One of the side effects of lack of sleep is a wonky diet, however lack of sleep not only affects your diet, your diet also affects your sleep.

The more tired you are, the more you are likely to eat during the day in attempt to ‘pick yourself up’, which can easily add up to weight gain over time. Which in turn may also lead to obesity, diabetes, high-blood pressure, depression and more.

Here are a few tips for improving your eating habits which will improve both your energy and sleep while keeping your diet balanced.

1 – Do not skip breakfast

Your body does use energy while you are sleeping. Try a breakfast that is a combination of both protein and carbs like eggs and whole wheat toast or swap sugary cereal for a wholegrain alternative topped with milk and a sliced banana.

2 – Avoid the party platters

Mini-meatballs, cheese plates and canapé sound ideal but high-fat and spicy foods set off acid reflux and indigestion which might keep you up way past your bedtime.

3 – Curb the Caffeine

Studies have shown that caffeine can stay in your blood stream for up to 12 hours! So the effects of your caffeine fix may linger longer than you realised. Reduce your caffeine intake gradually. Try decaffeinated coffee or caffeine-free drinks like rooibos tea.

4- Get more of

Protein foods that are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. This helps boost the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Chicken and turkey, milk and dairy, nuts and seeds are all good choices. Combine these with rice, pasta or potatoes to help the body get the most benefits from tryptophan. Try a chicken and noodle stir-fry or similar.