Finding it hard to muscle up the motivation to get out of bed these cold January mornings? Well that could be improved by your diet.
Did you know that what you’re eating and your gut health can affect your ability to get adequate, restorative sleep which is a fundamental requirement for healthy brain function, amongst other things? We chatted to Aoife Morrin, the founder of Happiness Transformation and a passionate advocate for advancing healthy living. Her goal is to educate people so that they make healthier choices to be the best version of themselves, based on her experience and learning.
Her top nutrition hack for achieving restorative sleep is to increase your Magnesium consumption.
“Studies have shown how magnesium glycinate supplementation subjectively improved insomnia in the elderly. Magnesium, promotes GABA secretion in the brain—a relaxation-inducing neurotransmitter and regulates Melatonin production (the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycle).
Most people are deficient in magnesium and don't even realize it. (You can get your levels checked by your doctor). It’s estimated that up to 90 percent of us are deficient in this mineral due to factors like medication use, soil depletion, and major pitfalls of the standard diet (for example: Processed foods are virtually devoid of this important mineral).
Signs of a magnesium deficiency include bad PMS (not that there is such a thing as good PMS!), twitching at night, struggling to get to sleep, trouble relaxing during sleep, anxiety, brain fog, skin breakouts & muscle pain….not the most desirable list!
But fear not, here are some easy tips for how to incorporate more magnesium into your diet:
- Get some of your 7 a day through leafy greens-throw a handful of spinach or kale into your morning smoothie and have a portion of broccoli with dinner at night.
- Pumpkin seeds & almonds are high in magnesium so you can grab a handful as a snack during the day.
- Cacao/dark chocolate-Yes, this is officially an excuse to eat chocolate! But opt for a high cacao concentration >80% as otherwise the sugar can interfere with your blood sugar levels and sleep.
- Supplementation is always an option, specifically these 2 forms: Citrate & Glycinate. I’d recommend starting with a low dose a couple of hours before bed.
- Opt for 1 of our 4-ingredient healthy hot chocolates
Here’s my favourite healthy hot chocolate recipe, which I use to relax before I go to bed:
- 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp raw honey/maple syrup
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and heat.
Add a scoop of collagen for an extra dose of gut-healing hypo-allergenic protein, further supporting restorative sleep.”