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3 refined sugar free, sleep friendly snacks

Studies have shown a strong link between sugar cravings and poor sleep. But if you’re finding yourself peckish, especially before bedtime, sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo has given us three satisfying. sleep-friendly snacks to keep your shut-eye in check. 

If you’re not sleeping well and noticing heightened cravings for sweet treats, there’s a direct correlation. Research shows lack of sleep can increased desire for sugary carbohydrates by 45 percent and heighten appetite by 23 percent, and while refined sugar can give you that instant burst of energy, it fades quickly too.

So if you’re finding yourself snacky, especially before bedtime, there are smarter options to help you avoid that bread basket (or block of chocolate) to stave off sleeplessness.

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Banana protein shake

This dynamic duo is the perfect after-dinner dessert. It offers a decadent helping of tryptophan, a cofactor to produce the sleepiness hormone melatonin.

With a primary role of melatonin to initiate sleep, this is the ideal late-night snack for those finding it hard to fall asleep.

Further, for those whose moodiness seems to brew more often than they’d like, take note: Studies show a direct link between supporting melatonin synthesis can protect against mood disorders such as bipolar. Oh, and bananas are rich in muscle-relaxing magnesium, too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1 scoop plant-based protein
  • Plant-based milk to blend

Method:

Blend it like Beckham baby!

Manuka honey, chamomile and hemp milk tea

As a hypoallergenic ingredient, those with allergies rejoice.

Manuka honey’s active ingredient, MGL methylglyoxal, has been found in clinical trials to treat nasal mucus. And unless mediated, research shows allergies contribute to restless sleep, sleep-disordered breathing, even insomnia.

Chamomile works as a sedative, similar to sleeping pills. It encourages the release of calming neurotransmitter GABA, as noted in academic studies to make you feel more relaxed and sleep easier.

Finally, hemp milk is rich in omega 3s. Akin to bananas and protein, they support the production of the sleepiness hormone melatonin and because of this, diets higher in omega 3 have been linked to improved sleep, and fewer nighttime wakings.

So much so that omega 3 supplementation has shown to provide up to an hour more of sleep per night. And, while this is only tea, the hemp milk is high in fat which helps in satiety, stable blood sugar level and a curbed appetite.

Ingredients:

1 spoon of Manuka honey

1 chamomile tea bag

200ml of hemp milk

Method

Simmer all ingredients on a low heat for 5 minutes. Enjoy with a moment of bliss!

Tart Cherries

You’ve heard me champion the sleep improving qualities of melatonin, so what if I enticed you even further by sharing that tart cherries are it’s direct source?

Research shows tart cherries can lengthen sleep, improve its quality and even lessen sleep disturbances.

Olivia Arezzolo is a sleep expert. Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology); Certificate of Sleep Psychology, Diploma of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine); Certificate of Fitness III + IV