Nutrition Advent Calendar - Day 23

Nutrition to Promote Sleep Quality - 2 more sleeps!!

Only 2 sleeps until Christmas, so make the most of them as Christmas can be a busy and emotional day, especially if you have children waking you up at silly o'clock in the morning!

 Sleep is vital for health, hence why we prioritise a 3rd of the day for it! Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night can lead to poor health and performance by:
 Energy metabolism
 Brain function and mood
 Immune function
 Risk of injury
 Reliance on muscle glycogen for energy during exercise

Things you can do to promote sleep quality include:
 Avoid caffeine late at night
 Eat more protein - source of amino acids (tryptophan) which convert to melatonin; hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycle
 Eat a carbohydrate rich dinner - promotes tryptophan levels for melatonin production 
 Avoid artificial light - blue light emitted from phones, tablets, TVs etc disturb sleep by reducing melatonin levels.
 Be hydrated, but don't drink too much - Alcohol disturbs sleep and you're likely to enjoy a drink, so drinking water alongside it can keep you hydrated. Try not to drink too much late at night though as this means you'll be up during night!

Take home messages:
- Aim for 8 hours sleep per night
- Afternoon napping contributes to total sleep quality
- Eat quality proteins and carbohydrates for dinner 
- A cheeky tipple can help you drift off but avoid excessive alcohol & caffeine intake as this can disturb sleep quality and duration.

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