Have you ever gotten into bed at 10pm, ready to clock a good night’s sleep, and been left endlessly tossing and turning? Us too. Besides the obvious frustration that comes with a poor sleep, there are also tons of other benefits that your body is losing out on. We tapped advice from an expert – Brigitte Zeitlin, a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist in Manhattan – to give us the low down on how the foods we eat could be affecting the Zzz’s:
We know that sleep is crucial for our physical health (like helping to fight heart disease, stress, depression, and weight gain). But sleep also plays a huge role in boosting our beauty game. When we sleep, our skin combats redness, inflammation, stress, and oil build-up, while promoting collagen production and keeping your skin hydrated. Routinely getting enough sleep (7-8 hours) we can help fight breakouts, puffiness, dryness, and premature wrinkles.
But getting quality beauty sleep may take more than just going to bed earlier. Whether you realize it or not, what you are eating can be keeping you up at night or waking you up in the middle of the night, interfering with your skin’s ability to repair itself and messing up your would-be beauty sleep. By ditching these 4 food habits you can get better and deeper sleep and put your most beautiful, refreshed and radiant face forward.
Healthy foods that bloat you
As a dietitian, I want you eating broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. But some people get extra bloated from these fiber-dense foods. Going to bed bloated can cause indigestion, keeping you from getting that deep sleep you need to fight acne and look radiant.
- Instead, base your day and your dinner around veggies that don’t cause you to bloat like zucchini, artichokes, spinach, romaine, arugula, dandelion greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, and sweet potato.
Foods that cause puffy eyes
Salt and alcohol can encourage swelling, bloat, and puffiness that pool under your eyes during the night, leaving you with the dreaded under-eye bags come morning. Keep the alcohol to one glass at dinner, and up your water intake to balance it out. Skip those salty items like French fries, chips, baked goods, and ditch that saltshaker completely.
- Instead flavor your foods by using rosemary, turmeric, ginger, garlic, or cardamom. With these guys, you will skip the eye-puffing salt, get a ton of flavor, and get their anti-inflammatory magic that fights redness while you slumber.
Foods that stimulate you
Coffee, tea, sodas, and energy drinks all have caffeine in them, which take awhile clear your system. Have your last cup of coffee before 3pm, switch to decaf after that. Caffeine is also a diuretic that can contribute to dehydration, leaving your skin tight, dry, and flaky by morning.
- Aim to have 100-300mg of caffeine total throughout the day (1-3 regular sized 8-ounce cups) and balance it out with 8-10 cups of water daily (more if you hit the gym!)
Foods that are overindulgent
There is absolutely a place in your healthy lifestyle for ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie, or doughnut. But beware of your portion size and move the sweet treat to earlier in the day, before 4pm. These foods can be high in saturated fat and sugar that will make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. They also contribute to cortisol production (our stress hormone), which interferes with our ability to produce that skin-plumping, rejuvenating collagen.
- If you are having dessert post-dinner, keep your portion sizes small to about 200 calories and aim to finish this snack 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- On the nights you need a little something have a banana or ½ cup of dried cherries, they will eat that sweet spot while also boosting your melatonin, the sleep hormone.
If you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and wellness, book an appointment at BZ Nutrition! Through one on one counseling, we focus on you as an individual and provide a customized plan that fits your lifestyle and achieves your health goals in our Midtown Manhattan office. We specialize in women’s nutrition and fertility, digestive health, weight loss, sports nutrition, heart health, and wedding wellness.
Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, with a private practice that focuses on a whole person approach to health and wellness. She teaches her clients how to live their healthiest life without dieting, calorie counting, or restrictive eating. Feel free to reach out at 646-618- 5731 or Brigitte@bznutritionny.com and follow her on Instagram @bznutrition.