Obtaining high-quality sleep even when you are tired from a rotating schedule or constant jet lag can seem impossible. Our bodies are ruled by our circadian rhythm or 24-hour biological clock, which needs environment cues such as light to stay on track. When it’s out of sync your metabolism, immune system, hunger and ability to sleep all pay the cost.
However, if you can’t get enough sunlight to help your circadian rhythm go smoothly, don’t worry. A new study conducted by a team of researchers from Japan has found a link between your diet and circadian rhythm. The key to holding it all together is insulin, as Men’s Journal filled us in.
Your pancreas releases insulin each time you consume food, with certain foods causing more insulin to be secreted than others. An important fact since a rush of insulin will make you tired, giving you more control over your biological clock to ensure that you’ll be sleepy at the right time as you eat more insulin releasing foods. On the other hand, to prevent sleepiness during the day, you can pull back in the mornings.
So which foods release this much needed insulin for sleep? According to study author Dr. Makoto Akashi, you should focus on carbohydrates as it strongly induces insulin secretion. Without making your dinner too heavy, add in carb-rich foods such as rice, potatoes and pasta. For breakfast, focus on proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, while staying away from too many carbs from bagels, sugar packed cereals and waffles.
While you may not able to embrace the sun for better sleep, still make an effort to stay away from electronics at least an hour before bed. You don’t want the blue light emitting from them to hold you back from shut-eye. Along with other good sleep hygiene practices, give this diet a try for better snooze and let us know how it worked for you!