As soon as we start dieting to shed off the extra chubby fellows of the body, the first problem we encounter is that we can’t sleep when dieting.
Diet and insomnia always go hand in hand. Where eating a healthy diet helps to maintain a sound body and good mental health, a calorie deficit diet leads to disturbed body rhythms, making it harder to catch some peaceful catnaps.
But some ways and strategies can help you out when you are struggling and can’t sleep when dieting.
So, if you want to unravel the secret key, keep calm and dwell on the next section.
What to Do When You Can’t Sleep When Dieting? 6 Tips to Opt For!
Although dieting and cutting off extra curbs hinders the normal circadian rhythm and leads to a disturbed sleep, there are different ways that can help you enjoy peaceful sleep, when on a diet. A few known tips are:
1. Avoid Spicy Foods on Your Low Carb Food
A common practice is that we all sprinkle lots of spicy foods like red pepper and green chilies on our low-carb food and salads to add a touch of spice and taste. As a result of consuming spicy meals, thermoregulation is disturbed, leading to increased body temperature, and the chances of heartburn and acid reflux increase by multiple folds.
Since the core temperature rises, it interferes with the normal sleep plan, leading to delayed sleeping.
Therefore, it is better to avoid spicy foods and rich, acidic content meals during the diet, especially at bedtime.
2. Avoid High Protein and High-Fat Food
Another proven tip is to consume less protein-rich and fat-rich food. High protein food decreases the human body’s sensitivity towards the sleep regulator, orexin.
Similarly, foods rich in fat like cheese, pepperoni, etc., contain high amounts of tyramine which is known to increase the epinephrine and adrenaline levels in the body. As a result, the hormones stimulate the body to stay active and less sleepy, thus keeping sleep at bay.
Therefore, it is better not to eat a protein-rich diet. Instead, shift towards a high carbohydrate diet that provides the necessary nutrients to the body. Moreover, they release sleep hormones, especially serotonin, to regulate the sleep cycle effectively, thus allowing us to snatch some forty winks faster.
Similarly, studies show that meals rich in fiber lead to restorative sleep with less frequent arousals.
3. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Admit it or not, a good, healthy breakfast impacts our whole day more than we think. Skipping breakfast is one of the worst habits that make your body tired and weary. In fact, a study in 2018 showed that people who ate a healthy breakfast enjoyed a better quality sleep in less time than those who skipped it or ate something unhealthy.
So, it is highly recommended to eat a balanced breakfast if you are on a diet and can’t sleep properly.
An ideal breakfast is low in sugar and offers high fiber content. For example, you can have Greek yogurt, oats, cereals, smoothie, toast, etc., in the morning to have a high-energy day.
4. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Another way to enjoy quality Zzzs is to limit the intake of caffeine and alcohol if you can’t sleep when dieting.
Initially, alcohol helps to fall drowsy earlier, but eventually, it interfaces with the REM and sleep cycle of the human body, leading to disturbed sleep. Moreover, it affects the production of melatonin in the human body, thus depriving the body of sleep hormone production in normal amounts.
In addition to it, it is better to keep a check on your caffeine intake also and try not to consume it at least 4 hours before your bedtime.
5. Drink Tart Cherry Juice
Surprisingly, drinking one glass of tart cherry juice before bedtime improves sleep quality. It contains a high level of melatonin and anti-inflammatory properties to relax our bodies and make sleep better.
Studies have shown that tart cherry juice also improves insomnia symptoms.
However, if you don’t like tart cherries, you can opt for walnuts, oranges, bananas, raspberries, etc.
6. Have Smart Night Snacks
Although it is better to eat a light meal at night, no one wants hunger pangs in the middle of the night, right?
Therefore, it is better to opt for some smart night snacks just an hour or 30 min before sleep. For example, you can opt for snacks rich in carbohydrates as it is rich in serotonin and helps to improve melatonin production too.
An ideal choice is to eat prunes, peanut butter, fruits, or crackers.
Some Additional Ways to Sleep Earlier!
Apart from the tips mentioned above, here are some additional ways to help you sleep earlier. These include:
- Practice yoga and meditation as it keeps the mind calm and body relaxed.
- Add exercise to the daily routine as it boosts serotonin level
- Give aromatherapy a try
- Change your sleep position, and try to sleep on your back
- Listen to some mind-relaxing music
Moreover, it is better to keep track of your sleep by installing any sleep tracking app to know whether these tips are working for you or not.
ShutEye is one of the best Sleep trackers in the digital arsenal that analyzes your sleep cycle properly and gives a detailed sleep report the next day.
Do All Types of Diets Lead To Sleep Problems?
A big NO!
Only improper food and diet plans lead to sleep problems. If you opt for a proper diet plan from a nutritionist or doctor, there are chances that your sleep pattern will improve.
Moreover, KETO diet and intermittent masking, the two common names in the world of dieting plans, help to improve sleep disorders by increasing the production of adenosine and sleep hormones.
Similarly, intermittent fasting affects the circadian cycle by promoting the release of orexin, thus improving sleep issues like sleep apnea and insomnia.
Conclusion-One Last Thought!
Undoubtedly the hungry tummy during dieting impacts our sleep quality and quantity drastically. However, from choosing a better diet plan to doing meditation and yoga, there are thousands of ways to try out if you can’t sleep when dieting.