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Nutrition to Promote Sleep Quality

                                                                                                                                           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 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 Energy metabolism
Brain-function-mood Brain function and mood
arrow Immune function
recovery Recovery
risk-of-injury Risk of injury
appetite Appetite 
reliance on muscles Reliance on muscle glycogen for energy during exercise

Things you can do to promote sleep quality include:
arrow Avoid caffeine late at night
arrow Eat more protein – source of amino acids (tryptophan) which convert to melatonin; hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycle
arrow Eat a carbohydrate rich dinner – promotes tryptophan levels for melatonin production 
arrow Avoid artificial light – blue light emitted from phones, tablets, TVs etc disturb sleep by reducing melatonin levels.
arrow 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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