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Can food and drink really impact our sleep?

Feb 8, 2024 #Simba #sleep
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**I received a Simba duvet, as well as a second duvet to give away on Instagram, in return for this post**

 

Everyone knows that getting enough sleep is important for our health – both mental and physical. But are these stories about how certain foods and drinks can impact our sleep actually true?

Does cheese really give us nightmares? Is caffeine really a big problem when it comes to sleep quality?

Leading sleep-tech company Simba has plenty of advice on this topic, making it easier to understand how we can change our eating and drinking habits to feel fully rested and refreshed.

Of course, the fact that we spend a third of our lives asleep means that we also need to make that sleep as comfortable as possible, and Simba is here to help. Their wide selection of bed frames have all been ergonomically and innovatively designed to help you sleep as soundly and as comfortably as possible – and they offer a range of mattresses, pillows, duvets and bedding that promise a great night’s sleep. If you want the chance to win your own Simba duvet to encourage better sleep, read on…

What are the best foods for sleep?

The cheese thing? That’s a myth, say Simba, disproven by a British Cheese Board study in 2015. In fact, some cheeses contain tryptophan which can actually improve tiredness levels!

The foods you should really avoid are those that are spicy, fatty, spike your blood sugar or contain stimulants – meaning things like curries, crisps, charcuterie and chocolate should be off the menu in the evenings if you want a good night’s rest.

On the other hand, foods that contain serotonin (which converts to melatonin which naturally promotes sleep), magnesium (which relaxes the muscles), tryptophan (natural mood regulator) or omega-3 fatty acids (which stimulate melatonin release) can help. Think fruits (cherries, banana, melon, kiwi and apple in particular), oily fish, chicken and turkey, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds for a better night’s rest.

Can what you drink affect sleep quality?

On the drinks front, there are two major culprits often blamed for poor sleep: alcohol, and caffeine.

While alcohol is a depressant and can make us feel relaxed and sleepy, its effect on our sleep quality isn’t a positive one. Too much alcohol can suppress Rapid Eye Movement during our first two sleep cycles, leading to a shorter time asleep and a greater number of sleep disruptions. This, combined with dehydration, can result in hangovers – as well as the need to wake up in the night to urinate.

Alcohol can also contribute to sleep disorders like sleep apnoea and insomnia, making you feel even less rested than normal.

Caffeine, meanwhile, is a stimulant – but one that affects everyone differently. While some stop drinking caffeinated drinks around lunchtime, others can down a double espresso before bed and sleep like a log.

Caffeine’s effects can last up to seven hours, and it’s also a diuretic: if you’re finding yourself waking up in the night to pee, this could be the culprit. It’s always worth monitoring your caffeine intake alongside your sleep quality to see if there’s any correlation between the two.

There’s a fine line between staying hydrated enough to sleep comfortably, and drinking so much that your bladder wakes you in the night. Simba’s research suggests avoiding over-consuming liquids in the two hours before bed, and sipping rather than guzzling to keep yourself hydrated.

Some of the best drinks to choose, they say, are chamomile tea, warm milk, hot cocoa, almond milk or coconut water, with each containing different nutrients that can help to promote great sleep.

Which foods and drinks have the biggest impact on your sleep?

Win a Simba Hybrid® Duvet to help you sleep!

Want to improve your sleep? I’ve teamed up with Simba to offer one winner a Simba Hybrid® Duvet in the size of your choice.

This 10.5 tog duvet is designed for use all year round. Their Simba Renew Bio™ filling offers great warmth, softness and breathability, while the Stratos® temperature control tech in the cotton outer helps to dissipate excess heat.

To enter, head over to Instagram by clicking the link below – you’ve got till midday on Friday, February 16th to enter. Good luck!

 

 

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