Many of us have heard of high blood sugar. We know it’s linked to diabetes, one of the most prevalent diseases in this country. However, must of us are not aware of the blood sugar roller coaster and how to stabilize our blood sugar and improve our sleep. Many of us wake up at 3 am and in most cases waking at 3 am is not a true sleep problem, it’s a blood sugar problem.
If you are carrying around stubborn belly fat that you can’t seem to get rid of, have frequent cravings for sugar or starchy foods (especially before bedtime) and often wake in the middle of the night, you most likely have a blood sugar issue.
How It Works
So what happens when you have a nice yummy piece of chocolate before bed? Your blood sugar elevates and so does insulin to manage the blood sugar increase. Insulin gets to work to move the sugar out of the blood and into our cells. Your blood sugar drops. This may sound like a good thing, but it’s not! Your blood sugar crash signals a stress signal in your body that you might be in trouble. Adrenaline is a fast-moving hormone and the only one available to save your body from danger FAST. And crashing blood sugar is very dangerous. So, adrenaline surges through your body and you find yourself wide awake, often sweaty and agitated.
The solution involves daily management of your blood sugar. I think it is important to realize that your body does not control your blood sugar levels, you do. Dr. Rebecka Hoppins, a frequent guest speaker at Head 2 Toe, has laid out simple guidelines to help patients to stabilize their blood sugar.
1. Fat first
That’s right, get up in the morning and before anything else goes into your body (with the exception of thyroid medication), have a serving of healthy fat. Examples include fish oil, avocado, or nut butter (over whole nuts).
2. Have fat and protein with every meal
No carbs alone. AND try to limit carbs to 3-4 hours after you have exercised.
3. If you are going to have alcohol, have fat first
Now, this is a lovely recommendation, the French had it right! Have some delicious hummus, brie or guacamole before anything alcoholic (remember Alcohol is sugar). Now keep in mind, you will not lose weight doing this, but you will stabilize your blood sugar.
4. Have some fat and protein before bed
We know not to eat late. But we also get hungry. Changing what you eat at night and adding a little fat and protein before bed can make all the difference.
I hope you enjoy a good night’s sleep!