We all need a good night’s sleep. Here’s the latest from Dr Camel Harrington, an Australian sleep scientist on what is really happening in our slumber hours, and how we can encourage a restful night’s sleep for an energetic day ahead – full of focus, alertness, good decision-making and even weight-loss.
Listen here to Dr Carmel Harrington’s chat with Margaret Throsby on ABC FM and introduction to her book ‘The Sleep Diet‘.
Some tips for a good night’s sleep from Dr Carmel Harrington’s ‘The Sleep Diet':
‘Prepare to sleep’ routine:
1. Turn off your PC early – the PC and surrounding room is usually a very bright light source which can reduce the production of melatonin – your sleep hormone.
2. TVs in the bedroom – ‘an absolute no-no’ . TVs and the TV room is a more dimly lit light source compared to having a PC on, however the stimulation and habit of being awake at late hours to watch TV can reduce your melatonin and disrupt that night when you really want to sleep on time, instead of staying up late watching TV in bed.
Good – High tryptophan foods which help produce serotonin (our feel-good hormone) and melatonin (our sleep hormone).
– leafy green vegetables
– nuts (hazelnuts, almonds).
Dairy such as milk and yoghurt are high in tryptophan however are calorie-dense carbohydrate foods which will have an adverse effect to a good night’s sleep.
Bad – foods high in tyrosine, tyramine or glutamate, that will wake us up, stimulating our awake hormones, resulting in a disturbed sleep, an overactive mind and sometimes nightmares:
– red meat
– processed meat (e.g. bacon, ham)
– soy beans and soy products
– many types of spicy foods as they contain MSG (mono sodium glutamate)
– refined carbohydrates or high quantities of sugar
Eat well, organic if possible, eat deliciously and enjoy a good night’s sleep.