Are you struggling to wake up feeling rested and energized for the day? If you are one of the millions of people who aren’t getting adequate sleep, have you considered that what you are eating could be the cause? Most people know that food is essential in maintaining health, but don’t often think about how it can be affecting their sleep habits. Learn more about how you can get a better night of sleep in the article below!
A Healthy Diet Can Improve Your Sleep
What you eat directly affects how well you are sleeping at night. If you are struggling to feel rested throughout the day, you should first look at what you are fueling your body with. What kinds of foods are you consuming on a daily basis?
Foods that are interfering with you getting your best night of sleep are those that are:
- High in sugar
- High in carbohydrates
- Heavily processed
These are the same foods that are adding those extra pounds onto the scale and inches onto your waistline. You may not be surprised then when I tell you changing your diet will not only improve your quality of sleep, but you may also start to lose weight. AWESOME!
What Should I Eat?
Your new diet needs to be well-balanced and full of fresh fruits and vegetables. You should be aiming for 2-3 servings of vegetables with each meal! Your new sleep-conscious diet should also consist of lean proteins and whole grains.
Water. DRINK MORE WATER! Okay, now I know this isn’t technically a food that you eat. However, did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Staying hydrated throughout the day will help keep you alert and focused. Start your morning routine by filling a 32-ounce jar or glass with water and start drinking it as soon as you wake up. This will help minimize those mid-afternoon slumps and keep you from reaching for that coffee pot or soda by 3pm to get through the rest of your day.
Foods That Keep You Awake
- Caffeine is going to take a big hit when it comes to getting a better nights’ sleep. The sleep experts recommend avoiding ANY caffeine after 2pm and limiting your overall consumption. Now you will have to check ingredient labels because caffeine can hide in things we don’t expect, like chocolate. If you’re not familiar with how to read ingredient labels, check out Why Should I Read the Nutrition Label.
- Highly processed foods are your enemy when it comes to gaining a restful night of sleep. There are so many additives and hormones in processed foods that our bodies were not meant to ingest. If you are someone who suffers from hormone imbalance, you are going to notice a big change not only in your sleep habits, but also in mood stabilization, overall energy, and increased mental clarity when you eliminate processed foods.
- Meals high in carbohydrates can also leave you tossing and turning at night. Now, this one may come as a shock to most people, because after eating a large plate of pasta, one is left feeling a bit sluggish and sleepy. This happens because your body has to put in overtime to start digesting what you have just consumed. Although you feel tired, your blood sugar has just spiked and is now interfering with your body’s natural ability to fall asleep.
- Avoiding sugar before bed is also going to be an important new rule to implement. If you have a sweet tooth (like I do), this one may be a little tough to adhere to. When you are having a late-night craving, reach instead for a cup of warm water with a squeeze of lemon. Chances are you haven’t had enough today anyways!
It may sound cliché to say, but once you eliminate highly processed, high-sugar foods, you will stop craving them. So, stick with it, I know you can do it! Remind yourself of why you are implementing these new lifestyle changes. Waking up feeling rested and energized is a gift you deserve to give yourself!
Exercise Will Help You Sleep Better
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will make you feel better, sleep better, and look younger. Believe me, I have searched for this unicorn and you shouldn’t waste your time or money on anything that promises to give you instant results. Eating better and eliminating certain foods will only get you so far towards your ideal dream land. You will need to make time for exercise and make it a regular habit to see results!
I know you are busy, and you have kids that need tending to and dinners to make and a house to clean and a job and.. Yes, I hear you, and I know it is possible to achieve a healthier lifestyle if you make yourself a priority. Make your health a priority.
In order to gain a better night of sleep, you need to MOVE YOUR BODY. Move it for at least 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week. Elevating your heart rate will not only give you amazing health benefits (lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke) but it will also help your body wind down and rest more soundly at night.
Be sure to avoid getting your workout in too close to bedtime. When your heart rate is elevated from strenuous exercise, it can take an hour or two to wind down enough to fall asleep. There is a reason people wake up early to get their workout in, it gives you a natural boost of energy! Some people replace their morning cup of coffee with a good workout.
Get Help When Needed
All of this may sound easy when you read it the first time. But, changing your diet and lifestyle is no easy task. As humans, we are creatures of habit. Habits are HARD to break! Sometimes, you need mentorship to guide you through these changes. Someone to check in on you and your progress and hold you accountable.
There is no sense in starting a routine that you will give up on in a month. This is a lifestyle change, that will need to last you a lifetime. Don’t settle for “this is a normal sign of aging”. Don’t settle for feeling less than your best. To learn more about how Dr. Sauer teaches his patients to overcome these stigmas, click here.
At Twin Oaks Health, we help thousands of clients, just like you, take back control of their health. If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, contact our team today to discover how we can best help you.
You were only given one life to live, and it’s time to start living it!
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