How foods and sleep can change your life
My chat with Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert on her podcast Food For Thought is now available.
It was great chatting with Rhiannon who I have known for quite a while now. We talk about the importance of sleep and in particular the role of diet.
Here is just one of the questions I was asked…
With two-thirds of adults in the UK failing to get the recommended quality and quantity of sleep, could our nutrition be more as effective than getting an early night?
Interesting question…. The first point to make here is that there are many factors that impact on our ability to sleep well both in terms of the number of hours we get and equally as important, the quality of sleep. As we both say when it comes to many areas of health, there is no one size fits all and this mantra can be applied to sleep.
Our modern lifestyle is fast paced, and this is not just work related as everyone is affected by the pressure, we put ourselves under to be and be seen as achieving and this looks different for every individual whether it involves work goals or doing the best for your family.
The reasons for not sleeping are common amongst all groups and include things like anxiety which could be linked to lifestyle or other behavioural habits associated with overuse of modern technology.
I would say that addressing your diet can help you to sleep but you also need to address behaviours and the environment you sleep in. In my new book, I use these three pillars (BED) as a way of helping people to really think about how they can tackle their sleep issues and form their own personal sleep ritual.
Foods that harm and foods that heal sleep
When it comes to diet, it’s about looking at the foods and drinks that both help and hinder sleep as well as also looking at your eating behaviour and pattern of eating which also play a role. This may link to micronutrient deficiencies, food and drinks that stimulate our bodies or the effect of food on digestion which can all keep us awake in some way.
Diet plays a role but is just a contributory factor that should be considered alongside other things as part of addressing and understanding the bigger picture as to why you’re unable to sleep.
There is also another angle here in that sleep deprivation can cause depression, anxiety and fatigue which can lead to erratic eating patterns and impact on the food choices we make which may exacerbate the issue of sleep deprivation.
You can listen to the podcast here.