Proper nutrition and quality sleep are essential to our health and overall wellbeing

People are different sizes and sleep in different positions. A properly fitted pillow supports your spinal alignment, helping you feel better.

It’s a vicious cycle. Rush in the morning, rush in the afternoon, rush in the evening and rush at night. In our hurry to get through the day, proper nutrition and sleep fall by the wayside. We eat poorly and sleep poorly. And we start all over again the next day. No wonder we’re exhausted!

The relationship between food and sleep

Good nutrition plays an important role in how well we sleep – and how well we sleep affects how we feel throughout the day. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Fortunately, foods that are good for us are also foods that help us sleep. Making sure our body has the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy is a great first step in getting good quality sleep.

Foods that promote good health and quality sleep

Good nutrition plays an important role in how well we sleep – and how well we sleep affects how we feel throughout the day. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Fortunately, foods that are good for us are also foods that help us sleep. Making sure our body has the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy is a great first step in getting good quality sleep.

For example:

Complex carbohydrates
Whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, crackers and brown rice. Avoid simple carbohydrates, e.g. white breads, pasta and sugary food, which tend to reduce serotonin levels and don’t promote sleep.

Lean proteins
Including low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey and fish, which are high in tryptophan. Avoid high-fat cheeses, chicken wings or deep-fried fish. These take longer to digest and can keep you awake.

Heart-healthy fats
Unsaturated fats boost heart health AND improve serotonin levels. E.g. peanut butter (read the label to make sure peanuts are the only ingredient) and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Avoid saturated and trans fats, such as french fries, potato chips or other high-fat snack foods. These bring your serotonin levels down.

Drinks
Certain drinks can promote or prevent sleep. Try a soothing cup of warm milk or herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint just before bedtime.

Hungry at bedtime?

  • Try any of these healthy snacks:
  • Banana with low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with a few 100-percent whole grain pita chips
  • Peanut butter on 100-percent whole grain crackers
  • An apple with mozzarella string cheese.

Foods to Avoid

  • Coffee and tea: they contain caffeine, a stimulant that actually reaches its peak one to three hours after consumption
  • Alcohol: You might fall asleep more quickly, but it won’t help you get a night of quality, deep sleep. Too much alcohol will cause blood sugar levels to drop, meaning you may wake up several times during the night.

When should you eat?

Try to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day by eating smaller portions at a stable rate. Eating too much before bed can keep you awake, as will going to bed feeling hungry. If you have trouble sleeping, pay attention to the foods you eat, when and how much, and your sleep patterns.

Break the cycle. A good sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow will help you wake up energized to take on the day. Blu Sleep Products has a selection of mattresses, pillows and adjustable bases to ensure a great night’s sleep.