Did you know that sleeping better is one of the most underrated as well as the easiest and most simple things you CAN do to improve your health fast – starting today?
I’m confident my top nutrition tips for insomnia and interrupted sleep discussed in this post will make a big difference to your sleep length, quality and feeling rested.
Most people suffering from sleep disorders such as sleeplessness or insomnia experience the following problems:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty staying asleep throughout the night
- Waking up repeatedly during the night
- Waking up too early in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep
Many experience the full set of these sleep disturbances, and consequently they feel exhausted, have little energy, are moody and irritable, and often become anxious or depressed.
Are you one of them?
If yes, you need to know about my top nutrition tips for insomnia and interrupted sleep, and take action now!
Make no mistake: there is no way to be and stay healthy without adequate, restful sleep, and there is no substitute for it when it comes to good health and energy.
Having seen many fantastic outcomes of improved sleep in my practice, I’d like to share with you the most important, simple and common sense steps you can do right now to get sounder and more restful sleep tonight.
To make it more practical and easier to apply, I divided the ‘How to sleep better’ guidelines and specific steps into three parts/ posts. In this post (part one), I’m presenting you with my top nutrition recommendations related to falling asleep easier and faster, sleeping longer and deeper, and waking up more refreshed and rested.
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is the body’s healing and repair time in the body’s 24-hour cycle. This includes repairing damaged tissues, performing physical and emotional detox, recharging the energy, dealing with inflammation, and consolidating memories and learnings from the day, to name a few.
According to many studies, the optimal time to sleep for repair and regeneration is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Physical repairs mostly take place when we are asleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. After 2 a.m. the repair and restoration processes are more focused on mental renewal, which lasts until we awaken.
Therefore going to sleep late (i.e. after 10.30 p.m.), even if you end up sleeping for the same length of time, will limit the benefits and effects of sleep. You’ll not be able to fully recharge and recuperate overnight and feel tired and cranky the next day.
When you repeat this pattern over and over for a period of time you create a burden on the body, leaving you feeling constantly tired, anxious, depressed, stressed and unwell.
Nutrition tips for insomnia and interrupted sleep
Nutrition and sleep are both closely linked so we need to pay close attention to what and when we eat.
My clinical experience as well as many research studies have shown that your sleep may impact what you eat. By sleeping at least 7 hours per night, you’ll be less likely to crave coffee, sweets, salty or fatty junk foods, and eat healthy food instead.
You might’ve heard the advice that if you want to sleep better, you should stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. And it’s true for most people, but this often doesn’t apply if you have adrenal fatigue, low thyroid function (hypothyroid) or blood sugar imbalances – these cause sleep interruptions and waking up many times during the night.
So for people with fatigue, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance (among others), having a small snack just before bed can make a huge difference to their sleep length and quality. The snack substantially helps to sustain the body’s night time blood sugar reserves calming the nervous system and stress response.
By having small amounts of slow-burning foods before bed, your blood sugar won’t drop off too low during the night, helping you to sleep better. You’ll feel more alert and rested throughout the following day, too. Plus your blood sugar levels will stay more balanced preventing food cravings, energy crushes and irritability.
From my experience, this simple but effective strategy benefits many people to sleep more soundly through the night. Different snacks work for different people depending on the nutrient balance required for a person (i.e. proportions of fats, carbohydrates and protein).
It’s well worth experimenting with different bedtime snacks to find out if/how they could work for you. You’ll find a few sleep promoting snack examples below to get you started.
Needless to say, adding snacks is very helpful but it’s only a temporary solution undertaken whilst restoring the adrenal function so your adrenals are healthy enough to start managing blood sugar effectively through the night.
MY TOP 3 NUTRITION TIPS FOR INSOMNIA
Eat at regular intervals throughout the day and evening
- Skipping meals or having too few carbohydrates (such as vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes) increases cortisol secretion, meaning more stress. In particular, missing breakfast can increase cortisol for the rest of the day, as well as at night. Aim to eat breakfast within an hour of waking up or before 9-10am to replenish your blood sugar reserves.
- A good breakfast would be a 2-3 egg omelette (protein) cooked with organic butter or ghee (fat) with added vegetables and greens (carbohydrates). You can also add a few small pieces of leftover chicken or fish for an additional protein boost.
Avoid consuming stimulants such as caffeine, sugar or nicotine after lunch
- These substances are stimulating to the adrenals and will increase cortisol secretion, meaning more stress for the body and mind. When you eat sweets after dinner, your blood sugar levels will elevate. This will likely interfere with sleep and mood, increasing your chances of feeling anxious, restless, irritated, negative or worried.
Don’t go to bed hungry, have specific sleep promoting snacks before bed
- When you have adrenal fatigue, going to bed hungry may result in low blood sugar, triggering the cortisol release (fight or flight response) that will wake you up feeling anxious and restless. Having a small snack before bed is a great strategy to help maintain your blood sugar level longer at night, thus preventing frequent awakenings.
