The Connection Between Diet and Sleep

The Connection Between Diet and Sleep

While it’s common knowledge that both diet and sleep play a significant role in our health and wellbeing, it’s easy to overlook the strong connection between the two. Specifically, what you eat and drink during waking hours can impact your ability to fall and stay asleep while getting enough sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy body weight. [1] When you aren’t sleeping well, your body may develop a craving for junk food which can send you into an unhealthy cycle that’s difficult to break. Before you go down this path, we have some simple tips to change up your diet so you can stay on track with your fitness and sleep goals.

Your Better Sleep Grocery List

Eating a balanced diet that consists of lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to maintain a healthy weight while also promoting better sleep. [2] Here are some of our favorite shopping list staples:

  • Salmon
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Chickpeas
  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Fresh fruits (or frozen)
  • Legumes (beans and peas)
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Olive oil

When creating your daily meal plan, it’s important to stay within your daily recommended caloric intake, which is generally 2,000 – 2,500 calories per day for adults although this can vary based on age, height, and current body weight.

Foods to Avoid

Certain foods should be avoided on a regular basis when trying to maintain a healthy weight and sleep better at night. Specifically, you should avoid:

  • Processed snacks like potato chips
  • Sugary treats like candy bars and soda
  • Fried foods

Caffeine and alcohol consumption should not be consumed in the hours before bed as these can impact your ability to fall asleep.

Sticking to a balanced diet and avoiding regular consumption of the foods above can help you sleep better at night, have more energy during the day, and maintain a healthy body weight. That said, if you do indulge on comfort foods like pizza or mac and cheese – don’t fret! A little indulgence here and there is just fine as long as you return to your balanced diet afterwards.

Remember that a balanced diet is just one component of better sleep. Don’t forget the following:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • Exercise for 30 minutes each day (moderate exercise such as walking is fine)
  • Create a comfortable bedroom environment and sleep on a quality mattress (check out our new Dear Sleep Mattress)
  • Manage stress through daily self-care rituals

While these tips are meant to be helpful guidelines, remember that when it comes to diet each individual is unique. Other factors such as age, gender, activity level, and medical conditions also play a role. You should always talk to your health care provider before changing your diet and sleep routine.

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