- Eat light dinners to sleep well at night
- Limit your screentime and avoid using gadgets in bed
- Quit alcohol if you want to improve your sleep quality
Benefits of good sleep: Everything, from your level of energy to your immunity, weight, mood, disease tolerance, growth, repair and ageing, depend on how well you sleep. To improve your sleep, so single diet or lifestyle tip can help. Sleeping well involves a more holistic process of living an active and healthy lifestyle with fewer sedentary lifestyle habits. Nutritionist Pooja Makhija, in her recent IGTVs, talks that good sleep comes from a combination of good nutrition, level of physical activity, stress and your bed time ritual among others.
Sleeping well: 7 rules that can help you
In the video, Makhija elaborates on "B.L.A.N.K.E.T rule" which can help you sleep well.
1. Balanced meal: Your diet needs to be a generous mix of all food groups, including proteins, fats and carbs. If your diet is lacking in even one of these food groups, it can affect your qualtiy of sleep, she informs in the video.
2. Lighter dinners: Eating foods that are light on the stomach should be your preferred pick if you want to sleep well. The body works harder to digest food, if you eat heavy meals for dinner. So you might sleep well, but may feel tired in the morning.
3. Alcohol: It might be easier to sleep when you drink alcohol. However, alcohol disturbs your sleep pattern and reduces your body's ability to go into deep sleep, says Makhija. Deep sleep is important for effective memory function, recovery and detoxification. Reduce alcohol consumption if you want to work on improving your sleep pattern.
4. No stimulation: Blu light emitted from smartphones, TVs and laptops can make you more alert and wakeful, and reduce production of melatonin. This directly affects your sleep quality. Avoid screen time for at least two hours before bed time to sleep well and sleep deep at night.
5. Killing the caffeine: Caffeine can temporarily make you alert and active. It reduces the ability of your brain to calm down and help you sleep. Reduce the number of tea and coffee you drink in a day. The last cup of caffeine should ideally be around four to six hours before your bedtime. Apart from tea and coffee, caffeine is also present in aerated drinks, energy drinks and diet soda.
6. Exercise: You need to burn out reserved energy to feel tired at night and sleep deeply. The more energy you spend in exercising and doing intense workout, the less time and energy you will spend tossing and turning in bed to go to sleep. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help you sleep quickly and also facilitate better quality of rejuvenation in sleep.
7. Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an amino-acid which is present in protein-rich foods. Pulses, legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds, chicken, fish and eggs can provide you with good amount of tryptophan. Tryptophan helps in production of serotonin, which then coverts into melatonin. Meltonin helps in inducing good quality of sleep. Also, do consume good quality carbs in your diet.
These tips can help in improving your sleep quality, which in turn can improve your energy levels, weight loss and overall fitness.
(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.