- Sleep problems can also be related to high cortisol at night, as the symptoms are similar to the low cortisol effects. Therefore testing adrenal function is highly recommended to establish the cause.
MY TOP 3 BEDTIME SNACK SUGGESTIONS
- Rice: 1-2 tablespoon of well-cooked white/ brown rice with full-cream coconut milk or cream, sprinkled with cinnamon (it helps to regulate blood glucose).
- Sweet potato: 1-2 tablespoons of room temperature sweet potato (e.g. dinner leftovers, baked or boiled) with a small amount of organic butter blended in.
- Nut butter: 1-2 teaspoons of good quality nut butter (e.g. almond or cashew) on a small slice of toasted gluten-free bread or with seed /gluten-free crackers.
Useful tip: It’s handy to keep snacks next to your bed to eat it in the middle of the night, if needed. This way you don’t have to get up if your blood sugar levels drop at night, which can happen a number of times, which triggers the body to wake up suddenly. Each time you wake up, have another bite of the snack.
Natural sleep remedies – eBook Guide
Applying tailored nutrition for insomnia and interrupted sleep works! Having seen many fantastic health and wellbeing outcomes of improving sleep in my practice, I was compelled to write a detailed sleep guide to give you the most important, simplest and common sense steps you can do right now to get deeper and more restful sleep tonight.
If you’re currently suffering from insomnia and/or sleep difficulties, especially if they are related to fatigue, adrenal fatigue, chronic tiredness, interrupted sleep or insomnia, this sleep blueprint is for you.
People who implement and follow the nutrition and lifestyle strategies presented in this guide, usually see initial positive changes in their sleep quality and patterns in about 2-3 weeks. These strategies are organised into 3 keys:
- Key #1: Nutrition for better sleep
- Key #2: Sleep patterns reset
- Key #3: Sleep-promoting nutrients
Your benefits of applying the 3 Keys will include:
- Sounder and uninterrupted sleep, feeling rested and relaxed
- Increased energy and vitality, feeling refreshed and invigorated
- Clearer thinking, feeling calmer and less stressed
- 10+ best foods that truly help with sleeping longer and deeper, including foods containing sleep inducing melatonin and serotonin
- Top 4 most effective sleep-promoting nutrients (minerals, vitamins and other natural compounds) that you can buy at the chemist/ pharmacy, including their food sources and supplement dose guidelines
- Top 6 key nutrition tips for deep and restful sleep
- Top 5 bedtime snack suggestions to balance your blood sugar levels
- Sleep reset guide – a step-by-step sleep patterns reset and key tips
- Adrenal fatigue and sleep dysfunction information – how are they linked, their health impact, and what to do about it
- Natural remedies for insomnia and anxiety
- Sleep hygiene and lifestyle changes supporting sleep
Sleep Better Tonight eBook download
If you need help with restoring your sleep or dealing with adrenal fatigue, consider posting a message below or booking an appointment with me to discuss your circumstances. Please note that I’m able to consult with Australia-based clients only.
Book an appointment
To book a consultation, either in person or via phone/ Skype click the button below. I also offer a free 15-minute initial discussion to talk about your circumstances and how I can help.
I look forward to connecting with you and to helping you to feel healthier and happier soon!
Sleeping better is one of the most underrated as well as the easiest and most simple things you can do to improve your health really fast. My clinical experience shows that sleep is an extremely effective treatment often on its own; it simply trumps many other approaches and efforts.
When people start to sleep better, they start to heal. Therefore sleeping better is one of the first things to address in most situations.
Optimising nutrition for more restful and deeper sleep is a vital step to start sleeping well again.
Another effective strategy is resetting your sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, I describe it in Part 2 of how to sleep better. Read about it here: How to reset the sleep patterns.
Do you have any tried and tested nutrition tips for insomnia to share? Please add your nutrition tips for insomnia and your experiences on how to effectively deal with insomnia and other sleep problems in comments below.
Holistic Health and Lifestyle Therapist
Natural and Lifestyle Solutions for Abundant Health and Wellbeing
Photos credit: Pixabay
Check out other posts here:
- Adrenal fatigue treatment: The Kalish Method in Australia
- Top bedtime and late night snacks ideas and recipes
- Holy basil: a key herb for stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue
- Magnesium for anxiety, stress, high blood pressure and muscle pain
- Top 2 sleep tips for a better sleep tonight
Joanna Sochan is a Natural Therapist and founder of Naturimedica Holistic Health & Wellness. She has a passion for helping her clients transform their lives by becoming healthy and well naturally. Joanna is an adrenal fatigue, sleep and gut health expert helping tired, stressed or unwell individuals to regain their energy, sleep better and be happier, more relaxed and calm. Joanna practices in Sydney and Lake Macquarie, Australia and also conducts online consultations for clients Australia-wide. View full bio.