By Naini Setalvad | THE HANS INDIA |
Mar 19,2017 , 12:41 AM IST
“Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy wealthy and wise”.
It is not obvious to most people that the human body is run by a biological clock and all its functions to be at optimum levels is controlled by this cyclic patterns.
The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are naturally released in the blood stream as the sun rises in the morning to promote physical activity. Serotonin the happiness producing chemical is produced in response to sunlight.
The sleep inducing melatonin is secreted in response to darkness at night and begins after dusk. Restoration of the body happens in deep sleep and that does not happen after midnight, it is two hours before as melatonin has begun its secretion a few hours ago.
Till the age of 32, my life was anti the natural rhythms of life. I slept late and woke up late, often was sleep deprived leading to innumerable health issues like body pain, poor performance, lowered immunity, short temper, indigestion , congestion and increased body weight and blood pressure...
When life became unbearable I went on a weight loss journey.
This saw me pack in a lot in one day, along with working full time I was sleeping earlier and waking up early to exercise. I realised that when I did not follow the universal laws of nature and being sleep deprived slowed down my reflexes.
The positive relationship between healthy eating and correct sleeping became increasingly clear to me. During sleep, both physical and mental restoration take place, allowing you to feel fresh and alert and function optimally in the morning.
Changing my diet helped the process of systematic assimilation and absorption of nutrients from foods, simplifying digestion and elimination, resulting in good sleep, increased energy and improved immunity. I noticed a sharp drop in my cravings for bad quality quick-fix energy foods like caffeine and white sugar.
Good sleep improves
Helps repair wear and tear of muscles
Lowers the risk of heart diseases
Prevents elevated blood pressure
Keeps the skin youthful and glowing
Prevents dark circles.
Prevents body pain
Improves absorption of vitamins and nutrition.
It is important to choose lighter and easily digestible foods at night that don’t cause indigestion and promote good sleep:
Water-based vegetables like the entire gourd family
Foods and herbs that promote sleep can be added to the diet in the night:
Milk with honey
Lavender aroma helps you automatically calm down allowing you to fall asleep faster.
For a good sleep just follow these simple tips, the choice is yours!
Alcohol is a double edged sword it can induce sleep but it will be a restless sleep.
Caffeine disturbs sleep: Having foods and beverages containing caffeine especially after 4 pm affects sleep.
Drinking fluids too close to bedtime: Avoid fluids after dinner to reduce the need to go to the bathroom during the night.
High fat food especially fried as it activates indigestion.
Drugs containing caffeine.
Heavy spicy food as it leads to heart burn.
Smoking: Cigarettes contains nicotine that has a similar effect as caffeine.
Dark chocolate contains a higher content of caffeine.