Sleep & Nutrition: Holistic Sleep Health
Understanding how your sleep and nutrition may impact your general wellness may be something you are interested in learning more about. In this blog, we’ll talk about how optimal nutrition may positively impact your sleep quality. Let’s take a holistic look at how you can pave the way to a healthy sleep journey.
It’s Time for Bed
As kids, I’m not sure we learned too much about the connection between sleep and nutrition, however, I am sure our parents knew the health benefits between the two.
I remember having a set bedtime growing up. After a day at school, when my brothers and I came home, we did our homework, ate dinner as a family and then had time for riding our bikes or playing outdoor games with our neighborhood friends. We had a set time when to come in and that was usually directed by the setting of the sun. No kidding! Those were the days! A little more studying and then time for bed. On some nights, we got to watch a favorite show or two (parent approved, of course).
After some conversation with our parents or a story from my dad, we were tucked into bed with the vision of a beautiful day behind us and the anticipation of an adventurous tomorrow.
So, What’s New?
Times certainly have changed, and things seem to be moving a bit faster than you might remember. Even as adults, I am sure many of you look back and dream about those quieter times. Maybe we are so wrapped up in trying to get ahead that we may really be falling behind. Our health should be priority, but sometimes we keep burning the midnight oil, bypassing our bedtime and the internal cues our body may be sending us. Balancing family, work and play may take practice and some mindful decisions.
There are holistic ways to support our sleep and nutrition health. Engaging in some down time to meditate before the start of your day or scheduling meditation time throughout your day may help to support your emotional wellness and recalibrate your well-being. Some yoga, Pilates or even just some deep breathing to center yourself, may be great ways for you to get in tune with yourself. Knowing how to relax is your first step to a good night’s sleep.
- Keep a food, fluid and exercise journal. Jot down your feelings, adventures and dreams. Practicing mindfulness throughout your day, may lend to a more peaceful interior.
- Ditch the electronics, television, phone and other distracting devices that may deter sound sleep.
If you’re looking for quality sleep support, check out Healthy Sleep Daily Pure Pack .‡
- Best-Rest Formula contains the time-tested support of valerian, passionflower, chamomile, lemon balm and hops, which act to calm and relax the central nervous system. ‡
- Clinical trials on valerian, hops and lemon balm, have indicated the potential to support the onset of sleep as well as healthy sleep quality.1-3‡
- Melatonin, another ingredient in our Best-Rest Formula may help to facilitate the onset of sleep and sleep efficiency.4‡
- GABA and l-theanine are included for their ability to promote alpha wave production in the brain, which serves as an indication of relaxation.5,6‡
Since cortisol, is a hormone naturally released in response to stress, Cortisol Calm may help you to maintain a healthy cortisol response and to help you with relaxation, restful sleep, and a positive mood during times of occasional stress.‡
From Dish to Dreamland
Through complex mechanisms, sleep and nutrition are closely connected. Here are some other ways we can eat our way to better sleep.
Enjoying a warm cup of tea may be soothing to savor at the end of a long day, but sipping on green tea, may also help you feel relaxed. L-Theanine, a unique amino acid, in green tea, may be responsible for promoting this relaxation.‡
- L-theanine supports relaxation, measured by alpha wave production in the brain, without causing drowsiness.7‡
- Because of its calming properties, L-theanine moderates the effects of caffeine on the central nervous system.8‡
Pass the protein! Both animal and plant protein provide another essential amino acid called l-tryptophan that we need to get from our diet. This essential amino acid is a serotonin precursor and is found in foods like turkey, chicken, canned tuna, milk, oats, nuts, seeds and some fruits, like apples and bananas.9
Research indicates that L-Tryptophan supplementation may support emotional well-being and restful sleep.10 L-Tryptophan also supports healthy sleep quality, onset and duration.11‡
Surprisingly, a food that may impact your sleep wellness is dark cherries. Since cherries are a natural source of melatonin, eating them may support sleepiness.12‡
If cherries aren’t on your list or you are just simply looking to supplement your diet, talk to your health care provider about Melatonin-SR, which provides 3 mg of sustained-release MicroActive® melatonin for sustained, 6-hour support, facilitating the onset of sleep as well as sleep efficiency.‡
A healthy diet with adequate complex carbohydrates and fewer simple carbs, (like sweetened beverages or other sweets), is important for healthy sleep and nutrition. Complex carbohydrates like whole fruits and healthy grains like quinoa, whole wheat grains and fibrous vegetables are recommended in the 2020 - 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.13
Include foods rich in magnesium, found in both animal and plant sources. They include avocados, spinach, legumes, seeds, nuts and also whole grains to name a few.14
Hopefully, now that you have some lifestyle and nutrition tips to support better sleep you can fluff your pillow tonight with confidence!
Lifestyle and Your Sleep Patterns
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle by finding ways to manage your stress and making mindful choices to support healthy sleep and nutrition are important for your sleep hygiene.
- Connect with your health care provider or a Registered Dietitian to discuss all of your options to support healthy sleep and nutrition.
Special note: Wishing my Pure Encapsulations® Registered Dietitian (RD) colleagues, and all fellow Registered Dietitians a Healthy and Happy Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day and National Nutrition Month!
With Pure intentions, Purely for you!
- Kennedy DO, et. al. Phytother Res. 2006 Feb;20(2):96-102.
- Ngan A, et. al. Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1153-9.
- Zick SM, et. al. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Sep 22;11:78.
- Eckerberg B, et. al. Chronobiol Int. 2012 Nov;29(9):1239-48.
- Yoto A, et. al. Amino Acids. 2012 Sep;43(3):1331-7.
- Kimura K, et. al. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39- 45.
- Juneja LR, et al. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 1999. 10; 199-204.
- Giles GE, et al. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2017 Jan;95(1):93-100.
- 9 Foods High in Tryptophan and Why You Need It (webmd.com). Accessed 2/3/2023.
- Hartmann E, et al. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1979 Aug;167(8):497-9.
- Ghadirian AM, et al. J Affect Disord. 1998 Jul;50(1):23-7.
- (medicalnewstoday.com). Accessed 2/3/2023.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. Accessed 2/3/2023.
- Magnesium - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov). Accessed 2/3/2023.