Nutrition

Want Energy? Let’s talk SLEEP!

July 9, 2019
Sleep for energy

If we are talking about energy, we must start by talking about sleep.  Why you should care:  Lack of sleep is associated with chronic conditions, weight gain and weaker immune system.  Yikes. Goal 7-8 hours per night yet most of us get less than 6 hours.  

Good sleep hygiene habits 101:

  • no pets in bed
  • keep you room cold, dark, and quiet 
  • go to bed and wake up at the same time 
  • exercise
  • avoid screens 1 hour before bed

Ok, ok, yes, sleep is important, but what else can you do?

Fiber up!  Fiber is associated with deeper sleep high fiber.  Goal 25-35 grams per day is associated with deeper sleep.  

“My mommy’s favorite drink is Starbucks”.  Is this you?  Let’s talk caffeine – no more than 400 mg per day for adults.  This can really vary from product to product.  Check the label!   This can be 4-5 cups of coffee or 10 cokes or 2 energy shots.  Also, check with doctor if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Watch the example that you set for your kiddos.  The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages consumption of caffeine by children/adolescents.  Typically, it can take 4-6 hours for your body to metabolize half of what you consumed. This is why it is not recommended late in the day.

Too much caffeine can be dangerous.  Over consumption can lead to insomnia, jitters, anxiousness, increase heart rate, upset stomach, nausea and headache.   In fact, 1200mg associated with seizures.   Having a panic moment?  It’s ok!  To cut back: check your food label to assess your current consumption.  Remember to cut back gradually to avoid side effects. Also try going ½ regular and ½ decaf or consider herbal teas.

Don’t forget about serotonin!    Serotonin can contribute to better sleep.  Boost serotonin naturallyby consuming foods that contain the essential amino acid tryptophan.  Tryptophan can be found in salmon (twice per week), poultry (chicken, turkey) eggs, spinach, seeds (walnuts, pumpkin seeds), milk, tofu/soy.  One note: tryptophan is most effective if eaten alongside carbs!

One last thought:  perfect your evening routine! Evening recommendation:

  • Limit fluids before bedtime
  • avoid heavy meal before bedtime (high fat meals prolong digestion time and can cause heart burn)
  • avoid alcohol (fall asleep but disrupted sleep)

Cheers to waking up energized!

Caroline

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Hydrating foods!
Nutrition Research

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