Sleep isn’t only important for keeping you energized all day, staving off disease and keeping your body and brain going. It also has an effect on the food choices that you make. I get it. A constant to-do list, allll the Netflix series and a packed social calendar can easily lead to not getting enough shut-eye in, but if you’re keen to keep making good food choices, prioritizing time between the sheets might be the most important change you can make. Two tricks to sleep better, are to try set regular times for going to bed and waking, if possible, and to ensure your bedroom is a sleep sanctuary – diffuse some essential oils, turn down the lights, and keep it clean.
So! Here’s how being TIRED ™ all the time, can influence your diet:
Sleep Problems Can Lead To Cravings
According to one study from the University of Arizona, researchers linked poor sleep quality to craving more junk food. Makes sense – just as you reach for fatty or sugary foods when hungover, these treats will also seem like the only way to hit the spot when exhausted. Unfortunately, junk-food cravings are linked to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
Instead of reaching for calorie-laden chips or thick-based pizza when you’re tired, try (as hard as you can) to substitute these for fresh, lighter alternatives. Try this crunchy cucumber tomato salad, from Nutrition Stripped.
Sleep Problems Can Cause You to Consume Excess Calories
In addition to more junk food cravings, a lack of sleep could cause you to snack more in general, therefore leading to a higher calorie intake the next day. Obvs, this could be problematic if you’re looking to lose weight by cutting down on calories.
Instead, try eating meals that are packed with protein and fat when you’re tired, so you have more sustained energy throughout the day. Low GI is the keyword here folks.
Tricks to Eat Better after a Bad Night of Sleep
Simply being aware of the fact that lack of sleep can lead to poor food choices, might help you second guess reaching for fried foods or bigger portions. Drinking more H2O and staying hydrated will also help curb hunger that could lead to reaching for extra snacks and not-so-nourishing foods.
Of course, there’s always room for indulgences and foods you love, just consider why you’re reaching for sweets or continuously munching to help you figure out if you’re actually hungry or just eating to try to boost energy. It will actually be more beneficial if you opt for nutrient-rich and filling foods for a pick-me-up, rather than things like tons of coffee (which could lead to a crash) or cake.
Perhaps go for a nap rather?
I will leave you with this – research has shown that the foods you eat during the day can actually affect your sleep – the healthier the foods, the better the sleep. Apparently, a Mediterranean diet is ace for the best sleep every night.
Written by Nightire founder, Nina Clark