August 6, 2021 8:00:05 pm
Nutrition is an extremely important aspect of overall wellness. In today’s world and in current times, the role of right nutrition has become more crucial in order to stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.
When there is a lack of proper nutrition, it affects a person’s physical health, mental health, and the quality of sleep, too. Eshanka Wahi, a Dubai and Delhi-based culinary nutrition coach, and the owner of ‘Eat Clean with Eshanka’ says nutrition and sleep play an important role in our health, “but the complex-yet-intimate relationship they share is frequently overlooked.”
“Diet and nutrition actively influence the quality of our sleep. There are certain foods and drinks that can make it easier or more difficult to get a deep sleep that we require,” she says.
She suggests you keep these things in mind:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is generally associated with a lack of sunlight. It lowers our immune function, influences muscle pain, and joint aches, and is also linked with low mood and emotional problems. Deficiency of this vitamin is connected to many changes in our sleep patterns and quality. For instance, fewer sleeping hours, and sleep that is less restful and restorative. Deficiency in vitamin D leads to insomnia and short sleep duration. It is crucial to have balanced vitamin D levels to develop a quality sleep routine.
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 chemical reactions that take place in our body, which make it an essential mineral for our health, thus playing an important role in our sleep patterns.
Magnesium regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. Consumption of magnesium before sleeping relaxes the muscles and induces deeper sleep. It aids the production of melatonin in the brain. Avoid the intake of processed fats and caffeine, as they deplete our magnesium stores. Magnesium can easily be found in leafy greens, legumes, nuts, milk, and yogurt. If you suffer from restlessness at night, or cannot sleep easily, have magnesium supplements an hour before sleeping for a couple of times a week.
3. Vitamin B12
For the proper functioning of brain, supporting cardiovascular health including red blood cell formation, and DNA activity, vitamin B12 is important. It is actively involved in regulating sleep-wake cycles by helping to keep circadian rhythms in sync. Low vitamin B12 and insomnia share a very close relation.
4. Healthy clean complex carbs instead of simple carbohydrates
Eliminating carbs completely can have an adverse effect on sleep. Complex clean carb cycling is necessary for a deeper sleep. Whole grains, lentils, beans, legumes, carrots, squash, pumpkin — all produce hormones essential for a good night’s sleep.
Meals high in simple carbohydrates such as bread, buns, which have a high glycemic index have a negative effect on one’s energy level and on the quality of sleep; they make you feel drowsy, and hinder the sleep pattern and quality.
5. Serotonin, melatonin, and GABA
Have foods that increase serotonin, melatonin, and Gaba hormones, which are neurotransmitters, and work towards a good quality of sleep. Ashwagandha, chamomile, lemon balm, goji berries increase melatonin levels. Whole grains, seaweed, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, bone broth, mushrooms, and broccoli increase serotonin and GABA levels.
Additionally, here are a few tips you can keep in mind for a night of good sleep:
* Do not consume alcohol: It makes one drowsy and their sleep cycle rebounds and the brain tends to then keep them in lighter sleep stages.
* Heavy meals before 3 pm and a light dinner: Eating a rich meal in the first half is a great kickstart to an active day. It keeps one energised. But dinner must be light as heavy quantities of food take longer to digest and also affect sleep quality.
* Reduce caffeine intake: Caffeine keeps us alert by hindering the production of certain chemicals in the brain that tell our body to sleep.
* Avoid spicy, high-fat food: Heavy foods, which are extremely spicy and rich in fats, are difficult for our stomach to digest. Indigestion during bedtime makes it uncomfortable for our body to relax and doze off to sleep.