Foods and eating habits to help you unplug and sleep better

To know how to de-stress is to be able to recharge for the day ahead and optimise your mental and physical wellbeing. And believe it or not, it is yet another journey that starts on your plate. Motion Nutrition guides us through key nutritional strategies for unplugging, de-stressing and re-charging for next day. So slow down and listen up, folks!

Let’s be honest. We are all living in stress. We are ambitious people, we worry over deadlines, we multitask. We are active, run to work every morning, sweat out in the gym later, keeping our bodies action-ready all day long. These high levels of stress are terribly damaging to our nervous, hormonal and digestive systems. As a couple of examples, when we are stressed, we naturally produce less stomach acid, this then means we don’t absorb minerals and cannot break down protein particularly well. This can cause bloating and nutrient insufficiencies. So consequently, imbalances here can affect things like our energy levels. mood, sleep cycle and weight.

Sounds familiar? One of the first things you can do to mitigate these risks is to make sure you do not cause any extra internal body stress. A fundamental point here is to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Crashes and hikes in blood glucose cause internal stress as our bodies struggle to balance our energy levels and make us more likely to reach for less healthful foods, caffeinated beverages and other stimulants, which again in turn cause that internal stress we’re looking to avoid.

A key strategy here is to start your day with a breakfast that is rich in protein. This will keep your energy on an even keel, supplying the body with a steady release throughout the morning and avoiding a rollercoaster situation happening later in the day. A quick tip here: look out for the Motion Nutrition Fresh Blueberry Morning Protein available in April boxes! It’s got just the right amount of protein to kickstart your day along some energising antioxidants and balancing herbs.

Another very important strategy is to reduce the amount of stress that is already in our bodies. Flushing out the excess of the stress hormone – cortisol – and of other excreted waste is absolutely key to make us thrive and feel good! This is where we need to focus on our liver and really make sure we are supporting our elimination pathways through food and exercise. As a general rule, you should consume plenty of water, vitamin C rich foods and fibre to prevent the circulation of excess waste and cortisol. Think parsley for vitamin C and oats for fibre.

Stabilising your blood sugar levels and helping to flush out the build-up of stress from your body will make a huge difference to the quality of your sleep. Another thing you can do is increase your dietary tryptophan intake for a more restful sleep cycle as this essential amino acid is the precursor to our neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan rich foods include oats, dates, turkey and chicken and organic whey protein which when we’re looking to increase serotonin in the brain is the most bioavailable source!

In addition to thinking of what we put on our plates, there are also certain supplementation tricks that can make a huge difference. Supplementing with magnesium provides the body with the cofactors to make those sleep-inducing neurotransmitters, and Montmorency Cherry contains natural melatonin which can also be helpful. If you need extra help, try Motion’s Unplug formula, which is a super smart blend combining all the vitamins and minerals your nervous system needs to function optimally with herbs that very effectively calm the nervous system and promote restful sleep. The combination of L theanine, Montmorency Cherry and Brahmi powder will not only improve your sleep cycle but also have you waking up feeling far more rested.