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Prioritising sleep for productivity

In today’s age, it seems many of us are inundated with daily tasks and responsibilities. While making sure our lifestyle is realistic and supportive of our health, we can also make ourselves more productive by prioritising our sleep.

Sounds a bit counterproductive, but if we support our sleep by making sure the quality and quantity are optimal, we increase our energy and cognitive function throughout the day, making better use of our time.

Whilst nutrition plays an important role in preventing diseases and supporting our health, we can also use certain foods to help us have a higher quality of sleep at night.

Here are 5 foods to help you sleep:

1. Tart cherry juice

Sour cherries are high in melatonin, which is the master hormone that helps you get to sleep. A two-week pilot study showed that participants who consumed fresh tart cherry juice improved on all sleep parameters [1]. Moreover, it has been shown to increase sleep duration from 60-84 minutes. Tart cherries (particularly Montmorency) are also high in proanthocyanidins, which help to convert tryptophan to serotonin – and serotonin is needed to convert into melatonin.

2. Kiwi fruit

Studies have shown that eating 2 kiwi fruits 1 hour before bed was able to have significant improvements on sleep, in several measures [2]. While not entirely understood, its positive effects are thought to be due to its high serotonin and antioxidant levels.

3. Hydrolyzed collagen

This type of collagen powder is a wonderful addition to a night time turmeric tonic latte. Not only does hydrolysing the proteins help to make it more digestible, but it also contains glycine, which is a “calming” neurotransmitter.

4. MCT oil

Which is short for medium-chain triglyceride oil, this is another great ingredient to incorporate into a night tonic drink. Filling up on fats at night time helps to stabilise blood sugars throughout the night, which prevents fragmented sleep. Another plus is that it helps to provide mental clarity and cognition during the day.

5. Raw organic honey

Consuming raw organic honey at night (preferably with MCT oil) helps to stock the liver with glycogen, which helps the brain and liver to function better during sleep. Raw, in particular, has been shown to be 22% more effective at making liver glycogen (brain’s preferred source of fuel) than pasteurised and has the optimal ratio of fructose: glucose.

Still having trouble getting or staying to sleep? Check in with one of our practitioners to understand what is stopping you from having a restful & rejuvenating night sleep.

By Fallon Cashell

 

References

[1] Pigeon, W. R., Carr, M., Gorman, C., & Perlis, M. L. (2010). Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. Journal of medicinal food, 13(3), 579–583. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2009.0096

[2] Lin HH, Tsai PS, Fang SC, Liu JF. Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011;20(2):169-174.

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