15: Brain Burnout: Can Your Diet Help or Hinder a Good Night's Rest?

Links mentioned in the episode

www.betterwithcarbo.com/13 - Ep. 13: Bite Back at Stress: Your 9-Nutrient Toolkit for Navigating Stressful Times


Greetings, lovely listeners! I'm Krissy, your guide through another fascinating episode of the Inflamed in the Brain podcast. Today, we're diving into the realm of sleep – an area close to my heart, especially as a mom navigating the unpredictability of rest. Join me as we uncover the profound impact of quality sleep on neurodegeneration and explore the foods that can be allies or adversaries in the quest for restful nights.

Main Points:

  • Sleep and Neurodegeneration:
    • Glial Cells Deep Dive: Understand the intricate role of glial cells, the unsung heroes supporting brain health. Explore how sleep deprivation overworks these cells, contributing to brain cell breakdown and tissue damage.
    • Microglial Cells as Protectors: Discover how microglial cells, the security detail of your brain, respond to prolonged stress caused by sleep deprivation. Unravel the connection between their inflammatory responses and neuroinflammation.
  • Sleep and Hormonal Changes:
    • Ghrelin and Leptin Dance: Delve into the disruption of the delicate balance between ghrelin and leptin caused by lack of sleep. Unpack the scientific evidence linking sleep deprivation to increased cravings for sugars and refined carbs.
    • Peek into Research: Uncover insights from a study involving young men deprived of sleep, showcasing the hormonal changes leading to overeating, especially in times of fatigue.
  • Foods that Support Sleep:
    • Melatonin Magic: Highlight sleep-friendly foods rich in melatonin, including cherries, olive oil, bananas, grapes, and almonds. Connect the dots between melatonin, the HPA axis, and cortisol regulation for optimal sleep.
      Practical Tips: Share practical tips on incorporating melatonin-rich foods into the diet and managing stress for better sleep.
      Foods that May Disrupt Sleep:
    • Spicy and Fried No-No's: Discuss the potential sleep disturbances caused by spicy and fried foods, emphasizing their impact on the GI system.
    • Alcohol's Deceptive Effect: Examine the paradox of alcohol inducing sleepiness initially but disrupting sleep as it leaves the system.
    • Caffeine Chronicles: Explore the impact of caffeinated foods and beverages, along with a personal perspective on coffee habits. Shed light on the role of caffeine in disrupting sleep patterns

Sleep Duration Wisdom: Revisit the National Sleep Foundation's recommendation of 7-9 hours of sleep, tailored to different life seasons.
Neuroplasticity Hope: Encourage listeners with the concept of neuroplasticity and the brain's capacity to heal, regardless of past sleep challenges.
Practical Sleep Habits: Offer a parting gift of practical sleep hygiene tips, from creating a serene pre-bedtime environment to engaging in calming pre-sleep activities.

As we wrap up this enlightening episode, remember that your journey to optimal health involves nurturing your sleep. Implement the discussed strategies, fuel your body with sleep-friendly foods, and witness the transformative power of restful nights on your well-being.

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