Do you get enough sleep? You may think you do, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of all adults in the United States report that they get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Did you know that not getting enough sleep has been linked with chronic diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression?

So, what types of foods should you eat to promote good sleep? Could your lack of sleep be affecting your hunger hormones, causing you to turn to poor food choices? Sleep helps us stay healthy and function at our best. Keep reading to learn more about how you can get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling rested and ready to take on each day.

How Much Sleep Does One Actually Need?

Sleep needs vary from person to person, but according to the CDC, here are recommendations by age:

Age

Recommended hours of sleep

Children 9-12 hours
Teens 8-10 hours
Adults 18+ 7 or more hours per night

 

Not only does a lack of sleep interfere with hunger signals, but less time in bed simply gives you more hours of the day to eat. If you are eating more due to lack of sleep, it could lead to weight gain and potentially an increased risk of diseases associated with excess weight, including heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

 

Nutrition and Sleep

Research suggests that there’s a relationship between sleep and diet quality. Consider some of these tips to not only improve your diet, but also sleep better. Remember, always check with your doctor if you are concerned about your sleep and before making changes to your diet.

Try the Mediterranean Diet – According to Today’s Dietitian, due to the high fiber and low saturated fat of the Mediterranean diet, it is associated with better sleep. One delicious recipe you can try as a part of this is our Publix Aprons® Greek Style Fish Soup.

 

Incorporate Tryptophan – Eating foods with tryptophan may help. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in foods such as turkey, chicken, beans, cheese, yogurt, eggs and fish. Your body converts some of it into melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. A meal with tryptophan-containing chicken that your family can enjoy is our Publix Aprons® Fire-Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Pasta, featuring Publix chicken breasts.

Include Melatonin – Foods that contain melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy at night, may also help. Research suggests that tart cherry juice, such as our GreenWise tart cherry juice, may improve sleep.

Consider Timing – Don’t eat a large meal or drink too much before bedtime. Both can interfere with sleep. If you are hungry at night, eat a light snack.

Know What to Avoid – Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine should be avoided before bedtime. It can take as long as six to eight hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off completely, so it may be a good idea to cut off consumption in the early afternoon. Use this guide to help manage your caffeine intake.

 

We hope our tips on nutrition and sleep gets you ready for a great night’s sleep and refresh your mood. We’d love to hear from you! What are some foods you eat or practices you do to help you sleep better?

 

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew L. started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife and their dog, Edmund. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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