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Health & Lifestyle

How Switching To A Vegan Diet Can Benefit Your Sleep

In this article

We’re sure you’ve heard of Veganuary - the increasingly popular trend of starting the new year healthily, by going vegan for the first month of the year. Whether you want to detox from all the turkey and pigs in blankets you’ve scoffed over Christmas, or just want to start 2023 with a fresh, healthier lifestyle, a plant-based diet can benefit you in a multitude of ways.

A green salad in a bowl surrounded by various other green vegetables on a wooden worktop.

But how exactly can going vegan for January help your sleep? We’ve gathered the top advantages of tackling Veganuary - as well as tips to help you keep at it - so you might even fancy taking this plant-based lifestyle right past January.

Four ways going vegan can fix your sleeping pattern

1. You can fall asleep faster

A key staple of a plant-based diet? Leafy greens. From lettuce, kale, cabbage and even garden cress, these leaf vegetables are full of vitamin B12.

Stable levels of B12 in your body have been associated with reduced insomnia, as well as helping to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. B12 helps you stay sleepy at night time and awake during the day, so you’ll find that getting to sleep at night becomes a piece of cake (and by cake we mean cabbage).

True, you can also find B12 in things like red meat and fish, but leafy greens also reduce the likelihood of you experiencing high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity, as well as having nowhere near the amount of fat as red meat.

2. Your sleep will become less broken

Plant-based diets are known for being much lower in sugar than alternative diets. This reduction in sugar makes it easier for your body to digest your food, so you’ll be much less likely to be woken in the night by stomach pains or indigestion.

Soy rich foods, like edamame beans, are also linked to a longer sleep duration, as well as increasing serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) production, which in turn will help your mind and body stay relaxed for longer.

3. Your dreams will be less vivid

Vivid dreams and nightmares can stump your sleeping pattern entirely, leaving you tired and sluggish the next day. Vivid dreams are commonly associated with an amino acid called tryptophan, which is usually found in foods like cheese, milk, eggs and fish.

Reducing your intake of these foods by partaking in a plant-based diet can prevent you from experiencing nightmares and vivid dreams, as well as reducing bloating which can also be a cause for stressful dreams at night.

4. You'll have less night-time aches and pains

We know that things like orthopaedic mattresses can help reduce pain associated with arthritis or general joint pain, but did you know that a plant-based diet can also help with this?

Full of antioxidants, fibre and probiotics, a vegan diet has been suggested to reduce inflammation and help with joint stiffness. A plant-based diet also lacks a lot of the ‘trigger foods’ that can exacerbate pain from arthritis, such as processed red meat and added sugars.

How can you maintain a vegan diet?

While the idea of Veganuary is that you challenge yourself to see if you can stick to a plant-based diet even for one month, you don’t have to go the whole hog (pardon the pun).

If you stress yourself out by completely changing your diet and lifestyle in a way that just doesn’t suit you, you’ll already be setting yourself up for failure. We suggest trying to incorporate as many plant-based meals into your diet as you can, while still listening to what your body needs. 

If you’re cooking just for yourself, you might find it easier to stick to a vegan diet, but if you’re preparing meals for a big family, try simply adding some new dishes into the mix, perhaps opting for meat alternatives, or just going meat-free one day a week.

By switching to a vegan diet, you should see an improvement in your sleep-wake cycle. Of course, you won’t want to go to all this effort to improve your sleep if your bedtime set-up isn’t up to scratch, so make sure your mattress and bed frame is comfortable and benefiting you in the right ways, so that you can get the most out of your new lifestyle changes.

If you're truly dedicated to this plant-based lifestyle, you might even want to make some vegan changes to your home. Did you know that at MattressNextDay we stock a range of vegan mattresses? Made from zero animal products, these vegan mattresses are perfect if you're planning on taking this animal product-free lifestyle seriously this year. Here's a few of our favourites:

Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid Mattress

Close up corner image of the Silentnight Studio Eco Hybrid Mattress
  • 1000 Mirapocket® Springs
  • Memory Foam
  • 22cm Depth
  • Quilted Cover
  • Orthopaedic Support
  • Firmness: Firm
  • Award Winning Product

Silentnight 2000 Mirapocket Luxury Mattress

Close up image of the corner of the Silentnight 2000 Mirapocket Luxury Mattress
  • 2000 Mirapocket® Springs
  • Eco Comfort Fibres™
  • 30cm Depth
  • Knitted Cover
  • Reinforced Edges
  • Firmness: Medium
  • One of our Top Recommended Bestsellers

Silentnight Studio Gel Hybrid Mattress

Close up image of the corner of the Silentnight Studio Gel Hybrid Mattress
  • 1000 Mirapocket® Springs
  • Geltex®
  • 24cm Depth
  • Quilted Cover
  • No Need To Turn
  • Firmness: Medium
  • Award Winning Product
An image of the author, Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Martin Seeley, Senior Sleep Expert Bio & articles

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