This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.
Sleep is one of the most crucial factors in the algorithm of a healthy life. One could say almost as important and vital as a balanced diet and regular exercise. The importance of adequate sleep cannot be stressed enough, therefore we at arelang naturals have set off on the first of the 4 part series on Sleep which we will cover over the next 2 months. Today's topic sets off on the correlation between sleep and nutrition as they both play an important and interdependent role in our health. Recognizing the connections between sleep and nutrition will create opportunities to optimize both in order to eat smarter, sleep better, and finally be able to live a healthier life.
Let’s start off with the million-dollar question - how much sleep is enough for you? One could easily get away with saying 8-9 hours of sleep is enough. But perhaps the better question would be laying more emphasis on the quality of sleep rather than the quantity of sleep. Ever wondered why you are so tired and sluggish after a 10 hour sleep night? On the flip side, ever wondered how you wake up sometimes fresh as a daisy and ready to take the world on, even with just a 5 hour sleep night? Of course, getting 8 hours of rest every night is a good way to start, and the obvious choice when it comes to the quantity, however, it's time we hone in on the quality of sleep and how our choice of nutrition affects it.
What we cannot stress enough is the fact that your body is a work of art. And no work of art can look and feel stellar without a lot of hard work behind the scenes. The food you eat and the nutrition that you derive from it is literally the backbone of your health. The main role of nutrition is having a high enough intake of a very broad range of vitamins and minerals that enable almost all types of bodily systems and processes. Lack of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K link to multiple sleep problems.
High carb meals can make you feel drowsy but they also affect your sleep quality. Now it is plenty obvious that caffeinated drinks like espresso shots a couple of hours before bedtime are going to mean you either don’t sleep at all or that you sleep poorly. And then there are other nutritional deficiencies that we ignore that ruin a lot more than just our sleep. So you know that bowl of salad you didn’t eat this afternoon? Well, watch how you sleep tonight!
Your brain and body need to produce neurotransmitters to induce sleep. These transmitters thrive and only work well when they have the best chemical environment. Now, how do they get this environment? It is important to note that your body needs to absorb vitamins, nutrients, and minerals from the food it eats in correct quantities to maintain its circadian rhythm or the 24-hour body clock. This clock regulates all functions like metabolism, digestion, sleep cycles, hunger pangs, and more. That said, it is evident that if you shift your eating patterns or change what you eat drastically, your body would be confused and won’t function the way it should. That is why what you eat affects how you sleep, which affects your metabolism and other bodily functions.
There has been plenty of research that proves this interdependency. The lesser you sleep, the more you end up eating, the slower your metabolism, and the unhealthier your body. On the other side of the coin, the lesser your nutrient intake the lesser you sleep and the cycle continues. See? This is a never-ending cycle. Unless of course, you focus on the food that you are putting into your body.
Here are some important nutrients that your body needs to get quality sleep in and where it can get it from:
- Magnesium: Dark Chocolate(sugar-free), Pumpkin Seeds, Yogurt, Almonds, Cashews
- Plant-Based Adaptogens: Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Shilajit, Licorice
- Vitamin D: Milk, Mushrooms, Turkey, Salmon
- Your B Vitamins: Avocados, Bulgar Wheat, Pistachios, Rice
- Omega-3: Salmon, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Yogurt, Eggs
- Amino Acids Like Trytophans: Cheese, Eggs, Spinach and Turkey
- Potassium: Avocados, Bananas, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes
- Melatonin: Bananas, Cherries, Flax Seeds
- Seratonin: Kiwi, Bananas, Pineapple, Walnuts, Tomatoes
We’ve done a whole blog about adaptogens and how they help manage your mood, stress, and more. Most of these are available in the market, but the problem is that we don’t focus enough on the quantities and qualities required. The result? A body that lacks essentials and sleeps poorly. Humankind cannot sustain itself without supplementing what our daily diets fail to give us. Many OTC supplement companies give you the nutrition you need to thrive. Caim by årelang’s, Rekindle and Replenish range of candyceuticals, give you these essentials, like plant-based adaptogens, in potent but optimally bioavailable quantities so that your body can absorb them effectively and get those neurotransmitters running and the ZZZs coming.
Tune in early Jan for Part 2 of this series - A to Z of Zzzzz