eat sleep gurueap

Eat to sleep!

Posted by on October 26th, 2018 | 0 comments | food, IELTS, practice test, reading, summary completion

Scientists have discovered a link between food and sleep that may explain why we sleep either well or not so well. Complete the summary with reference to the text!

Recent research has shown that lack of sleep and not sleeping well can lead us to eat more food and the wrong kind of food, and can therefore cause us to put on weight. We eat the wrong kinds of food when we’re tired, because these bad foods lead to the production of chemicals in our brains, which our brains interpret as a kind of reward. If we get enough sleep the opposite happens. Our bodies choose the right kind of food to eat. Melatonin, the hormone that influences sleep patterns, is produced by our brains and tells us when and how long to sleep. Production of this hormone is in turn influenced by a protein, tryptophan, that can only be obtained from food. Tryptophan becomes more available when we eat B vitamins and magnesium. If your diet lacks these then the quality of your sleep will suffer. Dieting can therefore have a negative impact on sleep, unless you make sure that the foods you do eat contain the right nutrients. For example, dairy products can help you to sleep. The same is true of nuts, and also fish, which contain magnesium. Other kinds of meat also contain the right ingredients for good sleep. Drink some semi-skimmed or skimmed milk before bed and eat a banana or some nuts, but wait for an hour after eating before going to bed as it takes a while for the tryptophan in these foods to take effect. And don’t limit these foods to bedtime snacks. Make sure you eat them throughout the day.

Sleep has become widely recognised as playing a really important role in our overall health and wellness – alongside diet, stress management and exercise. Recently, researchers have been learning more about how poor sleep influences our dietary choices, as well as how diet influences sleep quality. Not sleeping for long enough or poor quality sleep are associated with increased food intake, a less healthy diet and weight gain. Lack of sleep also leads to increased snacking and overeating. And it causes us to want to eat foods high in fat and carbohydrates – with increased chemical rewards to the brain when we do eat these foods.

Essentially, poor sleep drives your body to find high energy foods to keep you awake which makes fighting the cravings for unhealthy foods very difficult to resist. But, on the other hand, when we have slept well our appetite hormones are at a normal level. We don’t crave unhealthy food so much – and we can make better choices about what to eat.

All cultures around the world have traditions about which foods promote sleep. Foods such as milk, chamomile, kiwi fruit and tart cherries, have all been said to work wonders for a good night’s sleep. Given how much the food we eat affects us on a day-to-day basis, it is not surprising that our diet plays such a big role in our quality of sleep. What we eat also has a big impact on our organ function, immune system, hormone production and brain function.

A really important hormone that controls our sleep patterns is melatonin. Melatonin is produced in the brain and the amount of melatonin you produce and how efficiently our brain uses it is affected by our diet. One of the biggest influence on our melatonin levels appears to be our intake of a type of protein called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid – the building blocks of proteins. Essential amino acids are a group which our bodies cannot make, it can only be sourced through diet.

Other nutrients that appear to be helpful for sleep include B vitamins and magnesium. This is because they help tryptophan to be more available in the body. If your diet is lacking tryptophan, B vitamins or magnesium. It is very likely that your melatonin production and secretion will be affected and your sleep quality will be poorer.

It stands to reason then that following overly restrictive diets or diets that put you at risk of nutrient deficiencies can really affect your sleep. But by increasing your intakes of foods rich in specific nutrients, it may well help to promote better sleep quality and duration. Dairy foods, for example, can be great at helping you sleep. Not only is dairy an excellent source of tryptophan, but it also contains magnesium and B vitamins which help to promote the activity and availability of tryptophan. Nuts, like dairy, also contain all the nutrients known to promote increase melatonin production and support its release.

Fish is a great source of tryptophan and B vitamins. Fish with bones, such as sardines, will also provide magnesium. Including fish in your diet regularly may help to promote healthy melatonin production when you need it. Pulses, beans and lentils also contain high amounts of tryptophan and B vitamins. Adding some tofu or paneer to a vegetable stew or curry can also help to increase your likelihood of having a great night’s sleep. You could also add in some soya – which is another good source of tryptophan – to optimise your sleep potential.

And if you’re still struggling to sleep, it might be that you’d benefit from some meat. Meat of all kinds contains all the essential ingredients for a good night’s sleep. So if you can’t nod off at night, maybe think about adding some lean meat to your diet.

If you find yourself hungry before bed, for the ideal bed time snack, try a glass of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, a small banana or a few nuts – all of which can really help to improve your sleep and your willpower the next day. It’s also worth pointing out that it takes around an hour for the tryptophan in foods to reach the brain, so don’t wait until just before bedtime to have your snack. And it’s also advisable to have a balanced diet that includes plenty of foods that are high in tryptophan throughout the day to optimise your chances of a good night’s sleep.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *