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The food you eat could be why you are tossing and turning; it’s important to eat a nutrient rich diet that gives your brain what it needs to create the neurotransmitters that keep you asleep. You know all about the dreaded scale. You see it every morning and step on it every night, but you still can’t understand why the numbers just won’t go down. You’ve heard if you eat right and exercise that the bounty of endless weight loss can be yours for the taking. So what’s going on? Why can’t you seem to lose weight? The answer may lie in how well you’ve been sleeping. If you’ve been counting calories and hitting the gym but staying up all night to finish those Netflix marathons, you could be impeding your own progress. To get your body to its prime operating level, you need to balance your exercise, food, and sleep schedule. Together, exercise, diet, and sleep create the foundation for long-term health and well-being. Working hand in hand, a healthy diet can enhance sleep quality and duration, and getting consistent high-quality sleep can actually help you eat better.
Not only is what you eat important, but when you eat is equally as integral. There are a few things that you should keep in mind. The first is that you should stick to a routine; daily switching what time you eat can lead to your circadian rhythm being out of sync, making it harder to fall asleep at night. Another important thing to note is that you shouldn’t eat too close to bedtime – stop eating around three hours before you plan on sleeping. If you eat right before bed, your body will keep you up to digest the meal. Similarly, avoid drinking anything too close to bed to save you from waking up for a late-night bathroom trip. If you can’t resist a late-night snack, there are certain foods you can reach for.
Pay attention to caffeine intake! Caffeine makes us feel more alert by blocking production of the chemicals in the brain that tell our bodies to sleep — and increasing adrenaline. The stimulant affects everyone’s bodies differently, that’s why some people can handle two Cokes with dinner and fall right asleep, while others can’t handle more than one morning coffee. It’s important to note that caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for up to six hours after you consume it, which is why nearly every sleep guideline you read suggests limiting caffeine in the afternoon and evening hours. If you’re not having trouble sleeping, you don’t necessarily need to limit or cut back on caffeine, but if you are looking for a way to improve your sleep, how much and when you drink caffeine throughout the day should be one of the first things to consider.
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