We must understand the relationship between diet and sleep as Diet is an important contributor to your health and to your general wellbeing.
The old saying ‘you are what you eat’ means that if you eat well and consume a sensible, balanced diet of nutritious foods, you will be healthy. If, on the other hand, you eat unhealthy, fatty foods and high salt content, you are more likely to be unhealthy and suffer from illness.
You may not have realized that diet and nutrition can also influence your sleep. So, diet is an important part of your lifestyle that might be worthwhile reviewing.
Eat a balanced diet and sleep well
A balanced diet is something that everyone should aim for since the benefits in the short term and in the long term are considerable. A balanced diet can lead to an enhanced sense of well being, including increased levels of energy and better sleep.
A balanced diet includes an adequate amount of each of the major food groups on a regular basis and consumes a variety of foods.
Although it is generally recommended that you avoid too many fats and sugars, these are still necessary and important, in moderation.
The majority of your diet should comprise bread, cereals, fruits, and vegetables. The most important categories of food are fruits and vegetables. It is also important to ensure that you eat adequate protein. Protein is found in red meat (such as beef and lamb), as well as white meat (such as fish and chicken).
Finally, it is important to eat small amounts of fats, oils, and sugars. Butter, margarine, oils, and sugar are essential parts of a well-balanced diet. See the recommended foods for inducing good sleep.
How much to eat, and when In addition to eating a variety of foods from each of the major food groups every day, it is also generally recommended that you have several small to medium-sized meals in preference to one large meal. Try to spread your consumption across the day, perhaps adding morning and afternoon snacks to your three meals.
It is recommended that you avoid eating too close to bedtime and avoid having a too-large meal, particularly late at night. Your main meal should be in the middle of the day and that your evening meal should be smaller and lighter.
You should try to leave at least two hours between the end of your evening meal and settling down to sleep.
Some people complain that spicy or rich foods in the evening cause them indigestion or stomach problems which waken them in the night.
The use of alcohol to try to get to sleep is extremely common. This is not surprising since in Western societies alcohol is a widely accepted form of self-medication that is, many people use it not just for social occasions and for enjoyment, but to deal informally with stress, anxiety and even sleep problems.
If you want to know whether alcohol will help you in sleep, you must understand the relationship between alcohol and insomnia.
What you drink can affect your sleep as much as what you eat. Products that contain caffeine are likely to have an impact on the quality of your sleep, especially if consumed in large quantities or if consumed too close to sleep times. You should know how caffeine can affect your sleep.
Many smokers say that they find smoking relaxing whereas the nicotine in cigarettes is a drug and is a stimulant like caffeine.
It is a psychological link which may make smoking appear to be an aid to sleep. Yet we know that, due to its stimulating effects, smoking is much more likely to disrupt sleep.
If you smoke a cigarette every waking hour, then your body gets used to its regular dose of nicotine for a prolonged stretch of seven or eight hours. If your body is undergoing withdrawal symptoms each night, you can’t expect to sleep peacefully and without disturbance. Smoking and nicotine affect breathing, and breathing problems commonly contribute to sleep problems.
So, next time, if you desire good sleep, you should aim at quitting, or at least reducing, the number of cigarettes you smoke.