I have already written about the importance of not eating too close to bedtime, and how our sleep quality increases if we consume our last meal of the day at least 2-3 hours from the time that we fall asleep.
In this article, I’m going to focus on discussing the interactions between the content of your last meal and the effect that this has on your sleep.
When you have less autophagy, this disrupts the processes that keep your mind sharp and your brain youthful, protecting it from chronic degenerative disease later in life.
The problem is that many of the foods that we consume (not only for dinner or dessert but also throughout the day) contain highly refined carbohydrates which are quickly digested and absorbed, spiking blood sugar levels and requiring our body to produce large amounts of insulin.
When you consume these high-glycemic refined-carbohydrate meals throughout the day, your blood sugar levels peak and crash.
This promotes insulin resistance, weight gain, mood instability, fatigue, cravings and many more health negative effects.
When you consume these types of food at nighttime, the effects can be even more severe.
So… what should you be eating for dinner?
The best macronutrients to consume for dinner are those that spike insulin least; healthy fats, protein and vegetables that contain higher amounts of fibre and lower total carbohydrates (starchy and non-starchy vegetables).
Due to the fact that processed foods high in carbohydrates cause the largest release of insulin (and decrease sleep quality the most), you really want to avoid consuming refined carbohydrates and sugar within the hours before bedtime.
By doing this, your nighttime insulin levels will stay low, your blood sugar levels will remain stable throughout the night and you will experience deeper, more restful and higher-quality sleep.
Meals should be focused around real, whole-food ingredients.
Keto, Paleo or Low-Carb would be great search terms to use when looking for recipes online in search engines such as Google.
Personally, my favourite recipe books are the Paleo Primer Collection by Matt Whitmore and Keris Marsden. I recommend these books to every single client that I work with.
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Please get in touch if you have any questions!
I personally take the time to answer any questions you have, so please feel free to contact me through social media or via email ([email protected]) where I can assist you with any queries you have relating to sleep and holistic health.