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Eat Your Way To A Better Sleep

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

  • Muscle development

  • Energy production

  • 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:

  • Fatigue

  • Infection

  • Osteoporosis

  • Low sex drive

  • Infertility

  • Headaches

  • Adult acne

  • Abdominal Bloating

  • Low/ High blood pressure

  • Abdominal subcutaneous fat accumulation

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:

  1. Eat breakfast at a similar time every morning, and by 9am if you can.

  2. Eat low glycemic index meals every 4-5 hours while awake. Here’s a great list!

  3. Avoid simple grains; choose whole grains and even better- sprouted grains!

  4. Avoid sugar and simple starches.

  5. Go to bed at a similar time each night.

  6. Control pain

  7. Manage emotional stress and meditate daily.

  8. Meditate daily, relax and breathe.

There you have it! You’re on your way to better shut eye in no time!

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