You sleep what you eat – or at least partially!

As we go into March and the summer slowly begins to fade we may turn our thoughts to winter days and nights and how to get better sleep. We have recently experienced the month of love and romance and one thing any Juliette who married her Romeo last month will learn very quickly is the old saying ‘’The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Now research and studies have shown that it is just possible that your diet may be a way to better sleep too so you sleep what you eat –or at least partially!

Old wives’ tales?

When we think that for years we have known that coffee keeps many people awake and it is said that warm milk is a great way to get to sleep, it is obvious that there is something to this theory about what we put into our stomachs just before bedtime can make a difference.

To be honest, the research that has been done on this is not entirely conclusive but evidence seems to point to indications that certain foods can either make you sleep better or at least make you a bit sleepier making it easier to get to sleep. The general belief is that it depends on the ‘’underlying nutritional components’’ of what we eat and drink.

Diet in general is the key

We already know a healthier lifestyle and good diet combined with regular exercise is the key to better sleep. The diet is just one aspect of this and diets are complicated and can affect different people in different ways – but we have to create a general yardstick on which to base how we can combine better eating with healthier sleep.

As one Sleep Foundation article put it ‘’Nutritionists recommend eating a balanced and consistent diet made up mostly of vegetables and fruits. Properly designed, such a diet provides stable sources of essential vitamins and minerals, including those that can promote sleep. An example of this is the Mediterranean Diet, which has been associated with heart health as well as better sleep’’

…but there are some ‘super-sleep’ foods and drinks 

Starting with the commonest and ending with the least commonly consumed foods said to be great with assisting you to sleep better are; 

  • Rice – due to their high glycaemic index; 
  • Nuts of all kinds – contain melatonin (which is a hormone that helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep) as well as essential minerals like magnesium and zinc; 
  • Milk and malted milk – contain melatonin, and some milk products are melatonin-enriched;
  • Fatty fish – provides a healthy dose of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which are involved in the body’s regulation of serotonin;
  • Kiwi fruit – It is believed they enhance sleep due to their antioxidant properties, ability to address folate deficiencies, and/or high concentration of serotonin;
  • Tart cherries – have above-average concentrations of melatonin and may also have an antioxidant effect that is conducive to sleep. 

…and a few no-nos!

The trio of no-nos when it comes to what you consume before bedtime comes as no surprise and these are excessive caffeine (coffee is not the only culprit, with energy drinks being possibly worse), too much alcohol, and eating too much too close to bedtime!

One common good sleep factor that never changes

Regardless of your lifestyle or diet, one way to ensure you get better sleep is to sleep on a good mattress. Sleeping on a bad one definitely affects how well you sleep and feel the next day – and this is not just conjecture but scientifically proven!

Truform mattresses, with their high gauge wire and high spring count in every mattress and an additional comfort layer under the quilting, making them more comfortable and orthopedically superior, are ‘firm’ favourites with sleep lovers everywhere!   Test a Truform at a store near you today or contact us directly to let us know exactly what it is you need in a mattress and let us help you out. In the meantime eat right and sleep tight!