Remember when people used to brag about how little sleep they got? For a long time, it was trendy to think that the less you slept, the harder you were working and more you were accomplishing. Thankfully, those days are gone and now we know that healthy sleep is key to overall health and productivity. But that doesn’t mean healthy sleep is always easily achieved, and while some of us get great zzzzz’s, many struggle with finding their rhythm. If your sleep cycle is out of whack or you find yourself waking up more tired than usual, it may not be your mattress but your diet. Here’s some helpful hints to get your body back on track and have you waking up refreshed at the beginning of each day.

Choose your foods wisely

Choosing what goes on your plate each day is important. If you’re not getting the proper amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats from the food you eat your body will feel as though it’s running out of fuel. Need a cheat sheet for a balanced plate? There are a number of resources that can guide you in the right direction. Foods rich in Vitamin B such as beets, bananas, fish and nuts all contain the good stuff needed for the body to produce melatonin. Melatonin is often found in herbal sleep aids and helps to extend the length of your REM cycle, keeping you from having to count sheep in order to fall back asleep. If you need a little Vitamin B right before bed warm up a cup of our Organic Almond Milk and sip it slowly while reading a chapter of your new favorite book. Want something a little more substantial and vegan? Try Emilie Eats recipe for Chunky Monkey Banana Nice Cream it’s a sweet treat at the end of a long day that won’t throw off your quality snooze time.

Cool it on the caffeine

According to the National Sleep Foundation  having more than three cups of coffee a day can drastically affect your ability to sleep. In an effort to keep your sleep cycle on track while still enjoying the warmth and vigor of a cup of coffee, try limiting yourself to one to two cups a day and avoid drinking caffeine after 1 o’clock in the afternoon. While the burst of energy may not last hours and hours, it takes the body at least 6 hours to rid the body of any residual caffeine.

Nap time isn’t just for kids

National Napping Day – no we did not make that up– is being observed on March 18th this year and it’s the perfect excuse to start napping on the regular. Studies show that “power napping” or napping for 10 to 30 minute intervals during a mid-day slump can actually help to fight fatigue and improve productiveness. If you’ve ever been to Italy then you’ve probably witnessed napping at it’s finest. Between 2 and 3 o’clock it’s as if the whole country gets quiet and then comes alive again. Not only is napping around this time helpful after the post-lunchtime drowsiness, but it’s also less likely to upset your normal night time sleep schedule. When napping it’s important to listen to your body. If you’re the type of person who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, napping may actually aggravate these issues even more. Another thing to keep in mind is the longer you nap the groggier you may feel, so keep them short and sweet.