Can't Sleep Since Going Vegan? Here's How To Fix It
Veganism and the plant-based diet outranks millennial pink and athleisurewear when it comes to the popularity of recent trends. Sure, a vegan diet and awareness around omitting dairy and meat products has been seeping into our consciousness for years now, but there's no denying that 2020 is well and truly the year of the vegan. But, what happens when the promise of extra energy, improved concentration, and an overall improvement to your wellbeing doesn't come as easily as you thought? When it comes to feeling lethargic and unfocused during the day, it can oftentimes be traced back to your sleep the night before. Without a quality six-to-eight hours of rejuvenating rest, you're unlikely to be productive and will more susceptible to fluctuating moods. So, what can you do if your sleep is suffering after going vegan? Read on to find out.
Vegan doesn't equal healthy
After eliminating meat and dairy from my own diet recently, I had to quickly remind myself that just because a meal from a restaurant or product from the grocery store is vegan-friendly it doesn't mean that it's necessarily full of vital nutrients that will be beneficial to my body. Rice bubbles? Vegan. Oreos? Vegan. It can be easy to fall into a less than ideal eating habit while technically still remaining vegan. These pre-packaged foods aren't going to provide your body with the energy and essential vitamins like B6 and calcium that'll keep you feeling healthy. A diet void of wholefoods is actually going to leave you with a heavy feeling and will make it harder for you to get to sleep at night.
Take small steps
Nothing worth doing is easy, and switching to a plant-based diet is something to consider carefully and allow yourself to adapt to over time. If, in the first couple of weeks, you're feeling like you have lower energy levels or are having trouble getting and staying asleep, consider taking a look at the foods you're eating and the nutrients they're providing you. Take some time to do your research so that you're equipped with all the knowledge to make sure you feel confident to plan your meals in a way that's healthy for you long-term. It can be tempting to jump into plant-based eating wholeheartedly, but baby steps will ensure you feel amazing (and sleep well).
When considering moving towards a vegan lifestyle, it's going to be a bit of trial and error, at least in the beginning. It's important to assess what foods you're enjoying and what foods you'd prefer to find alternatives to. For example, not all vegans (including me) love the taste of tofu and would prefer to find their protein sources elsewhere. When it comes to sleep specifically, try to keep a track of how you're sleeping each night and whether you're able to wake up feeling refreshed or are rising each morning a little sluggish. From there, you can start to add foods that are rich in vitamin D, B12, and other nutrients that actually help to regulate your sleep. This could take some time to perfect, so stick to your nightly sleep routine in the meantime while you figure out the best vegan meal plan for you personally.
If you're experiencing sleep issues as a result of going vegan, you should start with a visit to your local GP where they will be able to provide the best plan going forward for you.
While we're on the topic of food, these are the 5 signs you need to address your gut health.