Want Better Sleep? Cut Sugar

When you have concerns about how blood sugar, you often reduce the carbs you’re eating. But sugary and carb-heavy foods can be a hard temptation to avoid. Every Tuesday, we provide healthy and tasty recipes, many of which are low-carb sweets to help you manage your sweet tooth. But, when you’re away from your kitchen, you may hear a bakery calling your name. Sometimes, merely having additional reasons to avoid something can be helpful. With that in mind, we wanted to talk about another problem sugar causes that we don’t hear about as much: sleep problems.

Eating a lot of refined sugars has been linked to lighter sleep and waking up more because they are harder to digest. Additionally, sugar has a detrimental impact on our sleep hormone, melatonin. Studies have shown that people who eat less fiber and more sugar don’t get as much rest a people who eat higher-fiber lower-sugar diets.

Excess sugar in your blood can release the stress hormone cortisol, which slows the production of melatonin in your body. Then, it takes longer to fall asleep, and you don’t sleep as soundly. Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep has been seen to cause sugar cravings. This can put you into a repetitive, unpleasant and unhealthy cycle.

As well as eating too much sugar, it can also be a matter of timing. You might have made a plan for your day that included a little chocolate after dinner. Then you are being hit by a one-two punch of caffeine and sugar. Some studies have shown a detrimental link between late mealtimes and a good night’s sleep. Digesting takes energy and makes your body wake up, which might not be conducive to sleep. Add that to sugar, and you might have a rough night.  

If you consume a sugary snack in the evening, your blood sugar tends to rise about 20 minutes after you eat,” explains Shauna Lindzon, a registered dietitian in Toronto. Blood sugar spikes can make you feel uncomfortable even before they start messing with your hormones.

Reducing sugar from your day should help you get a better night’s sleep. And, when it comes to food in the evening, steer clear of the carbs!
October 16, 2019
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