Between the morning rush-hour to catch-ups with friends over drinks and post-work gym sessions, it can be hard to get a full night’s rest (especially with all those new episodes of GOT begging you to stay up just a little longer).
But getting in a sleep is extremely ncessary - and not just for your energy levels. Your body needs rest to refresh - without proper shut eye, you can’t efficiently regulate hormones that keep your body doing. The good news is, you can eat your way to a better solid sleep!
Keep reading to find out how to eat your way to all those zzzzs.
Cortisol is a word you’ve definitely heard of. But why does it matter? Because cortisol is a hormone produced by adrenal glands that helps regulate:
Activation of thyroid hormone
Resistance to infection
Resistance to self-attacking diseases
Reactions to common allergens
What’s more, cortisol is produced throughout the day and night in a cyclic form (circadian rhythm) and has a few patterns that can affect the sleep cycle such as high production. Its highest production is in the morning, while the lowest production is at night - which means if cortisol levels are high when you go to sleep, your REM sleep (the stage of sleep where we get the highest quality of rest) is interrupted! I don’t know about you but my sleep is precious and I can’t have that happening!
But besides feeling tired the next day, what do disruptions really mean for your body? The list is long and not pretty:
So what does all of this have to do with food? Well, your nutrition can easily impact your cortisol levels. A single skipped meal, a late night meal, a high starch meal or high sugar load meal can cause your cortisol rhythm to disrupt leading to the above mentioned side effects.
To avoid these follow the guidelines below:
Eat breakfast at a similar time every morning, and by 9am if you can.
Eat low glycemic index meals every 4-5 hours while awake. Here’s a great list!
Avoid simple grains; choose whole grains and even better- sprouted grains!
Avoid sugar and simple starches.
Go to bed at a similar time each night.
Manage emotional stress and meditate daily.
Meditate daily, relax and breathe.
There you have it! You’re on your way to better shut eye in no time!