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The Role of Protein in Sleep & Learning

Everyone knows that healthy eating combined with adequate rest allows us to perform at our physical and mental best. Simply put, a good diet is essential for a good night’s sleep, and a good night’s sleep is essential for optimal learning. The food we take in fuels important processes that occur during sleep, both in our body and brain. Research confirms that quality sleep each night is required for the brain to consolidate efforts from the day’s learning. In summary, nutrition, sleep, and performance are deeply interrelated.

A good diet includes healthy sources of protein, carbohydrate and fat; all these ingredients in the proper amounts are necessary for your body and mind to function as it should. To get good sleep, your brain requires certain “ingredients”. For one, your brain needs a substance called L-tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin, in order to be able to become calm and allow for dozing off. Thus, if you don’t have enough protein in your diet, you literally won’t have the raw materials your brain needs for sleep.[1] When you don’t sleep well, your ability to learn becomes hampered.  This is because important memory consolidation processes occur only during periods of sleep. Therefore, a lack of sleep means not only will you lack energy and perhaps enthusiasm, but you will also be unable to retain information properly. Learning a subject like math under these conditions is not ideal.

The point here is that good nutrition, sleep and learning are deeply interconnected, so why not get the most out of your academic efforts by eating a well-rounded healthy diet. Try eating a protein-based snack at least thirty minutes before your tutoring session to put your brain in optimal learning mode. Further, eating a dinner with a good source of protein is a simple way to sleep better at night. When you give your brain what it needs, it will respond by performing at its very best!

Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and schedule regular math tutoring to optimize learning! Click on the Schedule tab and select the date and time of your preference.

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