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Improving the quality of your sleep

Good sleep is essential for strengthening the immune system, healing tissues, building muscle mass and burning fat. In addition, quality sleep contributes to improving cognitive function, memory and concentration. On the other hand, poor sleep raises the level of inflammation in the body and increases the chance of suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and depression.

The duration of sleep depends on genetics, age, seasonality and level of physical activity. In general, children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep and adults between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Among athletes, 9 to 10 hours of sleep are required in order to encourage tissue recovery. There is actually an internal mechanism that is located in the brain and that drives people to adjust themselves to the environment according to the amount of light around them. This mechanism is called a biological clock and it helps us know when to get up and when to sleep. From a biological clock perspective, it is recommended to sleep before 11:00 pm and to get up between 5 to 8 am in the morning.






Guidelines for

improving sleep










Additional habits that may

optimize your sleep



  • Take a cold shower in the morning

  • Go outside frequently during the day for 10-15 minute walks

  • Avoid daytime napping after 14:00 and beyond 90 minutes in duration

  • Eat a dinner high in protein (beef, chicken, fish, eggs, almonds and nuts)

  • Avoid ultra-processed food high in sugar. For example sweet drinks, energy bars and breakfast cereals

  • Eating foods rich in the hormone melatonin (cherries, tart cherry juice, goji berries, eggs, fish, milk, nuts and almonds)

  • Getting enough electrolytes. Limiting sodium increases adrenaline levels at night and impairs sleep

  • Use of Blue light blocking glasses in the evening

  • Blue light filter for screens in the evening

  • Take a hot shower in the evening

  • Practice breathing exercises before sleep

  • Breath through your nose throughout the night

  • Reduce electromagnetic radiation at night. For example, you can turn off WIFI at night, keep your cell phone in flight mode, use an alarm clock that runs on batteries and remove electronics from the bedroom


Food that can disrupt the

quality of your sleep



  • Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that causes alertness and therefore affects the quality of sleep. Foods containing caffeine include: coffee, tea, chocolate, coffee flavored ice cream, energy drinks and soft drinks.

  • Foods high in sugar

Foods high in sugar are mostly empty carbohydrates (soft drinks, snacks, cookies, cereals, pastries, etc.). These foods cause hunger after eating them because they do not contain nutrients and have little dietary fiber. Therefore they cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

  • Spicy foods

Spicy foods can disrupt sleep since they can cause heartburn and indigestion. This is because lying on your back while sleeping allows the acids to rise up. In addition to heartburn, spicy foods can raise body temperature, which can negatively affect sleep quality. Spicy food include: hot pepper, tabasco, wasabi, kimchi and mustard.

  • Foods rich in fat

The digestive system takes several hours to break down and digest foods rich in fat compared to other substances. In addition, fat is high in calories and will therefore be a heavy meal before bed. Examples of fatty food include: pizza, doughnut, chips, fried food, fatty cheeses, sausages and butter.

  • Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol in any amount can disrupt sleep even though it can induce feelings of sleepiness at first. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce alcohol consumption before going to bed.

  • Foods rich in Tyramine

Tyramine is one of the amino acids (these are the building blocks from which the body produces proteins) that causes the production of stimulants such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. Therefore, consuming high levels of foods with tyramine can cause insomnia. Foods rich in tyramine include:

  • Ripe cheeses such as blue cheeses (Stilton/Gorgonzola/Camembert) and hard cheeses (Parmesan/cheddar/Emmental).

  • Alcoholic beverages and homemade beers without pasteurization. Overripe fruits (avocado and banana).

  • Fermented soy products such as tofu, miso and soy sauce.

  • Pickled vegetables such as kimchi, sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers.

  • Processed meat such as salami, dried sausages (pepperoni and salami), bacon and smoked fish.

  • Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange, lemon and tangerine.




Supplements that may help

improve sleep quality


  • Magnesium L-threonate. A dose of 145 mg 30-60 minutes before bedtime. About 5 percent of people suffer from an irritated stomach following the use of magnesium. In these cases, its use should be avoided.

  • Gaba. A dose of 100 mg 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

  • Glycin. A dose of 2 grams before bedtime.

  • Valerian. A dose of 150 to 300 mg 30-45 minutes before bedtime.

  • L-Theanine. A dose of 100 to 400 mg 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Avoid use if you suffer from intense dreams, nightmares or sleep walking.

  • 5-HTP (or 5-hydroxy-tryptophan). A dose of 50-150 mg 30-45 minutes before bedtime.

  • Melatonin. A dose of 3-5 mg before bedtime for adults and 1-3 mg for children over the age of 6. Melatonin is a prescription drug in Israel and a doctor must be consulted before use.


It is advised to first attempt to improve the quality of your sleep with the use of behavioral changes. If necessary, adding supplements should be considered only after consulting with a therapist for precise instructions.



Implementation of recommendations in this blog are the sole responsibility of the reader. Your physician should be consulted. Yaron Konigsberg will not be held legally or otherwise responsible for any damages caused or claimed to have been caused to any person following information provided in the blog. The articles should not be seen as recommendation to stop/avoid medical care recommended to you by your physician.

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