“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures for anything,” reads an Irish proverb.
Did you know that losing an hour of sleep can result in a noticeably decreased ability to perform your best? It impacts your work and results in productivity loss. A recent study estimated that sleep deprivation costs employers almost 8 days of work per year, per worker, due to lost productivity.
Employees who suffer from a lack of sleep or a sleeping disorder report that they procrastinate more on the job, and lack of sleep is one of the number one causes of safety hazards at the workplace.
What can be done?
The role of food in controlling and managing sleep disorders is no more an occult science now. Nutrition, exercise and sleep are correlated and hence, a balance of these three is a great helping tool of fitness for you.
Try this food approach to avoid sleeping disorders:
- Create a balanced diet approach – Your routine food must consist of grains, dals/pulses, toned dairy products, enough fruits and veggies, nuts along with good hydration.
- Check for food sensitivity or intolerance– Do notice the changes you feel after eating a particular food item. The allergy/ intolerance of milk, gluten, egg/seafood, chocolates etc. are widely known.
- Say NO to junks, especially during major meals – Three major meals i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner should preferably be home cooked food. Junk food or outside food can be planned as a small meal in between the major meal items, sometimes. It’s better not to combine home food and junk food together at a time.
- Maintain the meal gap – ensure that gaps between meals are evenly maintained. This helps in proper digestion. Inculcate the habit of having an early dinner so that you get are on time for a sound sleep.
- Monitor your weight – Weight is directly linked with several metabolic and other diseases. If there is a sudden change in your weight, check with the health experts for controlling measures.
- Avoid caffeine based beverage before sleep – Replace carbonated or any aerated drinks with a cup of milk. Try having milk with honey for a sound sleep.
- Role of Vitamins and minerals – They play a magical role in raising serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps in managing appetite, digestion, mood, behaviour and sleep.
- Vitamin B – They improve body’s ability to regulate use of sleep-inducing tryptophan and produce more system-calming serotonin. Sources include chicken breast, salmon, cereals fortified with B3 or B12 etc.
- Macro and micro nutrients
- Calcium – This is a natural relaxant and has a calming effect on the body’s nervous system. Sources include low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, fortified orange juice etc.
- Zinc – Deficiency in this mineral has been directly linked to insomnia. Sources include – nuts, dark chocolate, chicken, beans, and mushrooms.
- Iron– Restless leg syndrome has been observed due to lack of this mineral. Sources include beans, lentil, Dark green leafy vegetables, fortifies cereals and organ meats.
- Copper – This is known to regulate serotonin levels. Sources – whole grains, beans, nuts, dark leafy greens etc.
The author is Founder and CEO at Fitgenix. She is a Registered Dietitian and a Nutrition Consultant engaged with Corporate Nutrition sessions and writes for various news portals and magazines.
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