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Lifestyle is Medicine

Kim Shapira
February 22, 2024
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Lifestyle is Medicine

The correlation between diet and sleep is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and health. Both play integral roles in maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle, which aligns with the principles of The Kim Shapira Method. Let's explore how diet and sleep are interconnected and how following my Six Simple Rules can contribute to optimizing this relationship.

Firstly, the quality of our sleep is influenced by the types of foods we consume. (page 176 of This Is What You're Really Hungry For) Certain nutrients can promote better sleep, while others may disrupt it. For instance, incorporating foods rich in tryptophan, such as turkey, dairy, and nuts, can contribute to the production of serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that regulate sleep. Additionally, complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains, may enhance the availability of tryptophan in the brain, further supporting sleep.

On the contrary, consuming caffeinated beverages or high-sugar foods close to bedtime may interfere with the ability to fall asleep. Following rule# 3, eating without distraction is especially relevant here, as mindful eating can help you become more attuned to your body's hunger and fullness cues, ensuring you make choices that positively impact your sleep.

Furthermore, the timing of meals can also influence sleep patterns. Eating large or heavy meals too close to bedtime may lead to discomfort and indigestion, potentially disrupting sleep. My emphasis on eating when you are hungry aligns well with the idea of listening to the body's natural signals and avoiding unnecessary late-night snacking.

Hydration, Rule #5, also plays a role in your sleep quality. Staying adequately hydrated is essential for overall health, and proper hydration can contribute to a more restful sleep. I know, and goes without saying, that it’s advisable to moderate fluid intake close to bedtime to prevent disruptions from frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.

Walking 10,000 steps a day is another key component of my method that can positively impact sleep. Regular physical activity has been linked to improved sleep quality, and incorporating daily walks can contribute to this. (Find a podcast to inspire walks). However, it's essential to be mindful of the timing of exercise, as vigorous activity close to bedtime may have an energizing effect and potentially interfere with sleep.

In summary, my Six Simple Rules create a somewhat holistic approach to health, encompassing not only dietary choices but also lifestyle factors that directly impact sleep. By promoting mindful eating, staying hydrated, engaging in regular physical activity, and getting adequate sleep, you can experience the interconnected benefits of your improved well-being.

It's clear that the correlation between diet and sleep is multifaceted, and by following this method, you can cultivate habits that foster both a nourishing diet and restful sleep. This integrated approach aligns with the philosophy that lifestyle is indeed medicine, promoting not just physical health but also peace and balance in one's relationship with food and sleep.

I hope this continued information proves helpful, and please reach out if you have any specific questions or if there's anything else you'd like to explore further.



Kim Shapira

Kim Shapira

dietitian and nutrition therapist.

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