Eat These Foods for Better Sleep
When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep, where you woke up without your alarm blaring and felt energized and refreshed? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one-third of adults and more than two-thirds of high school students report inadequate amounts of sleep. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep, and adolescents need at least 8 hours (10 is even better) for the best health and well-being.
Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep
If lack of sleep continues, it can lead to obesity, physical inactivity, mistakes at work, car crashes, and 10 chronic health conditions: heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, COPD, cancer, arthritis, depression, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes.
Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep can result in a healthy immune system, causing you to be more able to fend off colds and flu that are going around. Sleeping 7 or more hours each night can help you keep off excess weight. You’ll have good levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and lower levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone). Sleep boosts mental wellbeing and in turn, reduces the likelihood of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Sleep prevents diabetes. Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than 5 hours a night have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose, which the body uses for energy.
In addition to strategies to improve sleep (sleep hygiene) like including regular exercise, getting regular exposure to daytime light, establishing a bedtime routine, and sleeping in a dark, cool bedroom, food choices also play an important role in quality of sleep.
Things to Avoid to Promote Better Sleep
Most people realize that caffeine helps us stay awake, but we often don’t know that the combination of caffeine and sugar found in energy drinks has an even stronger effect. It’s easy to fall into a cycle that begins when you feel tired and lethargic, so you consume energy drinks to feel like you have more energy, then find that the caffeine in the energy drink makes it more difficult to fall asleep at night, which leads to low energy levels the next day and –- you guessed it –- consuming more energy drinks.
Frequent consumption of sweetened beverages, such as soda, sweetened tea, and fruit drinks, is associated with poor sleep quality.
While we may think that drinking alcohol in the evening helps us fall asleep, it actually disrupts sleep over the course of the night and can prevent you from entering the deeper stages of sleep. This may cause you to wake up still feeling tired despite having spent an adequate amount of time in bed.
Poor eating habits overall, including skipping breakfast and other meals, is also associated with poor sleep quality.
Eating 30-60 minutes before going to bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. When we eat foods higher in fat and calories –- chips, cookies, and ice cream, for example -- during the hour before we go to bed, it’s even more difficult to fall asleep.
This information is for educational purposes only. The statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your physician if you have any question regarding a medical condition
- Juno Wellness