Woke up feeling groggy? Lack of right nutrition may be the reason why

Updated on: 21 March 2022, 11:36 am IST

If you didn't know it already, let us tell you that nutrition and sleep quality have a lot to do with each other!

sleep quality
What's the reason behind your poor sleep quality? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It’s a new day, a new start! But did you wake up feeling absolutely ‘blah’ and tired? Well, sleep is one of the most significant activities of the day. Believe it or not, many suffer for lack of good sleep which affects them throughout the day. While a whole lot of factors can be at play for this, nutrition and sleep quality have a relationship that we must understand.

Functional Nutritionist Madhavi Karmokar Sharma, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Founder of Informed Health, tells HealthShots that poor sleep is caused by many factors such as environmental stress, lack of exercise, adoption of extreme diets and your body’s inability to produce sleep-inducing micro transmitters or acids.

quaity of sleep
Healthy eating can lead to a healthy sleep pattern. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How does lack of sleep affect you?

Inability to gain sound sleep will enable:

* Poor decision making
* Laziness
* Irritation
* Antisocial tendencies

Other than the consequences mentioned above, there are further some clinical issues that one might face due to a poor sleep pattern. These include:

* Diabetes
* High blood pressure
* Hheart attack, heart failure
* Stroke
* Obesity
* Depression
* Immune system impairment
* Decreased sex drive

Chronic sleep deprivation can even have an impact on your appearance.

What is the relationship between nutrition and sleep?

Following are the nutrients that can help you to gain better sleep.

1. Tryptophan

Tryptophan, an amino acid found in a variety of foods and supplements. It is required for the production of proteins and other important molecules in your body, including those required for proper sleep and mood.

Tryptophan can be converted into the molecule 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is used in the production of serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan can be found in a variety of protein-containing foods. Tryptophan can be found in a variety of protein-containing foods.

2. Serotonin

There has been much debate about the exact use of serotonin in the body. The neurotransmitter has been proved to be more effective in calming mood and helping digesting which in turns affects the nature of sleep. The quality of the sleep is directly related to the digestive system. Hence serotonin has been linked to sleep widely.

3. Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body. It regulates the night and day cycles, as well as the sleep-wake cycle. Darkness causes the body to produce more melatonin, which indicates the body to sleep. Light reduces melatonin production and signals the body to wake up. Melatonin levels are low in some individuals who struggle sleeping.

Also Read: Tossing in bed instead of sleeping? These 4 vitamins can help

nutrition and sleep
Do you struggle to sleep? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Following are the foods and habits to be avoided for better sleep quality

1. Fatty or high-protein foods

Going to bed too shortly after consuming a heavy dinner or any high-protein foods can result in disrupted sleep because your abdomen will feel uncomfortably full. Saturated fat-rich foods have a comparable disruptive impact on sleep patterns.

2. Spicy foods

Spicy foods can cause painful heartburn, making it difficult to lie down comfortably, making it difficult to fall asleep. Heartburn can aggravate the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by causing more irritation in your airway. Some spicy foods can raise your body heat, forcing it to work harder to cool it down enough just to fall asleep; starting to feel too warm in bed can also interrupt your sleeping habits throughout the night.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine has long been recognized as a potential sleep disruptor for many people, as it is a stimulant aimed at keeping you alert. Caffeine can also be found in other foods, such as chocolate or even ice cream, so read the labels carefully.

4. Alcohol

After dinner, a glass of wine or a beer can be relaxing, but not so much when it’s time to sleep. When the effects of alcohol wear off, you may find yourself waking up unexpectedly and struggling to fall back asleep. Alcohol can also aggravate the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Also Read: Planning dinner? Avoid these 7 foods for better sleep

alcohol and sleep
Avoid alcohol right before you sleep! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The importance of quality sleep

Sleep is one of the most undervalued activities during the day. Sleep, which is frequently regarded as a drawback in the hustle society, is actually an accomplice of a productive day.

Sleep quality should be prioritized because it affects all systems of the body and can lead to burnout. The foods discussed above will help you get a good night’s sleep, which will give you a healthy brain to make better decisions.

Other than foods, there are some simple lifestyle changes that an individual can make, in order to achieve a sound sleep.

* Avoid too much exposure to blue light from electronics. The blue light can disrupt your melatonin production and hinder your ability to attain quality sleep.

* Calm down and stay stress-free. You can make a whole routine of building peace after a hectic day. Read a book, listen to podcasts, or diffusE essential oil.

Keeping the sleep pattern constant will act as an alarm to your body, and your mind will remain much calmer during the day.

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