Eating Your Way to a Good Night's Sleep!
There are so many things to consider when it comes to getting good sleep, from sticking to a regular bedtime and wakeup time to creating a relaxing sleep environment Another major factor in successful sleep? Food intake and meal times. If you suffer sleepless nights, finding out how to fall asleep or how to get to sleep – as well as how to sleep better – may seem like an endless quest. However, investing in good sleep hygiene, such as making healthy food choices and avoiding certain types of food before bedtime could provide the solution you are searching for.
Let’s take a look at foods that act as natural sleep remedies, helping to provide a better night’s sleep, as well as foods to avoid every day, before bedtime in particular.
Avoid eating within 3 hours of going to bed.
Timing is everything. If you have a tendency to snack or have late meals, your body is having to work to digest that food. When you wanna hit dreamland, that can pose a problem in the operations unit of the CYS (Central You System). Of course this is highly personalized, but research shows us that generally speaking, most people can hit better sleep performance (time asleep vs. amount of time in bed) and more time in SWS (deep sleep) and REM cycle sleep when their body is focused on just relaxing and, well… sleeping. Check out this article for more on that!
2. Drink more water!
Sometimes the simplest things yield the greatest results. This one should go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning. More water, less booze and less caffeine. Most people know the negative side effects of alcohol on the sleep cycle, however many people don’t understand how little it takes to really mess with your sleep. The stimulant effect of alcohol increases your heart rate and decreases your heart rate variability. That’s no good for you if you’re looking for a better recovery. Similarly that afternoon cup of joe will stay in your system for up to 8 hours, so keep the caffeine to the morning. Instead, try going for a brisk walk if you feel that afternoon slump!
Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics (they dehydrate you), which is the opposite of what you want if you’re aiming for quality time in dreamland. Water on the other hand, helps to keep the system running and has been shown to increase time asleep. Everything from your brain elasticity and joint mobility is affected by proper hydration. Aim to drink more water through the day and especially right when you wake up. Add some sea salt and lemon squeeze to help retain important electrolytes like that magnesium stuff we were just talking about to help promote health rest and recovery. When possible, filter your water. Water absorbs everything that’s around it, which is why it’s so dang good. You can get a bunch of awesome minerals and nutrients when it comes from a quality source, but itcan also absorb a lot of toxic junk.
3. Try Supplements
*Disclaimer* Consult you trusted health practitioner before you do something you read from the internet. Even stuff coming from a seasoned certified nutritionist like me. Keep in mind, pregnancy, high risk health concerns, allergies and a bevy of other factors play a role in an individual tolerance to certain foods and supplements. So this next bit is only after you talk to your people, ‘kay?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies that’s production is triggered by darkness. Naturally, in our day and age of copious amounts of screen time, weird rotating schedules and for many of you living the rock star lifestyle (when shows are a thing again…) that sleep cycle is less consistent and as a result melatonin production drops. You can supplement with melatonin, but be aware that your body will become resistant to it and over prolonged use, may actually become ineffective. Small burst doses and consulting your healthcare provider will sort you out if this is on the map for you. Here’s a cool podcast that dives deep into more on melatonin and sleep.
As far as staying asleep throughout the night, we gotta kick it old school with magnesium chloride (topical spray or gel or Epsom salts) and kick it new(er) school CBD oil to get those quality zzz’s all night long. Magnesium is an electrolyte that is known for promoting recovery, and also the second highest deficiency in our North American diet behind only vitamin D. Take an epsom salt bath before bed or spray some magnesium on your legs and your neck and set a few alarms. You’ll sleep like a rock. It’s also a great hack if you’re experiencing any funny muscle soreness or tweaks. Directly apply that gel and it’ll do its magic.
As for CBD oil, anecdotal evidence shows that users report relaxing benefits and a calmer state of mind, therefore better sleep throughout the night when using the oil. Just another option for you as it’s a growing trend in the world of health care. Try it out if you like.
So there you have it folks. A few hot nutrition tips to help you get your recovery game on and let you be the most rad you can be on the daily. Again, just like anything, it’s important to remember a healthy lifestyle is less about “this” or “that” and more about putting things on a varying level of awesome. There will be days where you wanna have a steak and glass of wine a little closer to your bedtime than you’d ordinarily like. That’s totally fine. It’s all about making that a conscious decision. Do you wanna do that every night? Probably not if you wanna sleep and recover. But you do you. Just keep the outcome in mind as you start to integrate these little habits into your life one step at a time and before too long, you’ll start to reap the rewards yourself and become even more awesome to the people around you! If you found value in this, please share it out and check out some of our free articles to help you eat better, move well and keep a rock star mind-set at https://www.musicfitcollective.com/free-stuff
Stay sweet, y’all.
About Music Fit Collective
We'll keep it simple. We're empowering 10,000 musicians by 2022 to live well so they can keep on sharing their gift with the world. When was the last time you saw a super healthy musician? Right? Unicorns. We tame unicorns.
We are a network of musician-first health and wellness professionals, specializing in movement, nutrition and mindset for the very unique lifestyle demands of the creative. Based in the Foothills of the Great Canadian Rockies, we serve as a launch pad with international reach to help you connect with the professional services you need to bring your "Eh" game (see what we did there...) both on and off the stage. We offer in house musician wellness certification, education, services and we only partner with those that speak to the same vibe of personal and professional development and world-class service. Wanna learn more? Head to www.musicfitcollective.com
About The Author - Mike Schwartz, Ba., Cert IV, CPT, HLC, Pn
Mike Schwartz is a musician-first fitness professional, author and educator. A.K.A "The Rock Doctor" he has contributed to Canadian Musician Magazine, appeared on Rick Barker's "The Music Industry Blueprint Podcast" and since authoring his 2017 publication "The Musician's Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle", he’s been the driving force behind musician wellness and a key figure at Canadian Music Week, Australian Music Week, BreakOut West, Abbey Road Institute, Studios 301, Folk Music Ontario and the Canadian Country Music Awards.
When he’s not coaching musicians, you'll likely catch Mike making like Fergie up in the gym workin’ on his fitness, writing, or making music. With the mountains and the ocean in mind, he enjoys travel and culture and is grateful to spend time with loved ones and his 4-legged hombre, Darwin The Pooch. Contact Mike at www.miketheschwartz.com