By Donna Regula, M.P.A., R.D.
Overall wellness consists of several components. Good nutrition, increased activity, reduced stress and sufficient sleep are important factors in delaying chronic disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Sleep is one of the components of wellness we often take for granted. Studies show that inefficient sleep can make us susceptible to illness, stress and delayed recovery from sickness.
One factor that affects sleep quality is nutrition. Basically, the better diet we have, the better we sleep — just a single day of lesser-quality eating can make a difference! Many of us know from personal experience which foods or beverages alter our sleep patterns. Below are four basic guidelines you can follow to achieve a better night’s sleep:
- Both alcohol and caffeine are among the most common dietary triggers of upset sleep, especially when they are consumed later in the day.
- Studies show that sugar consumption results in lighter, less restorative sleep.
- Higher fiber intake tends to result in more time spent in the stage of deep sleep.
- Higher saturated fat intake results in less time spent in the deep sleep stage.
Regular activity and exercise also promote healthy sleep. Of course, other factors also play a part in good sleep, but nutrition and exercise are great places to start!
Donna Regula, a registered dietitian, is the Director of Nutrition Services at Lakewood, a LifeSpire Community and equal housing opportunity provider.
Schedule a personal tour of Lakewood and learn about our expansion plans, including new and expanded wellness programs and enhanced dining components. Email or call Donna Buhrman at 804-521-9134 to learn more.