Sleep is important

To help your body operate at its peak level, you need to balance exercise, diet and a healthy sleep schedule. Diet and sleep form a symbiotic relationship. A well balanced diet has been shown to enhance sleep quality and duration and studies have shown that getting consistent high-quality sleep can actually help you eat better. Additionally, research shows that when you are sleep deprived you are more likely to consume foods high in calories, fat, and sugar.

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Your body requires a number of vitamins to ensure proper sleep, so ensuring that you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains alongside lean protein helps create the best dietary support for sleep. There are many foods which are helpful to improving sleep quality, other foods can undermine your body’s ability to fall or stay asleep. Some of these foods include alcohol, high-sugar, high-carbohydrate, heavily-processed and caffeinated foods and drinks. Eating sugary foods throughout the day may cause swings in your blood sugar levels. These swings often bring on feelings of fatigue during the day and can lead to disrupted sleep patterns at night.

 

It is also important keep portion size in mind, especially for meals eaten close to bedtime. While studies have shown that eating prior going to bed doesn’t always lead to weight gain, consuming large amounts of food, especially carbohydrate heavy meals often interferes with sleep quality. When your body has to work to digest food instead of the normal sleep functions such as cellular repair you may not enter the deep sleep cycle required to feel well rested. If you do feel hungry before bed, choose a small easily digested snack such as a banana or yogurt. For a list of foods that have been shown to help improve sleep quality, click here - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-foods-to-help-you-sleep#section1

 Denise Boyd, BSc, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RNH) with a specialization in Cognitive and Immune Support.

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