There are many solutions we might turn to in the bid for a better night’s sleep: a new mattress, changing our sleep routine, listening to soothing music, or practicing mindfulness to name but a few.
All of these can make a difference, but what about our diet? Are there any changes we can make to our eating habits that could help us get the sleep we need?
Senior Physiologist at AXA Health, Lauren Davenport, explains the relationship between what and when we eat and how well we sleep (and vice versa), and suggests which foods may help or hinder a good night’s rest.
The benefits of sleep
Many of us tend to overlook the importance of getting enough good quality sleep and the positive impact it has on our health and wellbeing.
In terms of our daily ‘To do’ list, it’s not even up there – sleep’s just something that happens once everything else is done. Yet the benefits include:
- reducing fatigue,
- boosting immunity,
- helping to maintain a healthy weight,
- boosting mental wellbeing end even helping to ward off some serious long term health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.1
So it’s important to prioritise getting the sleep we need, in the same way we might getting our 5-a-day portions of fruit and veg, or meeting the guidelines for physical activity recommended to achieve better health.2
But what if you’re among the 25% of people in the UK reporting regularly sleeping less than the recommended 7-9 hours per night?3
Lauren says: “There’s no set menu for getting a good night’s sleep that will work for everyone, but research has suggested that there is an association between some dietary behaviours and better sleep.
You may have noticed before that some foods make you feel sleepy, while others give you a boost of energy. Post-Sunday roast sluggishness sound familiar? Or are you someone whose day only starts after their first cup of tea or coffee?”4
Read on to find out why that is, and how you can go about eating your way to a better night’s sleep.