The Food-Sleep Connection
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The Food-Sleep Connection

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

In our current modern world, it’s common to put sleep on the back burner while we juggle work, socializing, and other activities. But what many of us don’t know is that what we eat and when we eat can have a big impact on the quality of our sleep. Yes, what and when we eat affects the quality of sleep we have. So, if you’re tired of waking up feeling groggy and unrested, it might be time to take a closer look at your dietary habits.

Importance of Quality Sleep

Before we discuss the nutritional aspect, let’s first understand why quality sleep is essential. Sleep is not merely a period of rest; it is a critical physiological process that allows our bodies to repair, rejuvenate, and consolidate memories. Adequate sleep is crucial for cognitive function, mood regulation, immune health, and overall well-being. On the other hand, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a myriad of health issues, including impaired cognitive function, increased risk of obesity and diabetes, weakened immune system, and heightened stress levels. This is why it’s important to be mindful of foods that help you sleep and foods to avoid when sleep-deprived.

Gut Health and Sleep Cycle Connection

The connection between our gut and sleep cycle, known as the gut-sleep axis, is an area of research in the field of sleep medicine. Emerging evidence suggests that the trillions of microorganisms residing in our gut, collectively known as the gut microbiota, play a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Disruptions in gut health, such as dysbiosis (imbalance of gut bacteria), have been linked to sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea. Conversely, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome through dietary interventions can promote better sleep quality.

What Foods Help You Sleep?

So, what should we eat to promote quality sleep? A balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods can support healthy sleep patterns. Incorporate these serotonin foods for sleep to help you relax and improve your sleep quality:

  • Tryptophan-rich foods:

    • Turkey
    • Chicken
    • Fish
    • Eggs
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Tofu
    • Dairy products
  • Magnesium-rich foods:

    • Leafy greens
    • Nuts
    • Seeds
    • Whole grains
    • Legumes

When is the Right Time to Eat?

In addition to food choices, the timing of meals can also impact sleep quality. Eating heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime can disrupt digestion and lead to discomfort, making it difficult to fall asleep. It’s generally recommended to avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol several hours before bedtime. Instead, opt for lighter, easily digestible snacks like yogurt, fruit, or whole-grain crackers if you’re hungry before bed.

Furthermore, maintaining regular mealtimes and eating patterns can help regulate your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm plays a crucial role in governing our sleep-wake cycle, sleep hygiene, hormone production, and metabolism. Consistency in meal timing helps synchronize your body’s internal clock, promoting better sleep quality and overall health.

Now, imagine waking up each morning feeling fully rested, energized, and ready to tackle the day ahead. It’s all possible by embracing a holistic approach to your diet and sleep habits. Start by nourishing your body with wholesome foods packed with sleep-promoting nutrients. Cultivate gut health to support your body’s natural rhythms and maintain regular meal times to sync your internal clock. Tonight, as you prepare for bed, remember that every bite you take is a step towards better sleep and overall vitality. It’s time to fuel your dreams and awaken to a life of renewed energy and well-being!

Struggling to sleep? Click here to discover how Five Journeys’ functional dietitian in Boston and Newton can help you achieve restful nights through personalized nutrition plans.

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The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Genova’s SIBO Profiles are non-invasive breath tests which capture exhaled hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) gases following patient ingestion of a lactulose solution to evaluate bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Breath

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

COST

$85-$225 depending on insurance coverage. 

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At Home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$699

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. Repeat test prices $249

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the genetic profile for multiple health indicators. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Blood Spot

COST

$319

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This company can test for lyme, babesia, bartonella and additional tick-borne illnesses. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

SPECIMEN TYPE

Blood

COST

around $1600 (depends on panel selected)

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. May be reimbursed with PPO plans.
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$299

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates a wide range of environmental toxins that may be leading to harmful health effects.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$199

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins.
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Blood work for blood count, urinalysis and vitamin levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

NOTES

You often have to fast for these tests-please check your providers notes.

COST

Depending on the test, deductible or copay may apply.

INSURANCE

Depends on insurance coverage, deductible or copay may apply.
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Glyphosate (“Round Up”) is a pesticide that is widely used and this test indicates the body’s levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$99 ($69 if performed with mycotoxins or environmental toxins).

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins or GPL Tox.
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates many measures including micronutrients, antioxidants, minerals, detox, overview of gut function, omegas and toxic exposure. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home.

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COST

$179 – $400

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

INSTRUCTIONS

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the gut function and indicates microbiome balance, overgrowth, infection, inflammation, parasites and digestive efficacy. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Stool

COST

$179-$425 depending on insurance coverage.

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

No probiotics for one week.

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the full menstrual cycle, female hormones, and adrenal profile.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

COST

$160-$329

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

NOTES

Must be off hormones in order to do the testing.
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is specifically for a tick-borne illness called “Bartonella”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$260

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of potentially harmful heavy metals stored in the body.  Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COST

Testing: $79 x2 paid to Doctor’s Data
DMSA: $38 paid to Johnson’s Compounding Pharmacy

INSURANCE

Not covered by Insurance
The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test measures saliva cortisol testing throughout the course of one day and informs us where there might be an adrenal imbalance.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Saliva

COST

$80

INSURANCE

No insurance coverage

The Food-Sleep Connection
The Food-Sleep Connection

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

SPECIMEN TYPE

Blood

COST

$129-238

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted