Sleep on it: the right food for better sleep


It’s just past your lunch hour and you’ve just had an amazing meal with your colleagues. Just as you settle down in your office chair, you turn to them and say: “All that food is making me sleepy.” 

That scenario is likely to be familiar to many people, and often the only time people talk about food and sleep. The thing is, the conversation usually ends there with a laugh and a suggestion to get another cup of coffee before everyone starts getting back into work mode.

The fact is that the link between sleep and the food you eat is actually backed by science – that’s right, nutrition and how well you sleep are interconnected. Too much carbs, for example, can wake you up regularly at night. And if you’re not having consistent meals, it can throw your body clock off as well which will cause problems with sleep.

The problem is two-fold, however. If you’re not sleeping well, then you’ll likely be in a worse mood and then you’ll reach out to (often unhealthy) food as a response and this just gets you trapped in a vicious cycle!

So, what can you do this fix this? Aside from eating regularly and consistently, you should also read up about what kinds of food you should be eating more of. Here are some suggestions.


Go For All The Colour

Fruits and vegetables tend to be highly fibrous so these are always good options to go for. Research shows that there is a direct link between how much fibre you consume and how long you sleep. Make sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount of fibre each day though – women should aim for 25gm while men should consume 38gm. So you know what this means, make sure that your meals are colourful!


A Sweet Deal

In general, advice that a lot of people get for the fitness and physical health is to avoid as much sweets as possible. However, it’s important that you know there are some sugars that are better and worse for you. Processes sugars – like candy, for example – aren’t always great and definitely not right before bed because it’ll give your body a rush and you’ll have trouble falling asleep. Natural sugars, like in fruits and root veggies, on the other hand helps to promote sleep if you have just a wee bit before hitting the sack.

Packing All The Meat

Did you know that consuming the right amount of protein can help your body produce melatonin? Yes, that’s the hormone that you need to help you fall asleep which people always talk about when encouraging you not to look at digital screens before bed (more tips to help you sleep!). So, make sure you get some lean meat or fish in your body, or if you’re vegetarian, up your intake of nuts and seeds. 

Remember, a good night’s sleep isn’t just about feeling rested the next morning but it has great benefits to your mood, mental health and physical wellbeing. It’s all interlinked – eating better will contribute to all those, and help you sleep better too so it’s a win-win situation!