The connection between sleep and nutrition

Sleep and nutrition are essential to your overall well-being. It’s important to learn how the food you eat influences your sleep and vice versa to help you feel your best so you can perform your best.

The impact of poor sleep on nutrition

Sleep deprivation affects your food choices by causing you to crave sugary, high calorie treats. This leads to choosing other unhealthy foods at mealtime, resulting in another poor night of sleep.

The impact of poor nutrition on sleep

Eating heavy meals before bedtime can keep you awake as your body works to digest the food. In addition, diets without essential vitamins and minerals can disrupt your sleep cycle, leaving you feeling groggy in the morning.

Strategies for improving sleep and nutrition

Adopt these simple strategies to improve your sleep and nutrition habits:

  1. Cut caffeine: Give your body time to wind down by avoiding caffeinated beverages in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  2. Stick to a schedule: Eating and sleeping at the same time every day, even on the weekends, will help regulate your body’s internal clock.
  3. Make mindful meals: Choose light, easily digestible snacks before bed, such as Greek yogurt or a handful of nuts.

Addressing sleep issues

Issues such as insomnia can still happen even when practicing good sleep and nutrition habits. Consider seeing your doctor or exploring relaxation techniques to help ease your mind.

Nutrition and Sleep FAQs

Q: What foods can help me sleep better?
A: Foods rich in tryptophan, such as dairy products, turkey and nuts can help produce serotonin and melatonin, which are hormones that regulate sleep.

Q: Should I eat before bed?
A: Try to avoid big meals close to bedtime, especially ones with spicy foods, but a light snack containing protein and carbohydrates can promote better sleep.

Q: How can a bedtime routine improve my sleep quality?
A: Establishing a calming bedtime routine, such as reading or meditating, signals your body that it’s time to prepare for sleep.

Q: Will drinking water improve my sleep quality?
A: Staying hydrated is crucial for your sleep quality and overall health. But try to limit fluid intake close to bedtime to prevent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Q: What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my sleep and nutrition?
A: Exercising regularly, managing stress levels and avoiding nicotine and alcohol can improve sleep and nutrition.


Natasha Hansen
Natasha Hansen Senior Sports Dietitian
Natasha Hansen joined Sanford Sports as our Senior Sports Dietitian in November of 2023. Hansen comes to Sanford Sports from The University of Kansas where she was the Director of Performance Nutrition.
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