POOR NUTRITION

Your diet could be keeping you up

You are what you eat
Sleep deprived? Check your diet

Didn't sleep so well last night? Your poor food choices during the day might be to blame, say scientists.

In a recent study published in the journal Obesity, women who got less than six hours of sleep a night were also consuming more calories during the day than those who reported getting seven hours of sleep or more.


Not only were they consuming more calories, but the foods they were eating are typically considered less nutritious. Yet another study suggests that certain foods may in fact aid your sleep. Participants were put onto special diets and their sleep monitored. Those on these special diets who were eating fewer foods, were more likely to suffer from daytime drowsiness, according to a report by LiveScience.


Conversely, the same study reported that those on low-cholesterol or low-fat diets were most likely to report not feeling well-rested after a good night's sleep. Both studies suggest there is a strong correlation between diet and sleep.


Deborah Herlax Enos, a nutritionist and writer for LiveScience has three top tips for those looking to get better sleep.
Get into a routine
Work backwards - figure out what time you'll need to be up in the morning and set your bedtime accordingly. Aim to give yourself around eight hours of sleep and stick to your schedule. As Enos says, setting a bedtime might make you feel like a kid all over again, but getting the right amount of sleep will pay off.


The kitchen is closed
Stop eating at least an hour before you hit the sack, advises Enos. This will ensure that your stomach doesn't leave you feeling uncomfortable when you lie down and it also means you'll avoid those pesky midnight interruptions of a trip to the bathroom.


Bedtime should be quiet time
Choose activities that help you unwind before you climb into bed. Switch off the electronics, pick up a book or run yourself a bath to spend time resting your mind rather than stimulating it. Make the hour or so ahead of bed your quiet time.

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