Top Tips for Sleep
Sleep for some people is often dismissed, but sleep is so powerful and can have profound effects on our whole body and how we feel!
Here are my top tips for enhancing your sleep:
1. Get some day light in the morning (go for a walk if you can). Without sunglasses is key! The natural light in the morning is brilliant for setting your body clock.
2. Avoid caffeine after 12pm. If you’re having a coffee an noon, by midnight, a quarter of the caffeine is still circulating in your system.
3. Don’t neglect sleep if you’re trying to lose weight. Research has shown that if you are sleep deprived, about 70% of weight loss is coming from muscle loss, rather than fat!
4. Decrease your blue light (phones, tv, computer) in the evening. If this is tricky for you, invest in some blue light blocking goggles. The blue light will decrease your melatonin production, melatonin is the hormone which helps you fall to sleep.
5. Combine tryptophan rich protein with complex carbs. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (a building block of protein that we must get from the diet). It is extra important because it gets converted into serotonin, our happy hormone, and then into melatonin, our sleep hormone. In order for these hormones to reach the brain, they must cross the blood-brain-barrier. Consuming some complex carbohydrates with the tryptophan containing protein allows easier access across this barrier.
Tryptophan rich foods include: turkey, salmon, eggs, spinach, nuts and seeds.
6. Include magnesium rich foods in your diet regularly, and a source of protein at your last meal of the day. These will help regulate and produce melatonin- our sleep hormone. Almonds, whole grains, green leafy veg, legumes, turkey, chicken, eggs, meat, tofu are all great sources.
7. Avoid eating less than 2 hours before you go to bed. Eating food close to your bedtime means your body will be prioritising digestion rather than sleep and restorative functions. Our body produces heat after a meal, called thermogenesis, which works against us falling asleep, as we require a slight dip in body temp when drifting off.