There is an Irish Proverb saying a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the Doctor’s book. The sleep disorders in corporate workplace are one of the major challenges these days. Studies says, if this remains undiagnosed or left untreated, it may result into behavioural problems at workplace as well as at home. The negative effect of behaviour eventually results in poor performance and productivity of the employees. The role of food in controlling and managing sleep disorders is no more an occult Science now. Nutrition, exercise and sleep are correlated and hence, a balance of these three is a great helping tool of fitness for you.
A quick view over food approach to avoid sleep apnoea
1. Do strike a Balanced diet approach: The routine food must consist of grains, Dals/pulses, Milk & milk products, enough fruits and veggies, nuts along with good hydration. Always keep hands up for the seasonal food stuff and pick the available food sources of your geographical area.
2. Check for the Food sensitivity or intolerance: Do notice the changes you feel after eating a particular food item. The allergy/ intolerance of Milk, gluten, egg/seafood, chocolates are widely known. There are alternatives present for every food item.
3. Say NO to junks especially in major meals: Three major meals i.e. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner should be preferably home cooked food. Junk food or outside food can be planned as a small meal in between the major meal items. It’s better not to combine home food and junk food together at a time.
4. Maintain the food or meal gap: More evenly the meal gap is maintained, the better will be the digestion of body. Inculcate the early Dinner habits so that you get more time for a sound sleep.
5. Monitor your weight: If you are feeling the sudden change in weight as per your height, check with the health experts to know better for controlling measures. Weight is directly linked with several metabolic and other diseases.
6. Avoid caffeine based beverage before sleep: Replace carbonated or any aerated drinks with a cup of milk. You may have a cup of milk with honey for a sound sleep.
7. Role of Vitamins & Minerals: Magical role in raising serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter helps in managing appetite, digestion, mood & behaviour and sleep.
B vitamins – They improve body’s ability to regulate its use of sleep-inducing tryptophan and produce more system-calming serotonin. Sources include Chicken breast, salmon, cereals fortified with B3 or B12 etc.
Calcium - This is a natural relaxant and has a calming effect on the body’s nervous system. Sources include low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, fortified orange juice etc.
Zinc Deficiency in this mineral has been directly linked to insomnia. Sources includes – nuts, dark chocolate, chicken, beans, and mushrooms
Iron - Restless leg syndrome has been observed due to lack of this mineral. Sources includes beans, lentil, Dark green leafy vegetables, fortifies cereals and organ meats
Copper - This is known to regulate serotonin levels. Sources – Whole grains, beans, nuts, Dark leafy greens.
(The writer of the article is Corporate Nutritionist, RD, CDE)