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Did you know your nutrition intake can dictate the quality of your sleep?

Published on:8 September 2021, 11:00am IST
There are various things that contribute to good sleep, and it includes nutrition too. Here’s all you need to know about the link between nutrition and quality of sleep!
Monika Raj
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nutrition and sleep
Nutrition and sleep: are they linked? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Sleep deprivation is caused by a consistent lack of sleep or reduced quality of sleep. Getting less than seven hours of sleep on a regular basis can eventually lead to health consequences that can affect your entire body. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are real and can also lead to an underlying sleep disorder. 

There is no denying that we’ve all suffered from sleepless nights at some point. If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, grumpy, and out of sorts. However, there is a solid solution to mitigate your inadequate sleep problem. There are many factors at play that can fix your sleep cycle — a healthy lifestyle, a hygiene routine, and most importantly, nutrition. 

nutrition and sleep
For having a good sleep routine, you need to follow a nutritious diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It’s no secret that both nutrition and sleep play a fundamental role in our health, but the complex and important relationships between them are frequently overlooked. Diet and nutrition can influence the quality of your sleep, and certain foods and drinks can make it easier or harder to get the sleep that your body needs. 

How does nutrition affect sleep?

The phrase “you are what you eat” may be a cliche, but it reflects the fact that nutrition serves as a backbone for our health. It provides the energy we need and other inputs that help the body function properly. The link between nutrition and obesity, diabetes, and heart health are well-known to all. However, many people are unaware that their diet can also affect sleep. 

One study found a lack of key nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K to be associated with sleep problems. As a general rule, a balanced diet made up largely of a variety of vegetables and fruits is able to provide the recommended daily intake of vitamins and nutrients, contributing to better sleep while promoting a healthy weight.

Listed below are some foods, which can help you sleep better:

1. Milk: It contains ingredients that are known to help people sleep. For instance, tryptophan – an amino acid that can help the human body produce serotonin – a brain chemical, which can induce deeper and more restful sleep by creating melatonin.

nutrition and sleep
Yes, Milk is the answer to your lack of sleep! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Almonds: It contains high doses of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleeping and waking cycle. Around 5-6 whole almonds contain a good amount of magnesium and calcium – two minerals that help promote muscle relaxation and sleep.

3. Chamomile tea: For years, chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation, anxiety and treat insomnia as well. In fact, chamomile is commonly regarded as a mild tranquilizer or sleep inducer. Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which may help initiate sleep. 

4. Walnuts: It contains a few compounds that promote and regulate sleep, including melatonin and serotonin. Each serving of walnuts also contains other nutrients that can help induce sleep such as magnesium. 

With all this and more, we must further explore the connections between sleep and nutrition to create opportunities to optimize both – to eat smarter, sleep better, and live a healthier life.

Monika Raj Monika Raj

Monika Raj, a lifestyle coach with GOQii, is a qualified nutritionist.