Most people will agree that a good night’s sleep is an excellent tool in the fight against fatigue, bad mood, and laziness. If you manage to rest overnight, you can feel reborn the next day. Interestingly, a woman’s body needs at least 7 hours for full rest and recovery, while a man needs a little less. In this article, we will talk in more detail about the relationship between hormones, nutrition and sleep.
Full sleep depends on the work of nighttime hormones. The main sleep hormone is melatonin, its important functions are:
- regulation of the daily rhythm;
- antioxidant activity, necessary for maintaining health and youth.
To produce the required amount of melatonin, it is important to observe some conditions:
- sleep time (optimally from 10-11 pm to 5-6 am);
- the presence of the required number of its precursors, because melatonin is formed from serotonin, which, in turn, is formed from tryptophan.
By the way, there is an interesting article about how a woman’s hormonal background affects her sleep quality during critical days on the Forbes website. It is also important to understand that 95% of all the endogenous hormones of joy are formed in the intestine. That is, we gradually came to the point that the food a person eats before rest has a great influence on sleep.
What to Eat Before Bed, and What Should Be Avoided?
Are there products for good sleep? Yes. Scientists have found out how some products can affect the quality of a night’s rest and help you fall asleep. Therefore, if you want to get enough sleep, one of the safest and most effective methods is to use specific products. But it is worth noting that some foods and drinks can also harm falling asleep, impair the quality of sleep. Now we will analyze in detail the list of useful and harmful products for sleep. In some sense, nutrition and sleep are one.
The Best Meal Before Bed
High tryptophan foods. As mentioned above, tryptophan directly affects the level of the pleasure hormone (serotonin) in the body. If the last meal includes foods rich in this amino acid, the quality of sleep will improve. Vegetable proteins, especially legumes, are rich in tryptophan:
- pumpkin seeds
They can be combined with other foods, preferably carbohydrates, which will help faster absorption:
- whole grain bread
- dairy products.
Products with melatonin content. When answering the question of whether it is possible to eat before going to bed, doctors name products containing the hormone melatonin. One of the few sources of its supply is cherry. So, scientists conducted a study, during which they found out that a glass of cherry juice, drunk at night, helps fight insomnia even in the elderly.
High magnesium foods. This trace element is often prescribed to those who have difficulty falling asleep and often face a disturbance in the quality of sleep. Magnesium is a trace element that relaxes the muscles of the body, relieves increased anxiety, and induces deep sleep. It is rich in nuts, especially almonds, as well as buckwheat and seaweed.
Herbal tea. Green tea in the evening will help you fall asleep much faster because it is rich in theanine, which enhances the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters relieve anxiety, calm, and relax. In addition, teas have almost no calories, so these drinks are great options for active calorie calculator users.
It is worth noting that you do not need to give up your favorite foods forever and eat only healthy food. The main thing is to find a balance and then the synchronization of your nutrition, and sleep will be perfect.
What and Why Can’t You Eat Before Bed?
- Caffeine, which is abundant in coffee, chocolate, tea, and energy drinks, prevents healthy sleep. Therefore, it is not necessary to use such products before going to bed. Moreover, it is desirable to reduce the daily rate of caffeine to 200-300 mg.
- Fatty food takes a long time to digest, and while this is happening, the body is working, not resting. Therefore, it is not recommended to eat ice cream, chips, and other sources of fat at night.
- Red meat. Even if you have an animal appetite before going to bed, you should not eat it. It contains a lot of fats and proteins, which means that the body simply will not have enough time to digest it, and this will negatively affect a night’s rest. Among other things, some people not only give up red meat but go vegan in general.
- Spicy food should not be present in the list of snacks before bed, because it is a direct path to insomnia. The thing is that acuteness easily causes discomfort in the stomach, heartburn, and bloating, which definitely will not contribute to sound sleep.
- Alcohol in small quantities can cause drowsiness, but if you regularly consume large doses of such drinks, it can lead to sleep problems.
Nutrition and Sleep are Regulators of Our Weight
Our appetite is controlled by neurotransmitters such as leptin and ghrelin. Scientists have proven that people who slept 4 hours a day have higher ghrelin levels than those who slept 10 hours. A regular lack of sleep causes the balance of leptin and ghrelin in the body to be disturbed. As a result, it leads to overeating and, as a result, to excess weight.
It has also been proven that reduced sleep affects the choice of food and the way the brain perceives food. Generally, sleep-deprived people increased their caloric intake by 22% and chose foods high in carbohydrates compared to those who got enough sleep. When you sleep enough hours and with deep sleep, your metabolism improves and this is great for weight control.
Proper nutrition and sleep are closely related. To sleep well, you do not need to immediately resort to medicinal sedatives. And you don’t even need a special strict diet, you just need to provide yourself with a full, healthy, varied diet on an ongoing basis! Do not allow overeating and do not throw food garbage into your stomach like fast food and large doses of strong alcohol.
After all, your body is your temple. Hormonal balance, the health of internal organs, and mental balance are the three pillars on which this temple stands! So, how much healthy sleep is important to you? And have you tested the relationship between nutrition and sleep?