Micronutrients Shown To Help Sleep Quality
If you’re struggling with getting a good night’s sleep then the last place you might think to look is your micronutrient intake, but research supports that there are certain nutrients that help improve your sleep quality. Read below to see which nutrients you should be paying attention for a better night’s rest!
There are several different nutrients that can play a role in your rest and one of the most prevalent ones is magnesium – it’s estimated that nearly 50% of adults in North America aren’t getting enough.
A deficiency in magnesium can lead to a variety of different mood disorders including anxiety and depression which can make getting to sleep a challenge. Not only does magnesium calm you down but it also plays a role in your circadian rhythm – helping you fall asleep faster and wake up less during the night.
If you’re curious about whether you should be adding foods to your diet rich in magnesium or reaching for a supplement, track your diet in Cronometer for a week and then check out your levels on the Nutrition Report.
Another nutrient that might help with your sleep quality is Omega-3! In a recent research study participants who were given Omega-3 supplements before bed fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer than those given a placebo.
Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to help with inflammation in the body which is linked to better sleep. Because our bodies do not produce this nutrient on it’s own it’s important to source it from your diet.
Good options include; fish, walnuts, avocados, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Vitamin D is one of the nutrients that supports your circadian rhythm and works to keep your wake-sleep cycle running smoothly.
Studies show that those with low blood serum levels of vitamin D had poorer sleep and more restless periods than those with adequate levels.
A lot of people believe that we get adequate vitamin D from sunlight, but in actual fact that isn’t always the case -the combination of lower UV levels in winter months and the clothing we wear to keep warm can make it hard for our bodies to synthesize vitamin D. This means it’s especially important to keep an eye on your intake this time of year.
Therefore, it’s essential to make sure you’re getting enough through your diet, supplementation, or a combination of the two.
Fish, like salmon, are high in vitamin D but you can easily get your intake from fortified orange juices or dairy products too.
If you’re curious about how much you’re getting we recommend tracking your diet for a spell and then glancing at the Nutrition Report to make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to get the best zzz’s!
Tips For Improving Sleep Through Diet
from The registered dietitians at feastgood
Consume Sleep Promoting Foods
There are a lot of nuances in the evidence around this topic, however some research found that including foods rich in sleep-promoting nutrients like magnesium and tryptophan can help improve sleep quality.
Maintain A Regular Meal Schedule In The Evenings
Try eating at the same time every evening, around 3-4 hours before your bedtime to decrease the likelihood of sleep disruptions.
Having a regular eating pattern and schedule helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm (eating according to the body’s internal clock, which is a 24 hour cycle).
Include Complex Carbs
Including a portion of slower digesting carbs in your evening meal will help keep your blood sugars stable at night by giving you longer lasting energy. These foods have fiber and starch.
- 150g boiled whole grain pasta (75g uncooked)
- 2 slices oat bran bread
- 150g boiled brown rice (50g uncooked)
- 185g cooked Quinoa (50-60g uncooked)
A lot of people use caffeine to feel energized in the morning, but consuming it too late in the day can result in disruptive sleep. The maximum benefits of caffeine occur about 30-60 minutes after consumption, but caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, which is the sleep promoting chemical, so it can impact the onset of sleep and reduce the time of slow-wave or deep/restorative sleep.
Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks and chocolate.
Track your caffeine intake through Cronometer to see how much you’re getting throughout the day. Gold subscribers can take advantage of the timestamps feature and chart caffeine against their sleep quality to gauge it’s impact across time.
A lot of people believe that alcohol is helpful for logging zzz’s – and while it’s true that as a depressant, it slows your brain down and can make you sleepy but studies show that consuming alcohol (even the smallest amount) can negatively affect not only sleep duration but the quality of your sleep too!
Extensive research has been done on the effects of alcohol and sleep apnea and it was concluded that consuming alcoholic beverages before bed increases the likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea by over 25%.
More On Sleep
Improving Sleep Quality: What To Avoid
Which Foods Hinder Your Ability To Sleep? from the registered dietitians at feastgood. You may have heard that certain nutrients can impact sleep. But does