Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Suffering from sleep issues, anxiety and depression? Let's talk about it.
Sleep hygiene is the most important thing to overcome poor sleep. This means
No blue light 1 hour before bed. It blocks melatonin release from the pineal gland which is the hormone which helps you sleep
Deep breathing puts the body into the rest and digest nervous system which means we will have a better sleep. If your body is stressed, it means you will have higher cortisol levels and will find it harder to fall asleep. High cortisol levels in the body also deplete serotonin, so you need to ensure you manage your stress levels as best as you can.
Evening exercise should be at least 3 hours before bed so the body has time to reduce the endorphins, heart rate and cortisol before sleep. (Unless you're doing calming exercise like yoga)
Have a bigger meal for lunch than dinner. Eating too late at night can cause indigestion and reflux. It can also cause you to wake up in the night when blood sugar levels drop.
Supporting your nutrition daily can support your mental health and sleep pattern.
Many scientific studies show that anxiety and depression are linked with an inflammatory diet high in sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods. The body will be lacking in the right vitamins and minerals to produce neurotransmitters needed for our happy hormones - serotonin, gaba, dopamine. Fresh, home cooked food will make you feel your best and provide your body with all the nutrients it needs to make you feel good.
The best foods to increase serotonin levels and all fresh fruits and vegetables such as your leafy greens, cabbage, spinach, kale, chard, as well as nuts, seeds, whole grains, tofu and tempeh, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies and organic meat.
Up to 90% of serotonin is made in the gut - not the brain as originally thought! So in order to be able to make this ‘happy hormone’ you need to fix any gut imbalance. Whether you're struggling with IBS or IBD (irritable bowel disease) its important to make sure you are having regular, solid bowel movements to know that your metabolism is working properly and you're able to produce this important neurotransmitter!
Many people on poor vegan or vegetarian diets may notice their mood is affected. Your neurotransmitters are made from amino acids which come from protein. If you are not getting the correct amount of protein in your diet, your body will not be able to make serotonin, dopamine and gaba. Therefore it's important to ensure you have adequate plant sources of protein from tofu, tempeh, beans, grains, seeds and pulses to keep you feeling positive!
If you interested in learning more about how to improve your sleep or support your mental health with nutrition, book a free consultation on how I can help you today.
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Kelly is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who focuses on positive physical and mental wellbeing, achieved through diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise. Having struggled for years with IBS and hormonal imbalance, and increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and helpful advice from her GP, Kelly began her own journey of healing the body from the inside out. After seeing huge improvements she quit her job to study nutrition and focus on harnessing the healing powers of food to help other people in similar situations.