Did you know certain foods can affect your sleep? Neither did we. HL chatted to Tempur and got the down low on the foods that are sleep-friendly, and those that aren’t.
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or staying asleep? Or perhaps you struggle to switch off? You are not alone! You’ve read the benefits of a pressure relieving mattress and pillow, such as TEMPUR, but did you know that certain foods affect your sleep health too? The health benefits of a good night’s rest are countless: sleep helps keep you happy, your brain sharp, your immune system strong, your waistline trim, your skin looking youthful — and lowers your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
The fact is, we live in a fast-paced society, and in our thirst for greater productivity we too often put quality sleep on the back burner. To our detriment! Think of the ripple-effect! Below are some easy adjustments you can make with food and drink choices, which will help your quality of sleep.
- Eat foods which contain melatonin naturally, such as cherries, nuts and walnuts. Melatonin is the chemical or hormone that helps control your body’s internal clock. Regularly eat food that contains melatonin to help you fall asleep faster.
- Add products which have the amino acid tryptophan, such as beans, dairy, chickpeas and walnuts again. Tryptophan is converted into melatonin and it takes about an hour for tryptophan to reach the brain, so plan accordingly.
- Honey slightly raises insulin allowing tryptophan to enter the brain more easily.
- Green leafy kale is full of calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Spinach and mustard greens are other good options.
- Complex carbohydrates such as fortified cereal, quinoa, barley and buckwheat a few hours before sleep, are good as they stimulate the release of insulin. This includes whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, crackers and brown rice. Avoid simple carbohydrates including breads, pasta, cookies, cakes, pastries and other sugary foods. These tend to reduce serotonin levels and thus inhibits sleep.
- Foods rich in magnesium and potassium help promote sleep as they are natural muscle relaxants, such as bananas, sweet potato, almonds and whole grains. Potassium is great for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning. Magnesium is integral to the function of the neurotransmitter that helps the brain shut off at night. Bananas also contain tryptophan.
- Certain herbal teas such as chamomile, valerian, green tea and passion flower are good for sleep.
- Dark chocolate contains serotonin which relaxes your body and mind and has other health benefits too.
- Avoid high fat foods as they stimulate the production of acid in the stomach, which can spill up into your oesophagus, causing heartburn. Eating high amounts of fatty, refined, processed and sugary foods can increase lethargy and reduce serotonin levels.
- While alcohol might make you feel sleepy, too much actually decreases the deeper stages of sleep and disrupts the body’s natural rhythms. It metabolises quickly in your system and can cause you to wake up multiple times during the night. Plus alcohol makes snoring worse and is dehydrating.
- Avoid energy drinks and coffee as they contain caffeine which is a central nervous stimulant.
- Avoid spicy food such as chilli and curry as they can cause heartburn and increase your core body temperature
TEMPUR recommended bedtime routine:
- Eat several hours before going to bed
- Snack on sleep-friendly foods if necessary
- Limit lights, even from electronics
- Indulge a warm bath
- Reading is preferable over TV
- Go to bed around the same time every night to set your body clock
- Invest in a TEMPUR pressure relieving sleep solution
Your body, mind and soul deserve quality sleep on a quality mattress that will provide support for years. Your mattress should conform to your body, giving you a restful and luxurious sleep, every night. TEMPUR’s unique temperature sensitive material gently moulds to the shape of your body offering a perfect balance of total comfort and superior support – soft where you want it, firm where you need it™.
The TEMPUR range includes mattresses, pillows, specialised lumbar support products, a travel range and adjustable bases, as well as accessories and linen. Along with headboards and bases distributed by Pharmaline, TEMPUR is available in showrooms countrywide.