Your daily diet for better sleep… tonight
What we put into our bodies can affect us in so many ways. If you’re experiencing poor sleep, what you’re eating could very well be the reason. Our sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo shares an all-day healthy sleep menu so you can finally get some shut-eye.
Sleep: it’s free. And we all want more of it, so why is it so hard to get? Specifically – that consistent, restorative, uninterrupted, eight-hours-a-night kinda sleep. Which is why we’ve enlisted Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo to solve our myriad of sleep concerns with our new editorial series Sleep Well Wednesdays. Check back each week and you’ll be off to the land of nod before you know it.
Several times a day, you have opportunities to support healthy sleep. Are you making the most of it? Chances are; if you’re sleep deprived; waking up at 3am or feeling fatigued through the day, you’re unknowingly committing self-sabotage. But that’s ok, I’m here to help with an example of the things you can eat during the day to get you a good night’s rest.
The best thing is what I’ve laid out for you is as ideal for anxiety as it is for fat loss. Winner.
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Alkaline water, green smoothie (spirulina, protein, banana, nuts, nondairy milk)
Why: rich in tryptophan, magnesium, and B vitamins; this energy-enhancing smoothie sees you through the day and supports sleep at night: these nutrients enable the synthesis of the sleepiness hormone melatonin. Particularly if you’re exhibiting signs of melatonin deficiency, such as being wide awake in the evening and fatigued in the morning, this smoothie should be your go-to each morning.
Seek out a magnesium-rich snack such as a banana, walnuts or Brazil nuts.
Why: magnesium is a muscle and mind relaxant, shown in clinical trials to reduce anxiety by 31 percent; and in further research to reduce muscle cramps.
As both anxiety and cramping are key limitations, indulging in this nutrient can reduce the likelihood you will experience sleep problems.
Load up on anti-anxiety, pro sleep omega 3’s with a poached egg, and avocado green bowl.
Why: Evidence shows omega 3’s can lengthen sleep by 58 minutes, and reduce the number of times you are waking from sleep by seven. As omega 3’s are calming for the nervous system, after a decent dose your brain slows and your muscles feel more at ease, hence why they are so relevant to sleep.
Reach for a caffeine-free brew such as peppermint or tulsi tea, with a melatonin rich snack to accompany it like tart cherries, tomatoes or grapes.
Why: Despite commonplace belief, perking up in the afternoon doesn’t actually require caffeine.
Peppermint, for example, has been found in clinical research to boost mental performance and reduce fatigue. And to partner it with a melatonin rich snack? Genius. A recent study found daily tart cherry intake for two weeks increased the sleep duration by 85 minutes – per night.
Finish off the day with a protein and probiotics, such as miso salmon.
Why: Especially for those lacking sleep, know that research shows just two nights of insufficient sleep reduces good bacteria in the gut.
As a result, you compromise absorption of the above ‘sleep nutrients’, such as magnesium, omega 3, and tryptophan. Needless to say, this needs to be amended – daily – and eating probiotic-rich foods is one of the best ways to ensure it.