wellness

This just in: sleeping in can actually make you healthier.

Best. News. Ever.

Turns out that sleeping in can be good for you, especially if you went to bed late or had a restless sleep throughout the night.

Why? Because not getting a good night’s sleep has been proven to detrimentally effect the next day’s food choices.

“Many of us associate a sleep in as lazy or detrimental to our health and diet goals. However, a lack of sleep may actually influence us to make poor dietary choices,” nutritionist Zoe Bingley Pullin told Mamamia.

You see, when you don’t get enough shut eye your hormones go all topsy turvy.

“When we lose sleep, leptin, which is the signal telling us we have had enough food is lower and our appetite signal, grehlin, which tells us when to eat, is higher.”

“Lack of sleep can also disrupt our blood sugar levels. This causes us to hunt down sugar-rich foods for an instant energy boost, setting us up for another poor night’s sleep. In fact, research has suggested a longer duration in sleep can reduce daily sugar in habitual short sleepers,” Zoe said.

BRB, going to bed.

But really, just because you’ve laid down and shut your eyes, that doesn’t mean you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

“Unfortunately, we aren’t guaranteed a good night’s sleep just because we have tucked ourselves in. What we do during the day impacts on how we will sleep at night. Correct dietary practices and healthy sleep hygiene will all contribute to allowing for restorative sleep.”

Here’s Zoe’s tips to help you sleep more soundly and lengthen your sleep duration:

Exercise

Get sweaty! Exercise has been shown to improve sleep by promoting transition to deeper sleep stages and inhibiting transition to lighter sleep stages, this makes for a motivating reason to not his snooze and instead hit the pavement.

Limit your amount of coffees

As strong as the lure for caffeine may be, avoid caffeine four to six hours before bed and even longer if you are sensitive to caffeine. Try replacing your afternoon coffee with herbal tea, kombucha, smoothie or vegetable juice.

Up your nutrients

Boost your diet with foods rich in vitamin B3, vitamin B3 has been studied for its positive effects on sleep. Try healthy sources on your plate regularly, tuna, turkey, pork, mushrooms, green peas, sunflower seeds and avocado.

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Eat the rainbow

Increase the colours on your plate. Bright coloured vegetables are a good source of vitamin C and low vitamin C intake has been linked with non-restorative sleep. Our body doesn’t store vitamin C well so its important to consume vitamin C rich foods daily including capsicum, tomato, kiwi fruit, berries, red cabbage, spinach, kale and sweet potato to name a few.

Establish a routine

Set up a night time sleep routine, especially if you are used to going to bed staring at a screen. Whether it be reading a chapter of your favourite book, journaling or doing some stretches on the floor, make the routine something you look forward to each night as this will help you not only relax but will also encourage you to stick to the routine.

Get zen

Meditate, practice deep slow breathing or go for a walk in green space daily. All of these practices help to reduce cortisol levels. Excess cortisol, especially at night can disturb our circadian rhythm and make falling and staying a sleep more difficult.

We have some brilliant news, if you’re someone who hates mornings.


 

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