Healthy Eating and Healthy Sleep

healthy diet and healthy sleep
healthy diet and healthy sleep

If you have an adequate and balanced diet and do not neglect your daily physical activity, you are making a positive contribution to your health. However, it should not be forgotten that sleep is one of the basic components of a healthy lifestyle. The information compiled by the Sabri Ülker Foundation emphasizes that healthy nutrition and sleep are closely related. Sleep affects our eating patterns, and our eating patterns affect sleep! How should we eat for a quality sleep?

Adequate and quality sleep prepares our body ideally for the new day. A quality sleep of 7-8 hours is one of the most important factors that enable you to wake up energetically in the morning. We can say that diet, exercise and sleep are three important components that support each other and are indispensable for a healthy life. All three have positive effects on the continuation of well-being and life expectancy. Sleep needs to be prioritized to help prevent certain diseases, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and many other conditions. When you make sleep a priority, you may notice that your appetite is positively affected by this, your food choices are improved and you are conscious of what you eat.

Sleep affects our eating patterns, and our eating patterns affect sleep!

According to The National Sleep Foundation, 7 to 9 hours/day of quality sleep is recommended for adults. However, studies point out that only one in three adults comply with these recommendations. In one study, people who slept only four hours had an additional 300 calories of energy per day compared to those who slept nine hours.

Insomnia also affects hormones that affect appetite and satiety. While the hormone ghrelin increases our appetite, leptin plays an important role in helping us feel full. Therefore, the ratios of these two hormones in the body are very important. When we do not get enough quality sleep, the balance between ghrelin and leptin hormones is disturbed. Individuals with poor sleep quality seem to have lower diet quality, while resulting in higher food consumption.

How should we eat for a quality sleep?

We can say that the nutrition model we call the Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating model that increases the quality and duration of sleep. The Mediterranean diet is defined as a diet high in antioxidants and fiber, with a pattern of healthy fats. When we look at the general pattern of this diet, we see that it is a nutrition model that is rich in olives and olive oil, includes vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains, and nuts, as well as moderate consumption of milk and dairy products, eggs and chicken. However, we should say that while consumption of red meat is recommended in limited quantities, processed foods are not preferred. The nutrients mentioned above, which are indispensable for the Mediterranean diet, also regulate the activities of some important functional structures in the body (such as melatonin, serotonin and vitamin D). Studies show that especially milk and its products, oily fish and some fruits and their freshly squeezed sugar-free juices (such as sour cherries and kiwis) can have positive effects on sleep duration and quality. Although the mechanisms for the positive effects of these nutrients on sleep are not yet clear, it is stated that they may have positive effects on sleep by regulating the functions of important structures such as serotonin, which is effective on sleep mechanisms in the body.

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