We’re halfway through August, and the summer heat isn’t showing any signs of letting up. Days like these, it feels like the weather app and the alarm clock are teaming up to hijack our days and ruin any chance for a good rest, which ruins any chance for good productivity, which ruins any chance for a good rest… You get it. You probably get it a lot more than you’d like to.
But, it doesn’t have to stay that way. How, you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple: all you have to do is eat.
The right food, that is.
During the summer, we typically gravitate towards caffeine to stay awake and ice cream to stay cool. Most of us gravitate towards a combination of both. However, the combination of excessive caffeine and too many sweets can upset your stomach, disrupt your sleep pattern, and cause sudden crashes. All of this can significantly reduce the quality of your sleep.
Summer also tends to be the time where most of us aren’t paying a whole lot of attention to our food palettes. It’s too hot in the kitchen, so we rush through meal prep and don’t tend to take away homemade lunches for fear of the food spoiling. To top it off, we’re more inclined to socialize in the summer, so that’s another layer of extra junk food that our bodies have to deal with.
And this is exactly why we’ve come up with this healthy and refreshing menu for better sleep:
The golden rule is combining protein and carbs to give your body the nutrients it needs to kick-start your day. A perfect combination is a whole-grain cereal mixed with milk or a whole-wheat toast mixed with eggs.
Other breakfast choices to consider: Yogurt, nuts, and oatmeal.
They might not sound as great as coffee, but they will fill you up with the nutrition you need and keep your body cool on the inside, which can improve your sleep during the humid days.
Iced Green tea
Green tea provides that sweet balance between giving you the necessary energy to keep going while also relieving stress and promoting better sleep later on in the day. It also promotes better cardiovascular health, oral hygiene and weight and cholesterol management.
The thing about Spinach is that it’s high in Magnesium and Potassium, both of which are natural muscle relaxants.
This leafy green vegetable contains the amino acid tryptophan, a substance that helps the body regulate sleep. It also helps stabilize your mood and manage your metabolism in check, both of which are needed when dealing with an intense summer day.
Another food that is high in potassium and magnesium. They are also a source of Serotonin and Melatonin, relaxing substances that are scientifically linked with better sleep.
Summer twist: Blending frozen bananas can lead to a tasty, fresh and light treat.
Rice is a given on any Egyptian dinner table, and that’s a great thing. White rice is another dish that keeps you cool on the inside, and it’s fairly easy to digest. Not only that, but its high carb count (28 grams per 100 gram) gives it a high glycemic index – a quality that is associated with improving sleep.
Perhaps one of the only good things about summer (I’m a winter person, excuse my bias) is all those fish meals eaten by the beach. Salmon, Tuna and Shrimp are rich in Tryptophan, Magnesium and Vitamin D.
Make sure to eat 3-4 hours before bed to get all that digestion activity out of the way so that your mind and body are all freed up to focus on getting a proper rest.
Some background science:
Tryptophan: Amino acid that turns into the neurotransmitter Serotonin, a sleep and mood regulator.
Magnesium: Deactivates adrenaline, which is associated with being excited and high-strung (Thus, unable to rest.)
Vitamin D: Enhances your body’s ability to make use of calcium, which in its turn produces Melatonin, a hormone that promotes feelings of sleep and relaxation.
Potassium: This mineral promotes heart functions, neural transmissions and muscle contractions. The lack of potassium, referred to as Hypokalemia, leads to abnormal heart rhythms, fatigue and muscle spasms, all of which interfere with the natural, healthy sleep cycle.
One last hack:
If you stumbled upon this in a desperate search after a horrible night’s sleep, you might be tempted to skip breakfast. Don’t do that. Instead, just take that eggs and toast combination we mention above. Two eggs and two slices of toast should be just the right amount to give you a nutritional boost and require little to no effort from your already exhausted system.
Did you try this menu? Did it help with sleeping better? Give us your feedback in the comments below!