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Eating and Sleep

Everyone knows that eating right and getting a good nights rest are two key factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Yet, do we really understand the ways in which these two parts of our lives interrelate? Countless amounts of research and studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between everything that we use to fuel our bodies during the day, and the quality and duration of sleep that we get at night.

A consistent amount of high quality sleep can help you make better eating choices throughout the day. Studies show that poor sleep patterns are linked to over-eating, lower quality diet, and higher rates of obesity and metabolic diseases. When sleep deprived, we are more inclined to eat and drink products that are high in calories, fat and sugar.

A nutrient-rich diet influences our brain health and activity. Healthy eating and allowing the body to absorb proper nutrients allows the brain to have the chemical environment required to produce the neurotransmitters that it needs to maintain adequate sleep. Our bodies need specific kinds of minerals and proteins to create the amino acids that are involved in sleep.

There is also a correlation between sleep and how we metabolize food. Our circadian rhythm -the 24-hour cycle that our body follows each day- keeps our body on schedule. What we eat helps regulate this ‘body clock’. That way our body knows when it’s time to sleep and wake up, as well as letting us know when we need energy (food),  and metabolizing what we eat.  

What Makes Up a Good "Sleep Diet"?

There are a range of healthy foods that provide particular sleep benefits. Foods with high levels of magnesium and potassium can upgrade your sleep. These specific minerals act as muscle relaxants, allowing for a deeper slumber. Whole grains like beans, lentils and brown rice are full of magnesium as well as dark greens and fruits. Potassium-rich foods include vegetables like cauliflower, squash, and potatoes or fruits such as bananas and avocado.

Ever heard of drinking a glass of warm milk before bed? The warmth of a beverage before bed-time can soothe us to sleep. Our KulKote bedding similarly allows for a nice, peaceful snooze. What could be more soothing than a nice cozy bed to crawl into? Calcium itself helps sleep in numerous ways. It regulates melatonin and can help relax muscles. Disturbances in the REM sleep cycle have been linked to calcium deficiencies. Milk specifically contains a substance called tryptophan. Our bodies use this substance to make serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps control sleep cycles and appetite. Turkey is also high in this same nutrient, which could be the cause of the traditional Thanksgiving day snooze.  

Can Different Foods Keep You Awake?

The same food that keeps you from your summer-bod can also keep you from a good nights rest. Heavily processed foods, and foods high in sugar and carbohydrates can cause distinct changes in your blood sugar. This brings on feelings of fatigue, which can lead to over-eating as well as changes in your daily routine and sleep schedule. Eating large-heavy meals close to bed time influences our metabolism, and can disrupt the bodies process of unwinding for a good sleep.