Nuts and almonds first thing in the morning will help you have a good night’s sleep at the end of the day, one expert believes.
It seems counterintuitive. Usually, when we’re talking about sleep, we’re talking about lowering caffeine intake, and establishing a bed time, and the rule (that everyone swears by but never does): no screens before bed.
We don’t talk about the first thing we do in the morning. That the way we wake up, might be linked to the way we go to bed at night.
But sleep therapist Dr Nerina Ramlakhan encourages her clients to start their day with a perfect mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates to both kick-start the metabolism and remind the body it’s awake.
“It’s as simple as this: If you don’t breakfast, your body believes it is living in famine and produces stress hormones that are not conducive to restful sleep,” Dr Ramlakhan told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“But by eating breakfast, you’re letting your body know there is enough food and you are living in safety, which switches on your sleep energy systems.”
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She has it down to an exact science, recommending exactly eight almonds and two dates within 30 minutes of waking up. This combination constitutes between 150 and 200 calories, which helps the body produce the sleep-hormone melatonin in the evening.
According to Dr Ramlakhan, it’s also good for the metabolism.
“Eating breakfast can help you lose weight by speeding your metabolism by up to 10 per cent. It has a ‘thermogenic’ effect that can last hours after eating,” she said.
“Think of it like putting fuel into a fire and getting a bigger fire. Eight almonds and two dates is a brilliant start to the day for anyone as they wake up.”
Other than being monster-mood-inducing, not getting enough sleep can result in several health issues.
It can increase insulin resistance, leading to type two diabetes. It can lead to higher levels of the stress and inflammation protein CRP, heightening risk for cardiovascular and heart disease and has been linked with dementia.
When you put it like that, a daily dose of eight almonds and two dates sounds like a piece of cake.