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If you are what you eat, your sleep might be, too. There is a deep connection between diet and the quality of restful nights that you experience. Sleepless nights can create a vicious cycle that many can’t escape. After all, the more tired you are, the more you reach for those sweet and caffeinated coffee shop favorites to keep you going.
If you are yearning for more rest in your life, read on. Here are some ways your diet could be affecting your sleep with some helpful tips to prioritize your nutrition for whole health.
We’ve all experienced a sleepless night that had us lunging for a quick fix to keep us alert. But caffeine, when consumed in larger quantities, can make it more difficult to fall asleep at the end of your day. In fact, more than 200 mg of caffeine a day can lead you to feel irritable, experience an irregular heartbeat, and cause difficulty falling and staying asleep, according to the AdventHealth Publishing book, The Creation Health Breakthrough.
In addition, fancy coffee drinks can be loaded with sugar and empty calories, which spike your blood sugar levels and may have your body crashing before it’s time to sleep at night.
If you find that your sleep is chronically deficient, try cutting back your caffeine intake by a half cup of tea or coffee per day until you eliminate it all together. You might be surprised at how this small change can improve your quality of sleep and whole health.
If you suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), you have likely experienced many uncomfortable night sitting propped up with pillows. Nighttime heartburn is a common symptom of GERD, and is associated with symptoms of sleep problems and disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness and even restless legs syndrome.
For many, acid reflux, diet and sleep go hand-in-hand. Focusing on your nutrition and avoiding foods and drinks that can trigger or worsen GERD symptoms can help control GERD and in turn, improve your restful nights.
Here are some of the top things to reduce or avoid if you experience GERD:
- Foods high in fat
- Coffee, tea and sodas that contain caffeine
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus foods
- Tomato products
Obesity and Metabolism
Metabolism, appetite and weight are directly related to the quality of your sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to poorer diet choices, as those who sleep less are more likely to have larger appetites and also eat foods that contain a higher simple carbohydrate and sugar count. It’s the body’s way of trying to get more fuel to the brain to function.
Chronic sleepless nights can therefore lead to weight gain and more seriously, obesity. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, which can further impede the quality and length of sleep. Keeping a healthy weight by focusing on healthy nutrition and sleep in balance can significantly improve your health in many ways.
Improve Your Nutrition-Sleep Cycle
Sleep is an important part of maintaining your whole health, and it’s directly related to the other CREATION Health pillars in addition to rest: choice, exercise, activity, trust, interpersonal relationships, outlook and nutrition. For help with improving your whole health, connect with one of our experts by calling 855-303-DOCS.
Learn more about the CREATION Health series of books by AdventHealth Publishing.