Protein: The Secret To a Good Night's Sleep

March 28, 2018

Protein: The Secret To a Good Night's Sleep


Time to make the most of sleep since we spend the largest proportion of the night doing just that. In 2016, a global sleep study reported by News Limited revealed that on average Australians are the earliest to bed at just after 10:45 pm, but is it enough to solely concentrate on our bedtime if we wish for a good night's sleep? Studies have shown that those who sleep less are more likely to eat a higher proportion of their calories from fats or carbohydrates, to eat fewer fruits and vegetables and to have more irregular meal patterns.  Recently Campbell et al. found that sleep quality improved for middle-aged adults when they consumed more protein within a lower calorie diet. Moreover improving the quality of your sleep can significantly impact positively on your mental health. Previous studies have also shown improvements in sleep following consumption of a high-protein diet. Given how many people suffer from compromised sleep these days, this knowledge is invaluable.

Protein power


The timing of our protein intake is crucial for maximising intake and synthesis. When protein is consumed, it is broken down by proteases. These enzymes convert the protein into 22 amino acids. Included in these are 9 'essential' amino acids that have to be taken in in this way, they cannot be naturally made by the body. Eggs, beans and lean meats off the barbecue are healthy protein options that you can enjoy in the evening. Many animal products are complete proteins, meaning they will contain at least some tryptophan. These amino acids are necessary to build and repair muscle to help their recovery, particularly during rest. 


Eat smart sleep smart


Adequate sleep is associated with healthy lifestyle choices. Positive associations have been shown in children, adolescents, and adults. All round dietary awareness will aid your sleep, not just a strategic input of protein just before bed. Advances in science exposing the effects of foods high in tryptophan, as well as the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, may be helpful but you'll still benefit from a good bedtime routine. 


 by examining your own bedtime rituals; there are practical things that you can do. Sleep better by eating smarter, as a consequence of sleeping better, you allow your body to recuperate and synthesise in order to to get both physically and mentally fitter. 


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter