Maybe the reason you’re struggling with your sleep is because your nutrition is lacking (too much fast food sound familiar)? We’ve brought in Nutritionist Tracie Connor to help us all get back on track with our nutrition, and therefore help improve our sleep.
Three strong pillars of health include nutrition, exercise, and sleep. They are all essential and very important for overall health, and they complement each other too. As an accredited Nutritionist, I want to share the best food and lifestyle tips to help you get a good night sleep.
Let’s start by looking at our timing. Ideally, we want to finish eating and drinking 2-3 hours before bed. This allows necessary time for digestion and can alleviate symptoms of insomnia, heartburn, indigestion and restlessness.
For many people, stimulating foods and drinks, such as those containing caffeine, alcohol, or refined sugars, should be limited anywhere between 3-6 hours before bed to prevent feeling ‘charged’ when we should be winding down.
Importantly, we want to consume plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. A dehydrated body and mind cannot efficiently rest, nor will it process quality phases of sleep. Drinking adequate amounts of water is one the easiest steps to take to feel more refreshed and energised upon waking.
Nutritious, well balanced meals are key
When it comes to suggesting nutritious, tasty meals at the end of a day, it's best to include a serve of whole grains and proteins (one serve is approximately the size of a fist) and healthy fats with 2 serves of colourful plant foods. Whole grains and proteins contain nutrients that help produce melatonin – a hormone that helps you rest and prepare for sleep.
Healthy fats and colourful plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits and salad, contain antioxidants, omegas, phytonutrients and fibres to nourish your body and assist the ‘growth, repair and elimination process’ that naturally occurs when we achieve deep sleep.
Examples of a balanced meal for good sleep could include baked fish, whole grain rice or couscous and a fresh garden salad with extra virgin olive oil or avocado dressing. Another would be potato gnocchi with pan fried chicken, mushroom sauce, and seasonal vegetables.
Delicious, nutritious, and satisfying for sweet dreams.
About the Author:
Tracie Connor is a practicing Nutritionist (Accred. BHSc) based in Brisbane, Australia. She works with both personal and corporate clients to ensure good health practices are in place to allow individuals and companies to thrive.