Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Diet and Sleep Quality

Tuesday Tip: Diet and Sleep Quality 😴

I recently wrote about the link between sleep and fat loss and how increased sleep can aid fat loss. I discussed ways to help aid sleep but one other factor that impacts sleep quality is diet.

Sleep quality can be characterized by the amount of slow wave sleep (SWS) & rapid eye movement (REM) sleep one gets at night. As sleep progresses these 2 stages occur with greater duration. SWS has a restorative function and is known as deep sleep. Both SWS and REM are involved in memory consolidation.

Studies have found that certain nutrients can influence sleep quality. Increased saturated fat and decreased fibre intake reduces SWS , increased night time wake ups, and decreased overall sleep quality.

Alcohol consumption decreases REM sleep, whilst caffeine is linked to delayed sleep

onset (difficulty falling asleep) and decreased sleep quality. I’m addition larger portions or eating large meals just before bed also disrupts sleep due to the thermogenic effect of digestion.

In contrast increased carbohydrate consumption is linked to faster sleep onset (falling asleep faster), and increased protein and dairy can promote longer sleep duration. This is particularly true for tryptophan rich protein sources such as milk, yogurt, turkey,chicken, fish, eggs, pumpkin seeds, beans, peanuts and leafy green veggies. The idea of a nighttime glass of milk aiding sleep comes from the fact it’s rich in tryptophan and natural melatonin

Antioxidant (Vit C, E & A) and magnesium consumption not only aids recovery from exercise but may also affects sleep since their regulation is influenced by pro-inflammatory cytokines which promote sleep.

So what’s the takeaway here? No takeaway that’s for sure!

Avoid large meals, alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime. Instead have a balanced light meal including carbs, protein and dairy (if you eat it) and green veggies to aid sleep. And if you need a snack later on consider something like a bowl of cereal with milk for example.

Happy Tuesday 🤗xx

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