What to eat to sleep better?
12th of February
Sports nutritionist James Collins is often asked, “What to eat to sleep better?” Many people think that you can add something to the diet – and this will give a magical 8 hours of rest. But in practice, you have to remove food at least as often. From the book “Energy Value” we will learn what to do with food to help sleep.
In general, high-protein diets can improve sleep quality, and high-carbohydrate diets can reduce sleep latency, which is what science calls the time it takes to fall asleep.
There are certain substances that have a beneficial effect on sleep. An interesting development in recent years is the study of foods containing tryptophan. The body’s ability to synthesize serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in regulating mood, depends on the presence of tryptophan, an amino acid found in your restorative (protein) diet. Tryptophan and serotonin also play a role in the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone released by the brain after dark. A dose of one gram of tryptophan – the equivalent of 300 grams of turkey or 200 grams of pumpkin seeds – helps improve sleep latency and subjective sleep quality.
Since your energy plan is primarily nutritional, you should get as much tryptophan as possible from complete proteins: Eat foods containing all the essential amino acids (meat, poultry, eggs, soybeans, nuts and seeds) at every meal or snack, especially for dinner or for an evening snack (if necessary). And only then think about nutritional supplements.
Pay attention to cherries – they are included in the group of foods containing melatonin. Scientists have been interested in these fruits recently for their ability to play a key role in recovery from hard workouts – thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cherries are natural sleeping pills. – A source
There is early evidence that tart cherry juice increases serotonin levels and has a positive effect on the quality and duration of sleep. One dose includes 30 grams of concentrated juice, there is also a capsule form (capsules contain less sugar). You need to start taking one dose one hour before going to bed.
Interfere with sleep
Reduced calorie intake can impair sleep quality. Therefore, you should be especially careful to control the energy deficit that occurs with the loss of fat. A diet high in fat can negatively affect overall sleep.
Caffeine can also interfere with sleep, depending on individual tolerance and timing of use. The half-life of caffeine is 3-5 hours, so drinking coffee at 6:00 pm affects you even when you go to bed.
It is better to refuse coffee after six in the evening. – A source
Alcohol helps you fall asleep faster, but can reduce REM sleep (which is important for fixing information in memory). In addition, alcohol negatively affects sleep patterns and quality. A recent sleep study in Finland found that just one drink of alcohol worsens sleep quality, and the more you drink, the more negative the effects.
The author does not call for completely abandoning alcohol for the sake of the energy plan. Alcohol is a part of our life, and – if you keep yourself within limits – it can be a completely safe part of an active social life.
Based on materials from the book “Energy value”
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