Hey Angels and Alphas,
Today, in Dieting with Purpose, we’re going to talk about sleep quality. It’s no secret to anyone that nutrition and sleep are very closely related. Diets high in processed foods, saturated fats, and sodium have all been linked to poor sleep habits and reduced sleep quality. The flipside is also true.
People with poor sleep patterns tend to usually overeat, have abnormal hunger hormone levels, and follow poor-quality diets. Today, we’ve compiled a few easy tips that are meant to improve both your diet and your sleep because of the ways they impact one another. Let’s get started.
#1 LIMIT SATURATED FATS
An increased intake of saturated fat has been directly linked to a lower quality and even a shorter duration of sleep. If you want to reduce saturated fat in your diet and help improve your sleep, you should try consuming less meat and fewer dairy products. Instead of those food categories, you should focus on getting healthier, plant-based fats like olive oil, tofu, and avocados.
#2 TRY THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
There are several studies out there that have proved the connection between improved sleep quality and the Mediterranean diet. This diet has been inspired by the eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea. These include Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and more. There aren’t any strict rules to this diet, but it is naturally rich in heart-healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil. Fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains play a massive role in this diet. So do lean proteins like poultry and seafood. This diet has proposed reducing red meats and sugar to a few times a month.
#3 SNACK ON SEEDS AND NUTS
Research has also shown that seeds and nuts can promote sleep quality. For example, walnuts contain the component tryptophan. Tryptophan has been proven to impact sleep quality in a positive way. It’s an essential amino acid that your body utilizes to make serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone while serotonin impacts everything from appetite, pain, and sleep to your mood. If you snack on some of your favorite nuts or chug down a glass of your favorite nut milk before bed, you’ll be doing your sleep quality a big favor.
#4 GET ALL YOUR DAILY MINERALS IN CHECK
Eating foods such as whole grains or bananas can help in promoting restful sleep. This is because these foods contain vital minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Both of them have been shown to aid in sleep. Magnesium deficiency is directly linked to poor sleep. That being said, you should keep in mind that getting more magnesium than you need will not provide you with any additional benefits.
#5 ADJUST YOUR MEAL TIMING
There’s no hard and fast law on how close to bedtime you should have your last meal of the day. This is something unique to every person. That’s why you should experiment with various mealtimes so you can figure out what works best for you. Then just adjust your meals accordingly. Oftentimes, it also depends on how much you eat and what you eat. Pay attention to these factors, as well.
#6 BE AWARE OF YOUR BEVERAGE INTAKE
It’s not just about what you eat. Beverages will also play a massive role in sleep quality. While it’s vital to stay hydrated for a good night’s sleep, sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol consumed too close to bedtime can contribute to restlessness. You should also do your best to hydrate throughout the day rather than pack all your water right before bedtime.