Not sleeping well is more than just a nuisance. It makes you feel listless, cranky, unfocused and foggy in the head and causes problems concentrating at work or at school. Beyond these annoyances, sleeping poorly can lead to more serious health complications, and if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you are already in a higher risk group for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and obesity. Your immune system can also be affected, making it easier for you to contract colds, the flu, or other viral diseases and infections.
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, it was concluded that those who suffer from type 2 diabetes complicated with obesity or high blood pressure or high cholesterol have double the chance of dying from heart disease or stroke if they slept less than six hours each night. Just having diabetes alone increases your risk of heart attack or stroke, but now we know that sleeping badly compounds that risk.
The good news is – eating the right foods can help you sleep better. Not only that, making better choices helps you to feel better, lose weight and lessen the burden on your heart and blood pressure overall.
There are also some other strategies that you can employ, such as:
- Establishing a regular sleep schedule, and sticking to it. What this means is that you need to plan to go to bed and get up at about the same time each day.
- Regular exercise should be a part of your daily routine – but don’t exercise too close to your bedtime.
- Keep the room that you sleep in at a cooler temperature, around 65 degrees, give or take.
- Don’t use electronic devices or watch TV in bed.
- If you are a light sleeper, use earplugs to block out the noise.
- Take a warm bath or shower before going to bed (add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bath to encourage relaxation).
- Make sure your pillow and mattress are comfortable and of good quality.
The right foods to eat to ensure a good night’s sleep
Choosing the right foods to eat will help you sleep better. Here is a list of foods you might consider:
1. Fish: Deep ocean fish are rich in vitamin B, which helps the production of melatonin in your body. Melatonin is the sleep hormone that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycles.
2. Poultry: Chicken and turkey contain tryptophan, which boosts serotonin levels, effectively calming the nerves and helping you sleep more soundly.
3. Eggs: Eggs also contain tryptophan (see poultry), so eat eggs regularly – including the yolk!
4. Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, beet greens, any leafy, dark green vegetable contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. These minerals in combination are often sold as supplements to help you sleep – but why not eat them instead?
5. Soy-Based Foods: Tofu, soy milk, soybeans, and tempeh – all soy products contain tryptophan and isoflavones, which have been shown to raise serotonin levels.
6. Whole Grains: Whole grain foods such as crackers, cereal, brown rice or whole wheat pasta contain magnesium and B vitamins, which help to turn tryptophan into serotonin.
7. Bananas: Bananas contain magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, which can not only help you sleep but will alleviate middle-of-the-night muscle cramps that might be keeping you up.
8. Lettuce: Having a good salad with your dinner can help you sleep due to its lactucarium levels, a substance that is known to have sedative properties. Who knew?
9. Herbal Tea: Herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, or hibiscus have natural sleep-inducing properties.
10. Almonds: Almonds have a high magnesium content, which helps to raise your serotonin levels.
And if you’re wondering about that “warm glass of milk before bedtime” legend, studies have been fairly inconclusive as to its effect on sleep. Though it does contain tryptophan, there is nothing to suggest that it is beneficial in this regard. Those who do find it soothing do so most likely because it is linked to happy childhood memories or something along those lines.
The wrong foods to eat for a good night’s sleep
Along with the beneficial foods you might choose, there is plenty you should avoid. These include:
- Fried foods or high-fat foods: these foods are difficult to digest, and may cause heartburn, which can keep you awake or affect the quality of your sleep.
- Hot or spicy foods: these foods (Thai, Indian, Mexican, or any highly spiced dishes) can raise your body temperature, making it difficult to sleep. They can also trigger annoying heartburn.
- Caffeinated foods or drinks: it should go without saying, but non-decaffeinated tea or coffee, colas or sodas (even diet versions), energy drinks and chocolate all have high levels of caffeine. Consuming too close to bedtime will disrupt your sleep patterns if you can get to sleep at all!
- Alcohol: even though alcohol is a sedative, it will disrupt your sleep, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night, and even causing a blood sugar crisis. Limit alcohol intake for a better night’s sleep.
The FCR helps type 2 diabetes sufferers sleep better
If you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you are probably already engaged in finding ways to manage your disease and decrease your risk of developing other complications. The FCR contains three natural, organic ingredients that have been proven to mitigate risk factors: it has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism, strengthen the immune system, and improve the quality of sleep, all important factors in maintaining optimum health and preventing disease. The FCR is the only formulation that combines fucoidan, cordyceps and reishi mushroom, three powerful natural medicines that have been used in Chinese and Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and would like to have some extra fighting power to help you prevent the development of complications that may impact the quality of your life, make The FCR part of your commitment to better health.