5 Ways Paleo Enhances Sleep

Paleo is simply eating in accordance with our genetics, nourishing the body in the way nature intended. A diet based on traditional, hunter-gatherer foods maximizes health, healing and wellbeing…and benefits all aspects of the body, not just digestion!

Eating within a Paleo template alleviates and remedies chronic aches and pain, weight-gain, poor energy levels, fluid retention, hormonal imbalance and other conditions aggravated by chronic inflammation, while simultaneously supporting heart health, bone & joint integrity, stable moods, immune function, sound sleep, mental clarity and much more.

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The Pursuit of Sound Sleep

Quality sleep is so elusive that millions of people do not remember the last time they had a full night of uninterrupted slumber. Unfortunately, our modern environment and uninformed behavior choices are to blame. Sleep is a hormonally-driven cycle, highly sensitive to multiple stimuli such as stress, environmental factors and dietary triggers (including modern foods, additives, caffeine or alcohol). The Paleo Lifestyle inspires time-honored behaviors to foster the sleep cycle on all levels. 

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5 Ways Paleo Helps...

The following are five specific ways the Paleo Diet and Lifestyle enhance sound sleep. Further information is thoroughly detailed in The Paleovation Workbook (specific chapter locations are noted in parentheses; supplemental topic info is accessible here.)

1.      Paleo Reduces Overall Stress and Resets Cortisol-Melatonin Cycle (Chapters 11-13): 

The modern lifestyle introduces stressors of all sorts, including difficult-to-digest foodstuff. The Paleo Elimination Diet simultaneously removes common inflammatory foods while focusing on nutrient-dense, healing foods. This drastically reduces the body’s overall stress load and normalizes the fight-or-flight hormone, cortisol. Once cortisol begins to cycle correctly (peak in the morning for waking, drop off in the evening for sleeping), melatonin function also begins to regulate (rise in the evening, sustain a high level during sleep, and recede in the morning). 

2.      Paleo Provides Proper Sleep Nutrition (Chapter 13): 

Paleo staple foods provide crucial building blocks for neurotransmitter production. Neurotransmitters pass signals between nerve cells and are responsible for a wide range of functions including moods (dopamine, serotonin) and sleep (melatonin). Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin, so any food that supports serotonin production or elevation will also support sleep. These include glycine-rich foods (bone broth, gelatin), tryptophan-balanced foods (organ meats, seafood…note, turkey has tryptophan but also contains competing amino acids), and omega-3 rich foods (fatty fish). 

3.       Paleo Reduces Melatonin Disruptors (Chapter 13 & 20): 

Proper melatonin levels are key to a good night’s sleep and the Paleo Lifestyle both improves melatonin levels and reduces other factors that interfere with melatonin function. Food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies (especially B vitamins, omega-3’s and tryptophan), exposure to chemicals in food and the environment, hormonal disruption and even unmanaged stress can all interrupt melatonin production or function. Unfortunately, these are common circumstances for those eating a typical western diet. The Paleo Diet reduces these unintended stressors and encourages other sleep-enhancing behavior (more below). 

4.       Paleo Reestablishes Gut Function…Including Production of Sleep Hormones like Serotonin and Melatonin (Chapters 13 & 21): 

Diet plays a strong role in sound sleep. Surprisingly, the digestive tract acts as a second brain in the body. It is lined with neurons (nerve cells) and plays an important part in neurotransmitter production and absorption. The Paleo Diet soothes the digestive system, heals a leaky gut, balances the gut flora and restores proper function to the gut neurons. These combined factors increase neurotransmitter availability and utilization. In fact, individuals who adopt a Paleo Diet can use sleep quality as a gauge when reintroducing non-Paleo foods:  a disruption to sleep often indicates sensitivity to the reintroduced item. 

5.       Paleo Encourages Healthy Sleep Behaviors (Chapter 13): 

As individuals transition to a Paleo Diet, their health improves, often to levels higher than anticipated. Once people physically feel how a traditional diet restores vitality, it is natural to wonder if other ancestral behavior patterns will also enhance health. A Paleo Lifestyle embraces traditional wisdom and encourages individuals to experiment with limiting exposure to artificial lights after dark (use these blue-light blocking glasses), dedicating more time to sleep, reducing exposure to EMFs (electro-magnetic fields), exercising with traditional functional movements, consuming bone broth, avoiding environmental toxins and more. Wide-ranging strategies are discussed in The Paleovation Workbook.

 

There Is No Catch! Simply Eating Paleo Naturally Induces Proper Body Function.

 

Just 2-3 weeks eating Paleo is enough to clearly perceive vast improvement in health and vitality. The best news is health benefits emerge solely from conscientious food choice:  just eliminate inflammatory foods and emphasize restorative, traditional foods. There are no expensive powders, specially-formulated products or endless exercise routines necessary.

The body already has the innate ability to heal – Paleo simply creates the ideal set of circumstances to foster and sustain this natural healing.

How Do I Start?

Individuals new to Paleo often appreciate assistance identifying typical inflammatory foods, sifting through abundant Paleo resources, finding easy-to-understand information and staying prepared. This is the basis of The Paleovation Workbook:  It’s like having a trusted mentor supporting the reader each day.  

The Paleovation Workbook details the Why's and How's for healthy, long-term diet change

This workbook is arranged in easy-to-read, daily sections designed to keep the reader informed and organized. Each day reinforces the commitment to dietary change by explaining specifically why these diet changes improve health as well as how to implement them, loaded with ideas for snacks, recipes, socializing, practical planning assistance.

Substantial information is compiled in an easy-to-read “bottom-line” format with charts, checklists, templates and practice exercises. Additionally, to build a balanced approach to lifestyle modification, information includes other pillars of health such as stress management, sleep tips, sensible exercise and more:

Informative Topics:     

  • Destructive nature of sugar and starch
  • Fat facts – the good, bad and ugly
  • Problems with modern foods
  • Chronic inflammation and its complications
  • Cholesterol and heart disease
  • Autoimmune support
  • Gut health and probiotics
  • Detrimental effects of stress
  • Smart nutritional supplementation

How-To Topics:

  • Stock a Paleo kitchen
  • Generate meal ideas and recipe resources
  • Manage food cravings
  • Enhance fat-burning metabolism
  • Substitute non-Paleo foods
  • Devise strategies for social situations
  • Promote deep sleep
  • Break through a weight loss plateau
  • Solidify long-term dietary success
The advantage of this workbook is it teaches the reader what to do AND how to do it, ultimately increasing odds of lasting success.

Develop a Personalized Dietary Template

Elimination diets are commonly used to test for food allergies or sensitivities. The method is simple, just avoid specific irritating foods for a set period of time, then carefully reinstate them to observe personal tolerance levels. Participants learn to connect the dots between their trigger foods and symptoms of inflammation within their bodies.

The Paleovation Workbook walks the reader through a 4-week elimination diet and reintroduction period. The beauty is that there are no cookie-cutter results – each person reveals a customized list of well-tolerated foods. In the long run, this knowledge is used to formulate a personalized, flexible approach to dietary success.

The Paleovation Workbook provides the framework to stay informed, motivated and accountable during the short-term Paleo transition as well as long-term, healthy diet management.

Cheers to your renewed health and vitality!

Rachel & Kelly