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Can a vegan diet really help you sleep better?

Can a vegan diet really help you sleep better?

You may have heard about various health benefits a vegan diet can offer, but what about how it affects your sleep? Sleep expert Martin Seeley shares how veganism can benefit your sleep

Veganuary is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, which sees many people switch out their normal diet for a meat-free, vegan one all across January, and for good reason!

A vegan diet offers so many benefits, with the main one being overall improved health and wellbeing, but did you know that going vegan can also help you sleep? Here Martin Seeley, Sleep Expert and CEO of Mattressnextday reveals how switching to a vegan diet can improve your sleep quality. 

You sleep more soundly 

Opting for a vegan diet can help you to sleep more soundly and enjoy an uninterrupted, deep sleep, which is imperative to maintain normal bodily functions. There are a number of reasons why.

"Opting for a vegan diet can also help you to enjoy an uninterrupted, deep sleep"

First of all, vegan foods typically have lower levels of sugar, so are easy to digest which means you aren't susceptible to digestive issues whilst you sleep such as stomach pains, bloating and digestion. A vegan diet also includes lots of fibre, and this is important for keeping your glucose levels balanced. This then contributes to a better quality of sleep and allows you to experience less broken sleep

You experience less vivid dreams

Experience vivid dreams or night terrors? Then you may want to switch to a vegan diet! This is because experiencing vivid dreams is often associated with an amino acid called tryptophan which is then converted into serotonin and can promote vivid dreams. Tryptophan is commonly found in foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, lamb and fish, so if you go vegan you are less likely to experience such dreams

Your mood is improved which will help you sleep 

Having a vegan diet can also improve your mood, a great reason to try Veganuary, especially when January can be rather grey and depressing. Many studies have shown that those who suffer with mood disorders are more likely to experience insomnia and broken sleep. Poor sleep can then impact your mood even more and make you feel irritable, low and depressed.

"Vegan diets commonly include mood boosting ingredients such as magnesium and vitamin B"

So, by adjusting your diet to help boost energy levels and mood, you are also improving your chances of getting a good night's sleep and improving your overall sleep quality. Vegan diets commonly include mood boosting ingredients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B which all help to lower stress levels and boost mood, allowing for a more restful night's sleep. 

No more night time aches and pains 

Of course, investing in an orthopaedic mattress can help reduce any pain linked to arthritis or joint pain, but switching to a vegan diet can also have a number of benefits to your sleep quality. A vegan diet is full of antioxidants, fibre and probiotics which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and help ease any joint stiffness.

Antioxidant foods like broccoli and carrots

Vegan diets tend to be full of antioxidants, fibre and probiotics

Furthermore, a plant-based diet can also remove those trigger foods that can actually worsen pain from arthritis such as processed red meats which often have added sugars. 

How can you maintain a vegan diet? 

Often it's quite difficult to go completely cold turkey (excuse the pun) with Veganuary. You may want to start off with a vegetarian diet and then increase to vegan. However, once you get to grips with the right foods and understand how to incorporate these foods and ingredients into your diet and meals, it should get easier. I suggest trying to incorporate as many plant-based meals into your diet as you can, while still listening to what your body needs.  

"You should also ensure other areas of your life are looked at to help with your sleep routine"

If you’re cooking just for yourself, you might find it easier to stick to a vegan diet, but if you are cooking for your family you may find it harder—perhaps start with simple dishes or replace your usual meat dishes with vegan meat replacement options. 

By switching to a vegan diet, you should see an improvement in your sleep-wake cycle. However, you should also ensure other areas of your life are looked at to help with your sleep routine. Exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water and getting fresh air as well as a vegan diet will all help with your sleep, as well as of course choosing a supportive mattress and pillows which will promote a good sleep. 

Find out more benefits of a vegean lifestyle with The Fit Vegan: Fuel Your Fitness with a Plant-Based Lifestyle

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