How a Healthy Diet Improves Sleep
With functional nutritionist Brooke Rozmenoski
Proper sleep is essential for your overall health.
There are many ways to improve your restorative rest, such as following a proper bedtime routine and having the right mattress. But did you know that changing your diet can also improve how you sleep at night?
Functional Nutritionist Brooke Rozmenoski (@brookerozzie on Instagram) is here to share her expertise on how and why it's important to eat well if you want to sleep well.
We asked Brooke what the world should know about the relationship between diet and sleep. Here are her helpful insights and tips:
Q. How does nutrition play a significant role in getting proper sleep? Why is it important?
- This can be a loaded question but I want to take this in its most simple form: Nutrition gets undervalued very often in how it impacts our mood, energy, cognitive function, blood sugar regulation, hormonal function, and digestion.
These are all some of the biggest things my clients see when we first start working together and making simple shifts to nutrition and lifestyle, and suddenly their sleep quality starts improving.
First – from a blood sugar standpoint, dysregulated blood sugar can absolutely impact the quality of our sleep and vice versa, the quality of our sleep can impact our blood sugar regulation. Simple things we work with clients on in the beginning are macronutrients to support regulating blood sugar, like adequate protein, quality fats, and fiber.
Second, nutrition affects our hormonal health, which regulates the processes in our body that happen every day, including ones that impact our sleep quality.
The thing to keep in mind is all these processes require adequate nutrients to function optimally, so the nutrient density of our daily food intake over time can absolutely have an impact on our sleep, energy, mood, and digestive health.
Q. What are your nutritional recommendations for better sleep?
- The first thing I advise most clients to change is to eat dinner more than two (2) hours before bed. Many people have heard of this as a weight loss technique. It actually has less to do with losing weight -- more importantly, it affects and supports your sleep quality.
We also work through the one meal we often see people skip: breakfast. Good sleep actually starts in the beginning of the day, and how we begin our day with food can impact our blood sugar regulation through the day — one of the best ways to correct this is to start our day with a high protein breakfast and to hold on the coffee or even scale the caffeine intake until we have eaten something if we are experiencing any periods of high personal stress. Caffeine intake in the morning is one of the sneaky ways we see clients’ sleep get disrupted at night.
Q. Are there specific foods, drinks or supplements that promote good sleep?
- Sipping on a chamomile or calming tea in the evenings can support a better quality sleep at night. Also, denser carbs at night, like rice, potato, etc., during dinner, in some cases can assist with serotonin production and support a night of good sleep quality as well.
Many of us are deficient in the essential mineral Magnesium, which is responsible for hundreds of enzymatic processes in the body. It also plays a vital role in supporting rest, relaxation, and recovery.One of the first supplements I introduce for a client struggling with sleep is Magnesium Glycinate, a gentler form that absorbs well to support better sleep quality.
Q. Do you have tips on how one can improve their sleep & nutrition?
- I start many clients on a "sleep routine" and use a 60-40-20 rule:
Sixty minutes before bed, we finish whatever we need to wrap up for the day, like sending the last email, doing the dishes, finishing a TV show, and dimming the overhead lights in our home.
Forty minutes before bed, we turn all electronics off and put our phones away, take a shower, wash our face, brush our teeth, and freshen up.
Twenty minutes before bed, we get on our mattress and do something restorative like reading, journaling, meditation, or breath work, until it's lights out and time for sleep.
Other things I encourage clients to do are to set the right sleep environment, which actually begins in the morning:
- Start your day by getting at least 10 minutes of sunlight before 10am, even if it's gray outside – it works!
- Limit as much stimulation as is within your control during the day and try to take a mid-day "check in" with yourself.
- Eat foods you know you digest well and try to drink water between meals vs. during them to support digestion throughout the day.
- Set your home to ideal sleeping temps in the evening, around 65-68 degrees.
- Eliminate evening stimulation as much as possible, reduce TV time, phone scrolling, etc.
- Darken your room as much as possible using black-out shades or sleeping eye masks that fit well. Even small lights from an alarm clock can impact our hormone production and affect sleep quality.
THE BOTTOM LINESleep and diet are inextricably linked. Combining a serene sleep environment with healthy routines and diets can help you achieve the restorative sleep you need to do and feel your best.
It's essential to think of sleep and diet as interdependent systems, rather than separate, to make lifestyle choices that support both.
Forming habits and routines that support your well-being is much more important than any single healthy meal or early bedtime, so set yourself up for a lifetime of good sleep by making these tips part of your everyday self-care.
Learn more about sleep
For almost 30 years, Majestic Beds has specialized in creating mattresses, pillows, and bed foundations that help people achieve restorative sleep and a healthier, happier life.
Our Sleep Experts can guide you to the best sleep products for your needs.
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