Do you ever have trouble catching enough of those zzzzzz? Then you’ve come to the right place. Best-selling health author and nutritionist, Jessica Sepel, is here to make it all seem like a bad dream. In today’s super-fast paced and techno-driven world, switching off and getting ready for sleep can feel like a job in itself. Jessica believes that with the right healthy food and nutrition, achieving a lovely, uninterrupted slumber is within our grasp…
What food or drink do you recommend helping achieve a blissful sleep?
Firstly, having a satiating dinner with good quality protein, slow-release carbs and healthy fats will keep your blood sugar levels stable so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night hungry.
Look for foods containing tryptophan, such as milk, turkey and oats. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps make the sleep hormone melatonin. Green leafy veg like kale and spinach are loaded with calcium; meanwhile, carbohydrates facilitate the entry of tryptophan into the brain.
We all know caffeine can keep you awake, but what other foods or drinks should we avoid before bed?
Avoid anything that is difficult for the stomach to digest before bed; for example, anything super fatty or spicy. Cacao is a mild stimulant which could keep you awake, so go easy on those chocolate treats. Also, alcohol can disrupt natural sleeping patterns, so avoid during the week and enjoy in moderation over the weekend.
Eating and drinking too much (even water), too close to bed can also disrupt sleep. For example; overeating before bed can cause acids and gastric juices to flow up into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn that disrupts sleep. Some studies suggest late-night eating may also negatively impact the natural release of our key sleep hormones, melatonin and HGH (human growth hormone)
What’s your routine before bed?
Over the years, I’ve always tried to improve my bedtime habits to give me the most restful and restorative sleep possible…but it’s not always easy! I try and commit to 8 hours of sleep every night and make sure I switch off all social media by 7-8pm. This helps to quieten my mind after a busy day. Other essentials for me is a wholesome dinner at home, a warm bath with essential oils and Epsom salts, a cup of herbal tea and a good book before going to bed at a reasonable time! NB: blue light from screens before bed can inhibit melatonin production and therefore disrupt sleep.
Finally, what’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
I had the most vivid dream that I met Oprah with my mum right outside the Sydney Opera House. And I kid you not, it came true! Whilst she was on tour here in 2015. The power of manifesting, clearly! And eating well…
Swisse Me & blissful sleep
Inspired by Jessica’s take on sleeping, it’s good to know we can help make a difference too with our Replenish Me post-workout blend. All the natural and nutritious ingredients we use, from spirulina nutrition to apple nutritional benefits and kiwi, help to reinvigorate body and mind, ready for rest and relaxation at the end of a full-on day.