Putting the P into sleep

Pump up your protein level for better zzz’s

by Caroline Brien

If you’re one of the 35 per cent who have suffered from a bout of insomnia or simply don’t seem to be able to get a regular good night’s rest, packing more protein into your diet could help when your head hits the pillow.

Eating quality protein at dinner as your body moves into sleep mode or a healthy protein snack around two hours before bedtime has been shown to improve the amount and quality of sleep says a new American study. Researchers found that the slumber boost happens after four weeks of a lower calorie diet with a higher amount of protein. Weight loss was an added bonus for those who needed to trim down because sleep deprivation plays havoc with your hormones, particularly insulin. After just four nights of nocturnal disruption, the body is unable to use insulin properly, meaning it can’t remove fatty acids and lipids from the blood stream and long term, leads to fat storage in all the wrong places. Bad sleep also raises cortisol levels that help control your appetite, which is why you fancy a fry up the day after you only slept for three hours. But why then does protein help when we hit the hay? Because it tells the body make the sleep-promoting amino acid tryptophan, which in turn, makes you drowsy. So dump the evening cake and candy treats in favour of a protein-packed snack if you want sweet dreams and a trimmer waistline.

by Caroline Brien
Award-winning Beauty & Lifestyle Editor. Long time yoga lover. Life time film fan. Some time wander-luster.

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