How A Raw Food Diet Can Improve Your Sleep Habits - Raw Food Magazine

How A Raw Food Diet Can Improve Your Sleep Habits

It’s a well-established fact that adults need sufficient sleep for optimal health and wellbeing. However, according to the American Sleep Association, over 35 percent of adults report getting less than the recommended seven hours of shut-eye each night, and 50 to 70 million American adults have a sleep disorder. Even seemingly innocuous sleep problems like snoring can cause problems in the workplace and personal life. Some experts say that eating raw food could be the answer to many of these issues.

Sleepless Nights And Vitamin Therapy

Studies have shown that consuming more fiber leads to better quality sleep. And raw food isn’t just rich in fiber — many are also rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that enhances the production of serotonin (a mood regulator) and melatonin (a sleep hormone). Foods like butternut squash, walnuts, and sea vegetables like kelp and seaweed are great sources of tryptophan. Melatonin can also be found in cherries.

A raw food diet can also increase REM sleep, which is also the sleep stage characterized by dreams. There are several theories about the importance of dreams, but many experts theorize that this is how our brains process and store information. Nutrients like Vitamin B6 (which can be found in foods like bananas, avocados, and green vegetables) and calcium (which can be found in dark leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli) can deepen REM sleep, making dreams more vivid, sometimes even up to the point that dreams become lucid. Lucid dreaming can be therapeutic, and even inspiring, which is why many actively try to take control of their dreams.

Other nutrients that promote better sleep include magnesium, which extracts calcium from muscles and back into the bloodstream, resulting in better sleep. Magnesium-rich foods include berries and melons. Vitamin D is also said to help regulate sleep patterns, and can be found in mushrooms.

Do People On A Raw Food Diet Need Less Sleep?

Because sleep is when the body heals and cleanses itself, a clean, raw diet results in less need for sleep. It’s not unheard of for people on raw food diets to feel completely energized on just a few hours of sleep. However, this won’t happen every day. Some days, when the body has gone into deep cleansing, you may feel completely knackered. Whatever the case, listen to your body — sleep if you need to sleep, and don’t force it if you feel well-rested on barely any shut-eye.

While a raw food diet can greatly improve your sleep quality, it’s also possible that an unbalanced raw diet can disturb your sleep. This is especially common in people who are trying to lose weight with raw foods, as they tend to intentionally eat a low-calorie diet, and a calorie deficit usually leads to cravings and sleep problems. When switching to a raw food diet, it’s wise to consume even more food to meet your body’s caloric requirements. But if you feel like you’re not ready to adopt a completely raw diet, simply increasing servings of nutritious raw food can make a difference in your sleep quality.

Jen Michaels

Chef: 

Jen Michaels is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in nutrition and wellness topics. She worked in PR for a sustainability charity before moving into the freelance world and has a real passion for cleaning up planet earth. When not at work Jen loves cooking, gardening and enjoying the great outdoors.

 

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