so don’t wait until just before bedtime to have your snack.
What foods can negatively impact sleep?
Following overly restrictive diets or diets that put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies can negatively affect your sleep. Also try to avoid caffeine up to 6 hours before going to bed.
Some other tips to help with sleep?
- Try to sleep the same amount each night. If possible, aim to go to bed at the same time each night and wake –up at a similar time each morning.
- Avoid napping in the day
- At least an hour before bed turn off video games, YouTube and social media. Try a reading a book instead.
For more information check out this article: https://theconversation.com/the-best-foods-to-eat-for-a-good-nights-sleep-102527