Everyone talks about how important sleep is. But judging from the way we huddle over our coffee mugs in the morning, nobody is getting enough quality sleep.
Learn some surprisingly simple tips that will help you sleep better tonight!
Aside from feeling groggy in the morning, sleep deprivation negatively affects EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE. To name just a few…
- your mood
- your energy levels
- your hormone levels
- your motivation
- your ability to concentrate
- your ability to learn
- your ability to perform simple tasks (like driving…yikes!)
- your sex drive
- your ability to lose weight
- your ability to repair and recover physically (from workouts or even just the daily grind).
In addition to all this, there is also a strong correlation between persistent disrupted/inadequate sleep and an increase in chronic disease and premature death.
Makes you want to crawl under your desk and take a nap right now, doesn’t it?
So we all agree that we should all get more sleep. But did you know that what you are EATING may be affecting your sleep?
Consider this: most Americans consume their largest meal of the day late in the evening. It’s no wonder. With our busy lifestyles and hectic schedules, we tend to go, go, go with little (if any) thought or planning put into what and when we’re eating throughout the day.
Inevitably, we end up famished by the end of the day, and when we finally get home, the “gloves come off,” and we gorge, eating everything in sight. If the dog got in the way, he’d probably get eaten, too. Watch out, Fido!
This turns into a vicious cycle:
The good news is, you can remedy this pretty easily. By making a couple of simple changes, everything else will fall into place.
Breaking this vicious cycle starts with none other than breakfast. Choose a high-protein breakfast consisting of eggs and breakfast meats. Not only will you give your body what it needs to start the day off right, you’ll also set the stage for the rest of your meals. Eating protein in the morning will help to keep your energy levels stable all day long.
2-3 hours later, have a high-protein snack, like almonds, a hard-boiled egg, or a cheese stick. This will be just enough healthy, filling food to stabilize your energy levels and hold you over until lunch. These portable snacks are perfect to tuck into your purse or pocket for when you are on the go, go, go!
Focus on non-starchy vegetables and high-protein meats for your lunch. Non-starchy vegetables are things like leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and celery. These vegetables can help with sleep by filling in nutritional gaps. Grilled steak and broccoli, an inviting chef’s salad, or a clear broth chicken and veggie soup (no noodles) are excellent lunch time choices.
Avoiding starches like bread and pasta or starchy vegetables like potatoes means that you will not experience a mid-day carb slump. That means that you will not be as likely to reach for sleep disruptors such as coffee, chocolate, or sweets to stay alert as you finish your work day.
2-3 hours after lunch, have another healthy, filling, high-protein snack. Once again, by doing this you will stabilize your energy levels so you don’t come home and eat everything in sight.
Then, when you get home in the evening, instead of being ravenously out of control. You can maintain self-control and eat a sensible, filling, high-protein meat-and-vegetable-based dinner. The key here is to avoid late night meals of rich and heavy foods that your stomach has a hard time digesting. So cut off eating at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.
By the time you go to bed, your body will have already processed dinner enough to get it out of your stomach so you can sleep soundly. You will find yourself waking up refreshed and ready for the day rather than dragging out of bed in a fog and slipping into the evil cycle above.
Try to keep 12-14 overnight hours in between your last meal of the day and your first meal the following day. Doing this will reinforce your circadian rhythm. You can make this step even more effective by heeding the instruction your folks gave you to GO TO BED and wake up at a set time. Overnight fasting along with an set bed-time and wake time will work together to help you sleep better.
Adopt these healthy habits and you will feel the results in just a few short days. In the long-run it WILL change your life for the better. It’s DEFINITELY worth it!
Need some help making these life-changing changes? Personal Trainer Food Program gives you EVERYTHING you need to make this process EASY.
In fact, it lets you put eating right and sleeping well on autopilot.