Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Do you often feel more active and awake instead of sleepy as it gets late? There are many reasons for both of those problems. There’s stress, exposure to artificial light, too much exercise, or hormonal changes, but one factor is often neglected – nutrition.
When a diet ruins your sleep
Most people probably know that eating heavy meals late at night and drinking a lot of alcohol is bad for sleep quality. It’s also no surprise that stimulants like coffee and energy drinks make it hard to fall asleep. But what is not that commonly known is that lack of protein, vitamins and minerals may affect your sleep too. And disrupted hormonal balance, especially elevated stress hormone cortisol, is one of the biggest enemies of good sleep.
Eat for better sleep
One very simple thing everyone can do to improve their sleep is to make sure to have a quality source of protein in the last meal of the day. That’s because tryptophan, an amino acid found in quality protein sources, is a building material for serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that converts into melatonin – the sleep hormone. Overall, choosing real wholesome foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fibre goes a long way towards improving sleep. These foods keep you satisfied longer and help maintain stable blood sugar and insulin levels (thus keeping hormonal balance in check).
You’re doing it right if
It’s easy for your brain to wind down and feel sleepy in the evening.
You don’t binge eat in the evening because your regular meals satisfy you.
You wake up refreshed.
Changes in how you fall asleep and how restful your sleep is are a great signal that your diet works. And they might come way before you actually lose any weight, so be aware of them!