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Is Your Dinner Keeping You Up At Night?

Deborah Enos Is Your Dinner Keeping You Up At Night

Are those few pounds keeping you awake at night? Well, the problem may go deeper than you realize.

Your night’s rest, or lack thereof, may be causing you to make poor food choices during the day.

A January Obesity study found that women who got fewer than six hours of sleep each night consumed more calories during the day; those calories were not likely to be as nutritious as the choices made by the control group of women who slept seven hours per night.

So, sleep may impact food choices, but another study indicates that the reverse is true; food choices may also affect sleep.

A February Journal of Sleep study found that people who were on special diets ate fewer foods were likely to suffer from daytime sleepiness, and those who were on low fat or low cholesterol diets were likely to experience non-restorative sleep.

What’s the takeaway? From these studies, we can see that there is a close relationship between diet quality and sleep quality. Strive for the best of both, and you should sleep soundly.

Here are a few tips that may help you get your recommended seven hours of sleep tonight:

  1. Set a bed time. You may feel like a child again, but it’ll be worthwhile when you wake up feeling refreshed and more likely to shun the junk food. Start by figuring out what time you have to wake up in the morning and set your bedtime to be eight hours prior. The extra hour will help ensure that you actually start snoozing in time to get your seven hours. If you find you need more or less time, adjust accordingly.

  2. Stop eating at least an hour before bedtime. When your body is digesting, it’s not completely at rest. If you want to truly relax and drift off into dreamland, try to cut yourself off from food and drink about an hour before bedtime. Avoiding drinks will also avoid midnight bathroom breaks.

  3. Give yourself time to unwind. If your bedtime is 10 p.m., plan to unplug around 9 p.m. This means turning off the computer and/or television; anything that could be over-stimulating or upsetting to you should be shut down an hour before bed. Take this quiet time to do something for yourself. Take a bath, meditate or pray – just relax!

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