Nutritionist Amy Shapiro from Real Nutrition in NYC gives us her simple step-by-step eating guide for the best sleep ever. PLUS 2 more easy ways to get high quality shut-eye. Every single night.
Have you ever lay in bed at night counting sheep or backwards from 100 in order to lull yourself to sleep? We’ve all been there and it isn’t fun. It’s also not healthy. Research shows that individuals who get less than 7 ½ hours of sleep are more likely to be overweight and make poor food choices.
Next time you find yourself reaching for sugar or coffee around 4pm, try and recognise that what you eat in the hours before bed can actually affect how quickly you fall to sleep and your quality of sleep. Along with foods that keep you up, like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, there are others that bring on sleep that are simple to incorporate into your dinner or late-night snack.
When looking for foods to encourage sleep, look for the amino acid tryptophan found in protein-rich foods like dairy, meat, soy, beans, eggs and seeds. Sounds easy enough right? Not so quick. In order to absorb the tryptophan, our body requires complex carbohydrates as they allow the tryptophan to cross the blood brain barrier and get into our cells quicker, calming our neurotransmitters and bringing on sleep. Salmon is a great choice for its omega-3 fatty acids and high content of DHA. When DHA goes up, so does your melatonin, a hormone in the body that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
Of course, it’s best to choose a healthy, complex carbohydrate to pair with your protein, like beans, brown rice, lentils, oats, and sweet potatoes instead of baked goods and candy (sorry, buzz-kill I know). Whole foods and foods with fiber are broken down slower in the body and allow blood sugar levels to stay steady. Empty carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes possibly jarring you awake at 2am. No thank you!
SIMPLE SLEEP SNACKS
Eggs and brown rice
Almond butter on whole grain toast
Cheese and whole grain crackers
Tart cherries or cherry juice (high in melatonin)
Bananas (a natural muscle relaxers)
When Dr Simone Laubsher PhD formulated SLEEP WELLE Calming tea, she packed it with sleep maximising herbs. Valerian is one of the most common remedies for insomnia. Studies have shown that valerian improves sleep quality, the speed of falling asleep and encourages deep sleep. It is also used to help ease anxiety, headaches and migraines. It’s most effective when used over longer periods of time. Hops is a flower extract that is widely used as a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia. When combined with valerian it helps create a sense of calm. Skullcap is a powerful medicinal herb, stronger than chamomile that is used in the treatment of a wide range of nervous conditions including insomnia and anxiety. It is helpful for nervous headaches and inducing sleep without any side effects.
Simply steep in hot water and sip for sleep, or add herbs, spices and pears.
Spray WelleCo SLEEP WELLE Calming Mist onto your pillow and sheets. It is formulated with a tranquil and sleepy blend of wild chamomile, vetiver and lavender, a flower that has been proven to reduce heart rate and relax muscles. Simply spritz pillows and bedroom to unlock full beauty sleep potential. Also perfect for inflight relaxation, it helps reduce anxiety and exhaustion whilst working to restore healthy sleep patterns.