How To Wake Up Feeling Rested - Part Two

How To Wake Up Feeling Rested

Part 2 of a 2 part blog series

When You Press Snooze More Times Than You'd Like to Admit. (If only getting outta bed in the morning wasn't so tough)


In part 1 of this blog post series, I mentioned what foods might be keeping you from getting a good night's sleep. Today, I'm sharing foods that will help you get some sleep, so you wake up feeling rested. 


Because when you don't get a good night's sleep, you feel off. And that's not a fun way to start the day. 


Food is the best place to start because it's so fundamental to our daily routine. It's something you + I do at least 3 times per day. So there's so much opportunity to make those food choices count. 


Sleeping gives our body the chance to go into mass repair mode. Both physically and mentally. That's why after a good night's sleep, you feel alert. Your mind is sharp and you have energy to get through the day. 


That's also why when you're sick, nothing helps you get back on your feet faster than when you're able to get a lot of sleep. 


How Food Can Help You Get a Good Night's Sleep

Nutrients. Simply put. They're in abundance and occurring in their most natural form in whole, unprocessed foods. 


We need those nutrients to keep us well and our bods rockin as best as possible. This also includes getting a good night's sleep, so we wake up feeling rested. 


They help to relax and calm us down. They also help manage our internal day and night cycle. So that we're sleepy at night and wide awake during the day.  


What Foods and Nutrients Will Help You Sleep?

You'll sleep better with nutrients like tryptophan, magnesium and vitamin B6. You've most likely felt the effect of tryptophan after eating a turkey dinner. You know, when you've felt super sleepy and needed a nap. (Orrr, maybe you ate just a bit too much.) ;)


Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. That means it must come from your diet. You need it to make serotonin and melatonin. Melatonin keeps you in balance with the cycle of day and night. In short, it's what makes you feel sleepy at night.


Magnesium and vitamin B6 are also so so good for restful ZZZs. Both are needed in the making of serotonin. So having great amounts of each in our diet is important. 


Magnesium also helps to calm us down. It relaxes our nerves and muscles. It's kinda hard to get some sleep when you feel all fired up and anxious, am I right?! 


My Favourite Plant Based Foods for Restful ZZZs

Here are some of my favourite plant based sources for getting those valuable nutrients:


  • Tryptophan -  beans and lentils (especially kidney beans), crimini mushrooms,  spinach, watercress, parsley and garlic


  • Magnesium - nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), greens (especially spinach + Swiss chard) and black beans


  • Vitamin B6 - sweet potato, sunflower seeds, spinach, bananas, avocados, walnuts, collards, garlic and bell peppers


Now what's a list without a recipe or some inspiration, right? I've got you covered here + here.


Remember that making an effort to have these show up in your food choices on the regular will make the greatest difference for you.


Now it's your turn. I'd so love to hear from you. Have you noticed how food affects your sleep? I'd love to hear one item you've noticed make a difference. Whether you were up all night or you slept like a baby. 


To getting more ZZZs,


How To Wake Up Feeling Rested

How To Wake Up Feeling Rested

Part 1 of a 2 part blog series

You've tried counting sheep. Aaand now you're ready for something else.


What To Do When You Wake Up Feeling Worse Than When You Went To Bed

I once didn't sleep for a year and a half. That's 18 whole months!! Let me tell you it was about as painful as it sounds. Reading every book on sleep and seeing numerous specialists was frustrating beyond measure.


We NEED sleep. It's when our body gets to repair the day's wear + tear both mentally and physically. If you've ever been around someone who didn't have a good nights sleep, you know the importance of it. They're either cranky, a wee bit slower or just feel off.  


I've now have a system I use for figuring out the cause + making quick changes so sleepless nights don't happen on the regular.  


So for those times where your sleep just isssn't as good or as sound as you want it to be, use these tips to improve your ZZZZs. 


4 Ways to Wake Up Feeling Rested:  

1.     Watch your sugar intake. If you have a hard time staying asleep. If you keep waking up with your mind racing, pay attention to how much sugar is in your diet and try to cut it out. Sugar and other stimulants are often the cause of those (not so welcomed) 3am wake up calls.  


2.     Relax your mind. Read a book before bed. Not your iPad. Go old school and flip some pages. Studies show that the light from TV, smartphones, tablets, etc. stimulates your brain activity, keeping you awake. Stimulating your brain at night also disrupts the release of melatonin - our body's inner clock that controls our daytime/nighttime schedule. This disruption makes it harder to fall (and stay!) asleep.


3.     Be mindful of stress + other stimulants. They can keep your mind from shutting off at night. This too disturbs your melatonin production and increases your cortisol (stress hormone) levels at night. Night time is when your cortisol levels should be low. But with that hormone disruption, you wake up feeling not rested aaand not so hot. One excellent way to keep those cortisol levels in check is to stabilize your blood sugar levels thoughout the day. 


4.     Focus on the positive. Keep a gratitude journal. Pick three things that make your heart sing and write about them before going to sleep. If you focus on what's right in your day, there's less room to focus on the stresses of what went wrong or could've been better.

riting relaxes you + puts you in that rest 'n chill state. Putting pen to paper helps bring your focus to the task at hand. Again, taking the focus away from the stresses of the day. Writing also helps slow down your breathing, which is super calming.


In part two of this blog post series, I'll share with you how food can help you wake up feeling rested.


Now it's your turn. I wanna hear from you. Which of these tips will you try to help you get in a few more restful ZZZZs? Share with me in the comments below.  


To having a good night's sleep,




Holford, Patrick. New Optimum Nutrition For The Mind. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications. 2009. Print

BMC Neuroscience. Preliminary Evidence That Both Blue and Red Light Can Induce Alertness At Night. 2009. Web