We live in a challenging society that asks us to perform every day. Expectations are high and this cannot only increase our stress, but also cause sleep problems. In my consultations, many people are confronted with sleep problems. Often environmental stressors or the pressure they put on themselves is a big part of it. Nevertheless, we often forget that our diet has a great influence on our body's cycle and well-being.
First of all, to promote a good night's sleep, you must avoid having too much cortisol (stress hormone) in the evening. To this end, think about having a snack around 4:00-5:00 pm with a fruit and some nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds) rich in tryptophan. This plant protein will help produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm and well-being, which in turn will reduce the cortisol level.
Then, make sure you eat lighter in the evening, predominantly vegetarian meals. The proteins you should have in your plate, important for satiety and nutritional balance, think about legumes (lentils, red beans, chickpeas) and eggs, and avoid red meat.
And finally, consider vitamins and minerals that will help you better cope with stress. Here are some tips that should help you:
- In case of physical and mental stress, the need for vitamin B12 and magnesium increases in your body and you might feel tired if you have a deficiency. Choose a diet containing fatty fish (salmon, sardines, oysters), eggs for vitamin B12 and cashew nuts and dark chocolate for magnesium.
- Vitamin B6 helps reduce fatigue in case of exhaustion and makes it easier to secrete serotonin. Meat, especially red meat, salmon and tuna, as well as potatoes are rich in vitamin B6.
- Melatonin is a hormone known for its ability to regulate chronobiological rhythms and improve sleep. It is especially recommended for people who travel frequently changing time zones and may also be of interest to people who work at night with irregular work cycles.
An adequate diet in terms of nutrients but also depending on the time of the day will therefore help you to better deal with stress and sleep better. This will give you the energy you need to get through busy times at work.
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