Eat well Sleep well

During the night between 26 and 27 October, solar time returned in force and we were able to sleep an hour longer. Our body certainly benefited, especially if we were able to rest well

In fact, several studies have amply shown that restorative sleep lasting at least 6-7 hours brings important psychophysical benefits to our body

We see some of these studies whose full text can be traced back by following the links on the bibliography page.

Sleep Disorder Studies

Sleep and memory improvement

Recent results identify sleep as a time when the brain optimizes memory consolidation. From some US studies it is much more effective for the improvement of memory and the consolidation of new information a deep and continuous rest rather than abundant, but disturbed.

Sleep deprivation and stress

Circadian rhythms constantly regulate the waking and sleep rhythm in a physiological way. If the circadianity is interrupted by external events such as shift work, anxiety and depression you can have an alteration of the sleep with consequences that compromise the brain functions increasing even more the stress and the psychophysical discomfort.

Sleep disorders and weight loss problems

Not only the quality and quantity of food may affect weight gain and metabolic diseases, but also sleep disorders. There are endocrine mechanisms that cause different metabolic disorders and that are caused by the lack of circadianity caused by a short and not restorative sleep. American studies have shown that when you sleep little and you are in a low-calorie regimen there is an increase in ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and a decrease in leptin which is the satiety hormone. Therefore it is evident that in a diet for slimming purposes, if the rhythm of sleep is altered, the difficulty in reaching the right weight increases.

Disturbed sleep and hormonal variations

Women of childbearing age, if they do not pay attention to maintaining regularity of sleep, may over time alter their hormonal cycles, leading to different consequences. The consequences of a poor and disturbed sleep so little restorative are: menstrual irregularity, worsening of premenstrual syndrome and alteration of thyroid function.

Diet and night rest

There are various remedies to help you sleep at night and one of these is a healthy diet rich in nutrients that improve sleep quality. As a Nutritionist, I attach great importance to this aspect when I discuss it with my patients.

In particular, what is taken during the evening meal has a significant influence on what will be the night’s rest. Foods that have this effect contain substances that are precursors of substances that improve relaxation and remove stress.

One of these is the tryptophan which is an essential amino acid, that is a substance that we cannot produce independently, but we must necessarily introduce it with the diet.

Tryptophan is the precursor of serotonin, the good mood hormone that is fundamental in managing the physiological sleep-wake rhythm. The foods that contain a useful amount to carry out the effect on the improvement of the night rest are:

  • Cereals: spelled, oat flour and whole wheat flour
  • Legumes: beans, chickpeas and lentils
  • Vegetables and vegetables: asparagus, spinach and mushrooms
  • Dried fruits: almonds, pine nuts and cashews
  • Fresh fruit: bananas
  • Dairy products: provolone, pecorino romano and parmesan
  • Meat: chicken, turkey and pork
  • Fish: Sardinian, sea bass and trout

Magnesium, particularly when associated with vitamin B6, is a mineral necessary for the management of physical and mental fatigue. While vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of serotonin, magnesium is essential because it participates in more than 300 cellular reactions, most of which occur in the nervous system and in the muscles. Ensures that nerve impulses perform their function. The symptoms related to a magnesium deficiency are: irritability, nervousness and insomnia.

Some of the foods rich in magnesium are:

  • Cereals: millet and buckwheat in particular integral
  • Green leafy vegetables: spinach, chard and rocket
  • Dried fruits: almonds, walnuts and peanuts
  • Dehydrated fruit: dates, figs
  • Legumes: chickpeas, beans and lentils
  • Oilseeds: pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • Extra dark chocolate

When you find it difficult to have a restful sleep, it is then useful to increase the quantity and frequency of all those foods that have a proven positive effect on the nervous system and at the same time reduce those that instead have a stimulating effect such as drinks that contain caffeine.

To sleep well it is also essential to have a correct sleep hygiene, such as using adequate pillows and blankets, having the room properly air-conditioned or prefering relaxing activities before going to bed such as taking a bath or hot shower and drinking an herbal tea.

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