4 Ways to Improve Sleep and Have More Energy

4 Ways to Improve Sleep and Have More Energy

Do you find yourself waking up tired, no matter when you go to bed? Does a full day leave you drained, sometimes before it’s even over? If you often find yourself with a lack of energy, you’re not alone. A study found that only 1 in 7 Americans wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. Getting enough hours of sleep is important, but equally crucial is ensuring that the time you’re lying in bed is restful. You can invest in a more comfortable pillow and turn down your thermostat, but did you know that your sleep can be vastly improved with good nutrition? Healthy eating is essential for both your sleep quality and energy levels.

Choose whole foods

As much as possible, choose whole foods over “convenience” or processed foods. The idea is to eat food that is in its most natural form; for example, choosing a baked potato instead of fried potato chips with flavoring. Your main sources of whole foods should be fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, with lean, organic meats if you choose. Eating a diet that relies on whole foods means you’re getting more of the good fats instead of the bad ones like trans or saturated fats. This diet also ensures you get plenty of fiber and less additives, all important things to keep your body healthy and help you sleep longer so you can wake up with more energy.

Don’t skip meals

Since good sleep depends on your body’s natural wake and sleep cycle, doing anything that interferes with your body’s natural rhythm, such as skipping meals, can lead to issues. When your body goes more than four hours without eating, you become fatigued, cranky, and less alert. You also disrupt the natural balance of your hormones. Hunger causes cortisol, the stress hormone, to rise, which can lead to weight gain and more. Skipping meals may also cause you to overdo it later with a large dinner, which can lead to trouble with sleeping as well. Help your body stay on a good schedule with regular meals and snacks throughout the day.

man and woman cutting vegetables for salad in kitchen with brick accent wall while young girl feeds woman cucumber slice

Get plenty of vitamins and minerals

Eating healthier will naturally lead to getting more vitamins and minerals, but there are certain ones that are great for promoting better sleep.

  • Copper: This vitamin regulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter crucial for regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Find it in potatoes, dark leafy greens, and whole grains.
  • B vitamins: These vitamins help with insomnia by helping your body produce serotonin. Find them in dairy, lean meats, fish, fortified cereals, and more.
  • Calcium: This vitamin has a calming effect on the body’s nervous system. Find it in yogurt, cheese, fortified orange juice, and more.
  • Iron: A lack of iron can cause symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome, making it harder for you to relax and fall asleep at night. Find it in beef, oysters, and more.

Improve your bedtime routine

To help you get sweet dreams, try a relaxing bedtime routine to let your body know it’s time for bed. Drink a cup of relaxing, non-caffeinated herbal tea, such as chamomile, which acts as a mild sedative and helps your body relax. Also, having a snack that is protein/carbohydrate balanced can get your brain ready for sleep. Try one of these:

  • Whole wheat toast with almond butter
  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Nuts and dried fruit
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Low-fat yogurt with berries
  • Whole wheat pita with hummus

Diet, sleep, and energy are inextricably linked. Are you ready to have more energy? Try these tips out and see how you feel!

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4 Ways to Improve Sleep and Have More Energy

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