A good sleep with a good diet – First part

March 10, 2014

A good sleep with a good diet – First part

Sleeping has a profound effect on our lives, as it is a vital part of our homeostasis or circadian rhythm; it influences the ability of glands and cells in our bodies to produce hormones and neurotransmitters so that our bodies work smoothly.
When we don’t sleep, the rhythm is altered, hormones get out of whack, inflammation builds up, our bodies can’t use the food we eat as effectively, and it’s a downward spiral until we get the dream time we need.

By lack of sleep the hormonal levels, blood pressure, body temperature and gene activity are all negatively altered. This means that sleep deprivation will alter glucose control, impair metabolism, elevate cortisol, lead to overall hormonal imbalances (such as lower testosterone in men), delay recovery from exercise, stunt protein synthesis and diminish reaction time and cognitive ability.

Ultimately, sleep deprivation dramatically impairs performance and well being.

Eat more protein during the day and select carbs at night.
Research shows that sleep, wakefulness and energy levels are regulated by chemical transmitter pathways in the brain, and we can control those pathways with what we eat.
Eating carbohydrates activates the orexin pathway, which makes us feel sleepy.

When we eat protein, the amino acids will block the orexin pathway, making us alert.

Researchers suggest that eating a high-protein diet is ideal for achieving overall better sleep, but eating a meal of carbohydrates in the evening can help you go to sleep quickly. Some studies show high-glycemic carbs shorten sleep onset but may negatively affect sleep quality. Important is to opt for whole-food carbs rather than anything baked or processed.

Taking vitamin D3 is a good place to start to get better sleep. A recent study from the University of Texas found that people need a vitamin D3 blood level between 60 and 80 ng/ml to get the best sleep.

The part of the brain responsible for sleep has a large concentration of vitamin D3 receptors, and the entire sleep-wake cycle is disrupted if the receptors are deficient. Vitamin D3 also influences many other hormonal processes in the body that affect body rhythms, including reproduction, metabolism, digestion and cardiovascular health, all of which influence fatigue and sleep regulation.