London: In our seemingly always-on society, there's great temptation to shortchange sleep. But sleep is a vital driver of every physiological system in the human body, and when we're deprived of shuteye, health and wellbeing can suffer in many ways.
But getting adequate sleep can be difficult to achieve in quality and quantity over the festival period. However, getting enough snooze time can help you combat the effect of all those mince pies. That's because a lack of sleep could be adding to your waistline, while enough time in bed could help you trim down.
According to Express.co.uk, a recent study suggests that 74 percent of dieters who had a regular sleep routine were able to shift eight pounds. The study of 1,000 people by Forza Supplements found that getting between seven and eight hours of sleep was best for the waistline.
Talking about the study, Pippa Campbell, nutritionist and weight loss coach, said, "When we sleep we burn most of our fat, so if we don't sleep this can significantly affect weight loss. Interrupted or impaired sleep can cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you've already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight."
Here are the four changes to make to your diet to achieve deep sleep:
* Eat Cherries
According to experts, Cherries have been found to contain small amounts of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycles. "Although all cherries may contain some melatonin, tart 'Montmorency' cherries in particular have been found in a clinical trial to increase the body's melatonin levels and increase sleep time," said Cassandra Barns, a nutritionist.
* No starchy carbs before bed
Starchy carbs and sugars will raise your blood sugar and become a reason a reason for you to not get enough sleep and when blood sugar drops too low, you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep. Barns noted, "However, if you are suffering with severe stress you may find that a pre-bedtime small protein or carb snack might help around 10 pm. In these instances I advise my clients to eat some almond butter on a small rye or gluten-free cracker."
* Avoid alcohol
Festivals can be a time where people might drink a few more that usual, but if alcohol may help people to get to sleep but it can be a reason for people to wake up throughout the night too. Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, said, "Alcohol has a diuretic effect on the body so it can wake you to go to the toilet but also leave you very thirsty. It also stops the passage of tryptophan into your brain and it this amino acid which is converted into serotonin, the 'feel good' brain chemical."
* Get enough Vitamin B
Eating foods rich in B vitamins, which have many health benefits, for example vitamin B12 encourages healthy levels of melatonin, a hormone that supports healthy sleep. Tuna, chicken breast and yogurt are all rich in vitamin B.