Eat to Sleep – Get a Good Nights Sleep

Eat to sleep

Sleep is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, influencing our mood, energy levels, and even appetite. If you are looking to get a good night’s sleep, a cold shower, less screen time, and a dark room will help, but what you may not realise is that the food you eat will have a huge impact on your sleep quality and pattern. 

The effects on our hormones

Sleep deprivation causes major changes in our hormones which affect our mood, energy levels, and appetite. A study conducted by The University of Chicago found that restricted sleep influences our hormone levels; there was on average a 28% increase in ghrelin (a hormone that triggers hunger) and an average 18% decrease in leptin (a hormone that tells the brain we are satisfied). So, what happened? You guessed it, people crave salty, fatty, and starchy foods. To put it another way, being short of sleep not only makes us hungrier- it also increases our cravings for foods highest in sugar which spikes our dopamine and causes more cravings. Poor sleep increases the cycle of food addiction.


Eat to Sleep - Get a Good Nights Sleep - Prolongevity
Other complications of sleep deprivation:  
  • Low sex drive: Hormonal imbalances and reduced energy levels can lead to a decreased libido. 
  • Reduced immunity: A compromised immune system becomes a breeding ground for illness and infections, as the body struggles to defend itself. 
  • Memory loss: The repercussions on your brain due to inadequate sleep include difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, and impaired decision-making 
  • Increased risk of metabolic syndrome: The hormonal disruptions caused by poor sleep contribute to metabolic dysregulation, increasing the risk of conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Daytime drowsiness: The fatigue from insufficient sleep can persist throughout the day, affecting productivity and overall well-being. 
  • Cancer risk: Some studies link chronic sleep deprivation and an increased risk of certain cancers, emphasizing the critical role sleep plays in immune function. 
  • Dementia risk: There’s a well-established correlation between poor quality of sleep and the development of Alzheimer’s and also Parkinson’s disease.
Eat to Sleep

While certain foods can promote sleep, others can hinder it. Caffeine, a widely consumed stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and some medications, can interfere with the ability to fall asleep. Caffeine works by blocking the action of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. 

Consuming large or heavy meals close to bedtime can lead to digestive discomfort, making it challenging to fall asleep. The body’s digestive processes require energy and can elevate body temperature, which is ideally cooling down as part of the natural sleep-wake cycle. 

However, now that we know that the quality of sleep has an impact on what we eat, the same applies both ways. Both the food we eat and our eating habits can change our sleep patterns and behaviours. 

Embarking on a low-carb, low-sugar, and ZERO ultra-processed food diet will help you to lose weight, restore insulin levels, and improve your overall health. Having a low-carb, low-sugar diet to stabilize blood sugar levels is vital for preventing nighttime blood sugar fluctuations that can disrupt sleep, ensuring a more stable and restful night. 

It also increases the good bacteria in our gut. Foods rich in fibre, prebiotics, and probiotics support a diverse and beneficial gut flora, which can positively influence sleep quality and essentially make us feel good through the production of serotonin. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and helps modulate melatonin in the evenings; melatonin is the hormone primarily responsible for sleep. Certain foods, especially those rich in tryptophan, can contribute to the production of serotonin and melatonin in the body.  

Great food to help you sleep: 

  • Oily fish – high in both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, both of which have been recognised to increase levels of serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters crucial for mood regulation and sleep-wake cycles 
  • Nuts and seeds – they are high in magnesium, commonly referred to as the sleep mineral which helps to reduce adrenaline levels which relaxes the brain. 
  • Green vegetables – help with the production of melatonin which is found in broccoli, asparagus, and cucumber. 
  • Potato starch – (NB starch NOT powder) act like a fertiliser for the good bugs that help generate sleep chemicals 
  • Staying adequately hydrated is essential for overall health, and it can also impact sleep. Dehydration can lead to discomfort and an increased number of times you wake up during the night.  

“Eating to sleep” is not just a concept; it’s a science that shows the impact of nutrition on sleep quality and overall health. ProLongevity addresses the intricate relationship between sleep, hormones, and nutrition. By emphasizing a diet rich in sleep-promoting foods advocating for a healthy lifestyle and practicing being mindful of dietary choices, ProLongevity aims to improve sleep quality and, consequently, help you “Live Healthier for Longer”. Whether you’re struggling to sleep, keep to a healthy diet, or are struggling with your overall lifestyle, ProLongevity is here to help you. Book a free no-obligation 15-minute consultation with our founder to see what we can do for you.  

Eat to Sleep – Get a Good Nights Sleep

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