Quality health cover that meets your needs doesn’t need to be complicated or too expensive. We offer you great cover, easy claims, and above all we tell it like it is – Affinity Health

To find out more, give us a call today!

One of our qualified and friendly agents will be happy to assist you.

Call Center:

0861 11 00 33

Fax:

086 607 9419


General Enquiries:

info@affinityhealth.co.za
The Official National Department of Health COVID-19 Support Service: 060 012 3456 (WhatsApp)

Find a Doctor

or Dentist

Hospitals

Where can you go?

Careers

View positions

Pre-Authorisation / 24hr Emergency

0861 11 00 33

CALL BACK
sleep -1209288_1280

Eat your way to better sleep

The food you eat directly impacts the overall quality of your sleep. Making good food choices, as well as getting a good night’s rest go hand-in-hand. Monitoring the number of calories you consume before bed also helps to keep your weight in check. 

For example, eating a pizza for supper isn’t the recipe for a restful night. It is heavy and oily and will most likely be difficult to digest – especially lying down. According to Healthline, Your posture can affect how quickly you digest food. Digestion is slowest when you’re lying down and quickest when you’re standing up and moving. However, there seems to be a slight difference between sitting and standing immediately after a meal.

Serotonin

Consume food and drinks that contain serotonin. Serotonin is a serenity-boosting neurotransmitter. This means that it is a hormone that makes you feel ‘happy’. Serotonin helps you sleep. Serotonin also prevents rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Studies have shown that increasing serotonin through the use of SSRIs reduces REM sleep. While serotonin seems to both induce sleep and keep you up, it’s a chemical precursor to melatonin, the primary hormone involved in sleep.

So eating a little earlier in the evening will allow you to digest meals properly and release the endorphins that lead to a good night’s rest. Doing this will keep your stomach and brain in sync.

Foods high in serotonin include:

  • Dairy
  • Fruit
  • Eggs

Nuts, seeds and bananas are healthy snack foods. They are also rich in magnesium. Magnesium is the most powerful relaxation mineral. 

Whole-grain pasta, brown rice and chickpeas are good quality carbohydrates. Paired with other ingredients, the meal is a good foundation for sleep. It triggers serotonin.

A grocery list for a great sleep

Herbal teas are a natural remedy. They are known to help you relax. Try chamomile and peppermint tea. Most herbal teas don’t contain caffeine. Check the label before purchasing.

Herbal tea may not be for everyone. Warm skimmed milk is also a comforting drink. It encourages the onset of sleep. Warm milk mixed with muesli is also an option before bedtime.

Foods and drinks that keep you awake

According to EdenSleep, research has shown that alcohol puts you down for a peaceful sleep. You may feel tired after an evening of drinking. Alcohol actually reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Your night’s rest will be interrupted, though. The more alcohol consumed, the more substantial the disruption will be. 

Caffeine 

Caffeine is a drug and a mental and physical stimulant. Consuming caffeine before bed may make it harder for you to sleep. Caffeine can also disrupt your digestive process. It can also wake you up in the middle of the night to urinate. 

Fast food

Fast foods are high in saturated fat. Foods high in saturated fats don’t only make you gain weight. It impacts your sleep cycle due to indigestion interference.

Spice!

Spicy foods cause reflux or indigestion. This can interrupt your sleep. Spicy food contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is an active ingredient in chilli peppers. Your sleep will be affected because of the changes in your body temperature. 

Avoid process foods such as deli meats. They contain a lot of sodium. Sodium can interrupt your sleep. It raised your blood pressure and dehydrating you.

High supply of key nutrients

B vitamins and magnesium play an essential role in the synthesis of melatonin. Legumes, whole grains, dairy, sweet potato, eggs, nuts and leafy greens are high in B vitamins. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds is a good dose of magnesium per day.

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, is a building block of serotonin. Serotonin helps to produce melatonin. Tryptophan contains your daily requirement of nourishment. Protein foods filled with tryptophan include turkey, eggs, dairy, chicken, soybeans, fish and nuts. Pair up the protein with a small number of carbohydrates. Sweet potato, oats or whole-grain crackers are good options for carbohydrate pairings. 

Similar to the above nutrients, vitamin D also regulates serotonin and improves sleep regulation. Fatty fish several times a week will increase your dietary vitamin D intake. You can take a vitamin D supplement. Discuss this with your healthcare provider first. 

Calcium is a crucial nutrient for your body. It is a natural relaxant. It also has a calming effect on your body’s nervous system. Calcium is in low-fat yoghurt, milk, cheese and fortified orange juice. 

Obesity and Metabolism

 Lack of sleep leads to poor diet choices. Metabolism, appetite and weight are directly related to the quality of your sleep. It is a vicious cycle. People with larger appetites are likely to sleep less. This is because of a high simple carbohydrate and sugar count. 

Chronic sleepless nights can lead to weight gain. More seriously, it can lead to obesity. Obesity can increase your risk for disorders. Sleep apnoea, for example, can impede the quality and length of your sleep. 

Try to cut down to healthy portion sizes. By eating right, you will be able to sleep even better. Focus on healthy nutrition and sleep as a balanced task. It can improve your health significantly and get more fuel to the brain to function.

Get help!

There are loads of medical professionals who can assist with these problems. Nutritionists, General Practitioners, sleep therapists, and more can help you find a proper eating plan, sleep schedule and diet and more) to get you on the path to a better lifestyle. 

Contact Affinity Health TODAY to hear what medical insurance plans are available to fit your needs! 

 

If you would like to leave a comment

CLICK HERE