Sleeping and Healthy eating, Why it is important ?

The recommended hours of sleep each night for teenagers is 8-10 hours per night.

During sleep, pathways form between nerve cells (neurons) in your brain that help enable recall of new information learned. Even one night of insufficient sleep can exacerbate pre-existing mood disturbances, trigger feelings of anxiety or depression, cause confusion and difficulty concentrating.

It is well known that appropriate foods help support growth and development. But there is a growing body of research showing that what children eat can affect not only their physical health but also their mood, mental health and learning.

Research suggests that eating a healthy and nutritious diet can improve mental health, enhance cognitive skills like concentration and memory, and improve academic performance.

Children should be eating plenty of nutritious, minimally processed foods from the five food groups:

● fruit

● vegetables and legumes/beans

● grains (cereal foods)

● lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds

● milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives

Consuming too many nutritionally-poor foods with added fats and salt, and drinks that are high in sugar as well as too many lollies, chips and fried foods has been connected to emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents. In fact, young people who have the unhealthiest diets are nearly 80% more likely to have depression than those with the healthiest diets.

For more information and ideas on healthy eating, refer to the Australian Dietary Guidelines or the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating