Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat
It’s clear many of us have been struggling to sleep recently. Understandably, it can be difficult to switch off right now, and many people are finding it increasingly difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Endless news updates, home schooling, long days working from home and attending virtual meetings without a break is also taking its toll on the nation’s waistline. One of the most well reported effects of disturbed sleep, is that we are likely to crave carbohydrates. Unfortunately, increasing our intake of sugary snacks and alcohol, whilst we are sitting more, can lead to unwanted weight gain.
How can we improve our sleep pattern and reduce our risk of putting on weight? Well, timing is important. Are you staying up later in the evening, looking at the TV and phone or tablet screen? It’s tempting when you don’t have to leave the house quite so early in the morning isn’t it? Try to return to a regular routine, ensuring that you are getting at least 8 hours sleep. There are numerous studies which show that 8 hours is the optimum amount of sleep that we require to function well.
Here’s a few things that might improve your sleep pattern. Keep your evening meal balanced. Include a variety of green leafy vegetables, a portion of good quality protein and a palm sized portion of starchy carbs. Avoid snacking on high sugar foods later in the evening, as this can disturb sleep. A 2016 study found that people who have diets high in sugar tend to sleep less deeply and display greater restlessness at night. A palm sized portion of almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds is a great alternative to sugary snacks. Staying hydrated is also important. It’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst. Being fully hydrated improves our concentration and can stop us searching for quick fix snacks, especially during the dreaded afternoon/early evening slump. A few simple changes, but if you can stick to a sleep routine, stay hydrated and eat well, chances are your sleep will improve.