If you’re feeling bloated, sluggish and generally lacking energy after the festive period, you might be looking for ways to get yourself back to feeling normal. The Christmas party season can bring many late nights and early mornings, and your sleeping pattern may suffer.
To help, Martin Seeley, a sleep expert at MattressNextDay has shared the top four ways going vegan this January can fix your sleeping pattern.
Eating more leafy greens can help reduce insomnia
A key staple of a plant-based diet? Leafy greens. From lettuce, kale, cabbage and even garden cress, these leaf vegetables are full of vitamin B12.
Stable levels of B12 in your body have been associated with reduced insomnia, as well as helping to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. B12 helps you stay sleepy at night time and awake during the day, so you’ll find that getting to sleep at night becomes a piece of cake (and by cake, we mean cabbage).
You can also find B12 in things like red meat and fish, but leafy greens also reduce the likelihood of you experiencing high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity and having nowhere near the amount of fat as red meat.
A reduction in sugar intake reduces your chances of waking up at the night
Plant-based diets are known for being much lower in sugar than alternative diets. This reduction in sugar makes it easier for your body to digest your food, so you’ll be much less likely to be woken in the night by stomach pains or indigestion.
Soy-rich foods, like edamame beans, are also linked to longer sleep duration and increased serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) production, which will help your mind and body stay relaxed for longer.
Your dreams will be less vivid resulting in more energy in the morning
Vivid dreams and nightmares can stump your sleeping pattern entirely, leaving you tired and sluggish the next day. Vivid dreams are commonly associated with an amino acid called tryptophan, usually found in foods like cheese, milk, eggs and fish.
Reducing your intake of these foods by partaking in a plant-based diet can prevent you from experiencing nightmares and vivid dreams and reduce bloating, which can also cause stressful dreams at night.
You’ll have fewer night-time aches and pains
We know that things like orthopaedic mattresses can help reduce pain associated with arthritis or general joint pain, but did you know that a plant-based diet can also help with this?
Full of antioxidants, fibre and probiotics, a vegan diet has been suggested to reduce inflammation and help with joint stiffness. A plant-based diet also lacks a lot of the ‘trigger foods’ that can exacerbate pain from arthritis, such as processed red meat and added sugars.
How can you maintain a vegan diet?
While the idea of Veganuary is that you challenge yourself to see if you can stick to a plant-based diet even for one month, you don’t have to go the whole hog (pardon the pun).
If you stress yourself out by completely changing your diet and lifestyle in a way that doesn’t suit you, you’ll already be setting yourself up for failure.
The experts at MattressNextDay suggest incorporating as many plant-based meals into your diet as possible while still listening to what your body needs.
If you’re cooking just for yourself, you might find it easier to stick to a vegan diet, but if you’re preparing meals for a big family, try simply adding some new dishes into the mix, perhaps opting for meat alternatives, or just going meat-free one day a week.
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