February 10, 2021 3 min read
You've heard of food for thought but have you heard of food for sleep? Without a doubt this year has been a pretty terrible year for sleep. With the current pandemic, distributions to work and education, many of us feel like the sand man is missing us out on an a night. As a result more and more of us are searching for methods to help get us off to the land of nod.From trying to establish regular routines to limiting our exposure to bad news there are a number of things that we've been implementing in search of that ever illusive sleep.
However, many of us are missing out on how food for sleep might be the missing link. Indeed, a growing body of research is showing just how important diet is for a good night's kip. Here at Beds On Legs, we've done our research on food for sleep and hope it may be of use to the hoards of us that are struggling to get those zzz's in.
Whilst there is lots of advice on specific foods that are good for sleep ideally you need to be looking at your diet as a whole. Indeed, researchers have found that a diet heavy in saturated fat, sugar and processed carbohydrates has a negative affect on our sleep. Conversely, a plant rich diet that consists of plenty of fibre and unsaturated fat it beneficial. Whilst studies can be flawed, it stands to reason that food for sleep is of extreme importance. Indeed, food is the fuel of the body. You wouldn't put diesel in a petrol engine and expect it run smoothly. Food is the building blocks for our health. Therefore it makes sense that it probably has a big impact on our quality of sleep.
With the advent of a new year approaching, now is the perfect time to see if food for sleep could be an avenue for you to explore. Indeed, new year is the traditional time of year to examine lifestyle patterns and behaviours. Therefore, now is the time to start planning how you can overhaul your diet for the better. Whilst we don't recommend extreme measures, it could be helpful to see just how you might take some steps to getting a better diet. Here are a few tips:-
Whilst it can be tempting to do a radical diet change this is unlikely to be effective. Studies have shown that making small steps over time is the best long term solution. For example, if you have sugar in your tea you could start by cutting this down to nothing. Or if you routinely indulge in takeaways you could try cutting this down to say once a week. The key is to not be too restrictive as this often leads to self sabotage.
Many people decide to go sober for January after the festive season of indulgence. In fact, we would argue that alcohol has to be one of the most disruptive things for sleep. Whilst it may feel like it helps you to sleep, it does in fact the opposite. We're sorry to say that a night cap may in be contributing to your lack of sleep. You can read more about the effects of alcohol on sleep here
This last year has seen a massive rise in both vegetarianism and veganism. Whilst you don't have to give up meat and fish completely, the benefits of more plant food into your diet could still benefit your health and therefore sleep. Some people find that having a few plant based meals a week is both sustainable and enjoyable.
If you're the King or Queen of the microwave then the new year might be just the time to learn how to cook some meals from scratch. Indeed, if you're looking to improve your diet then this can be a great way of controlling exactly what goes into your meals. We would recommend, mastering a few favourite dishes so that you can end up doing them with your eyes closed. Plus you never know, you may even find yourself a new and enjoyable hobby!