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This is How You Can Eat and Drink Your Way To A Good Night Sleep

This is How You Can Eat and Drink Your Way To A Good Night Sleep

Your alarm goes off and you instantly want to throw it through your wall.

This doesn’t set a good tone for the rest of the day and a night of lackluster sleep doesn’t just have you feeling like you have anvils on your eyelids, but can leave you unproductive at work and very unhealthy. There are things you can do through the day to have a positive effect on your health and today you will learn about some food and drink for better sleep.

How Sleep Affects Your Health

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body assumes some trauma must be going on. Or else why would you be up late through the night? Your body doesn’t know the difference between threat or the fact you’ve been up all night watching re-runs of The A-Team. All it knows is you’re alert for some reasons and to now bring your stress hormones into play.

Your stress hormones, specifically cortisol, are very important in small doses. They’re involved with your fight or flight response and you need them if it comes to having to fight off a saber tooth tiger or in this day in age jumping out of the way of a renegade Uber driver.

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Over the long term things begin to get a bit different and constant stress hormone exposure can lead to things like:

  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Ulcers
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and anger
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Setting Yourself Up For Better Sleep Throughout The Day

Making smart choices throughout the day can have positive effects on your ability to get deeper and more restorative sleep at night.

The first one would be exercise. Simple strength training has been linked to better sleep and even just the simple act of exertion is going to naturally tire you out. You might not want to work out too late at night trying to get this effect as your body may still be stimulated making the sleep process more difficult.

Instead, opt for the early morning workout. Going to sleep naturally lowers your blood pressure by 10-20 percent and this is part of the process of sleep. Working out early in the morning can have a better effect at blood pressure reduction and you ability to get deeper sleep at night. This affect seems to be more pronounced from the morning workouts compared to midday or later.

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Watch The Java

There’s no surprise that caffeine is a stimulant that can affect sleep but you might be surprised to learn how long it can actually last in your body. The noticeable effects of caffeine that have you wired more than me at a Knight Rider convention tend to wear off in a few hours.

Caffeine though has a half life that can extend its effects in your body. So even if you feel the effects taper off after those few hours it can actually last for up to 5-6 hours in your blood stream potentially causing sleep problems later that night.

So you may have to play around with when you have that last coffee in the day. If you have one at 4 or 5 pm and try to sleep at 10 or 11pm, you may be feeling that caffeine half life effect.

Keep an Eye on What and How Much You Eat

There are foods that can have a negative or positive impact on your ability to sleep. Even just eating too much late at night can make digestion tougher and your body uncomfortable making sleep not very easy.

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Here’s some other foods you should avoid at least 3 hours before bed:

  • Dark Chocolate– It’s actually really good for you but contains a lot of natural caffeine
  • Spicy foods– can raise your heart rate and body temperature keeping you awake longer
  • Steak– The high protein and fat content make it a slow digesting food and this can actually throw off your circadian rhythm.
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower– The high fiber and roughage content can again require more digestion and over a longer period which keeps your body working and less likely to fall asleep

Eat Your Way To A Better Sleep

Here are some food choices you can pick to aid a better sleep:

Walnuts– They contain tryptophan which helps to make seratonin and melatonin which help your naturally body clock

Almonds– Very high in magnesium which is important in helping the body relax

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Lettuce– Contains lactucarium which has sedative effects on the brain and helps lettuce sleep better. Sorry..

Tuna– Tuna is high in vitamin B6 and which is also needed to help make seratonin and melatonin

Cherry Juice– Melatonin to the rescue here again as cherry juice can help naturally boost it in the body and help prevent insomnia

Chamomile Tea- I think a lot of people are aware of this but chamomile tea helps to relax the body and can increase glycine which acts like a mild sedative and relaxes the nerves and muscles

Hopefully today you’ve learned some ways you can eat and drink your way to a good nights sleep. Just being aware of little things throughout the day can have a big impact on your ability to sleep better each night.

It’s the small things that can be the difference between dozing away nicely or stuck watching a House Hunters marathon at two in the morning.

More by this author

Jamie Logie

Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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