You may have noticed that if you have a large sugar intake one day you don’t sleep well that night and wake up feeling sluggish and ‘hung over’ the next day. What can you do about it? Let’s discuss that now.
Eating Windows & Body Clocks
As a nutritionist I do talk a lot about food nutrient density, ‘eating windows’, sleep patterns, and stress levels for a very good reason.
We’ve all heard about our natural Circadian Rhythms (we refer to as our Body Clock) and the way it is modulated in our Central Nervous System. This system is influenced and responds predominantly to light and dark cycles in our life experiences.
Three Body Clocks?
But did you know that our bodies have three Peripheral ‘clocks’ that impact the way we sleep, eat and experience energy levels on a daily basis. The body is truly amazing isn’t it?
These clocks are working through our liver, intestines and our kidneys. WOW! They are influenced by our stress levels and stress reactions, intensity of physical activity and the timing and nutrient content of what we eat each day.
One of the real culprits in the dysregulation of our natural body rhythms (and therefore good sleep) is eating too late or too close to going to bed. A 2017 research study shows us that meal timing will affect sleep and also food choices the next day.
The good news from this research is that when you adjust your meal timing and meal content you can improve your sleep, sugar cravings, and improve hormone dysregulation such as Type 2 Diabetes and cortisol levels.
Tips for improving your ‘Clock’ synchronicity:
- Last meal 3 hours before retiring
- Reduce sugar intake (reconsider that late night bowl of ice cream)
- In summer eat during daylight hours
- If you must eat late in the day because of work – have larger meals in the first half of the day and a smaller meal at night.
- If you must eat a snack before going to bed – make it protein (not carbs or fat)
- Intermittent fasting (breakfast consumed 12+ hours after evening meal) will help to reset your body clock.
For more help and guidance around this issue from a Wellness Coach and Functional Nutritionist, call me at the clinic on 9938 1090 now.