If we had to rank the worst feelings in the world, not being able to fall asleep would definitely be in our top ten (probably just below the panic of accidentally liking an ex’s pic on Insta). According to experts, we need between seven and nine hours’ sleep every night to perform at our best during the day. But what about those of us who struggle to drift off?
If you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep, we’ve got some exciting news for you. It turns out that switching to a vegan or plant-based diet could be super beneficial for anyone trying to get some more much-needed shut-eye.
We’ll get into the science behind it all in a little bit, but first things first…
Why is sleep so important?
Sleep isn’t just an excuse to escape the real world for a few hours (not that we’re necessarily complaining about that part). It’s also a chance for your body to recover and to tick some important things off its to-do list (like releasing nifty proteins and repairing worn-out cells).
Having a good snooze on a regular basis can:
- strengthen your immune system
- boost your mental health
- prevent conditions like diabetes and heart disease
- and make you feel happier and healthier throughout the day
In case you hadn’t realised by now, sleep’s pretty good for you!
Why can’t I fall asleep?
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, we totally feel your pain. There’s nothing worse than being wide awake at 3 am and having nothing to do but count down the hours until your alarm rings and you have to get up again.
Obviously, we can’t say for sure what’s stopping you from sleeping (it could be anything from stress to screentime), but one of the things that can really throw off your sleeping pattern is having a meat-heavy diet.
Not only do fatty foods keep your body occupied with digestion when you should be catching some zzz’s, but eating too many of them can worsen sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnoea. In other words, while eating meat in moderation works for some people, overdoing it is bad news when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.
Does being vegan really mean getting more sleep?
Switching to a balanced vegan or plant-based diet might be just the thing you need to fix your broken sleeping pattern. Eating more fruit and veg means providing your body with more serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin, the three chemicals responsible for giving you a good night’s sleep. Plus, being vegan means no more having to worry about the harmful effects of eating too much processed meat.
If you’re ready to give it a go, why not start here by checking out some of our favourite vegan cookbooks? Or, if you’re worried about missing out on protein, have a look at this article where we tell you a few easy ways to add more plant power to your diet.