Sugar and Sleep: How Sugar Impacts Your Sleep
Who doesn’t love to bite into an after-dinner dessert? The very thought will make hundreds drool. But, did you know that digging into your scrumptious dessert, cookies, or bowl of ice cream translates to feeding lots of added sugar into your body and this can impact the way you sleep.
In fact, studies suggest that the more sugar that you consume through the day, the more often you are bound to wake up in the middle of the night. And, even if you do not find yourself waking up a dozen times in the night, the sugar running in your system can drag you out a deep slumber, and leave you feeling exhausted the next day.
According to a study conducted at Columbia University, people who ate a lot of sugar through the day reported more arousals without actually being awakened – than those who ate less sweetened food. These people also reported to feeling chronically wiped out, due to the fact that they are pulled back into a lighter and less restorative stage of sleep.
That is not all, consuming way too much sugar through the day can also lead to a crash in energy. Have you ever wondered why you feel like taking an afternoon siesta after chowing down on a brownie topped with chocolate syrup? Eating too much sugar tends to reduce the activity of orexin cell, which will make you feel drowsy. Now, you have your answer!
To avoid nap-inducing energy dips, you will have to do all it takes to keep your blood sugar levels steady. If you can regulate your sugar levels, you will be able to keep your energy levels even and balanced throughout the day and will also help you stick to a normal sleep schedule. If you slowly cut back on your sugar intake, you will wake up more, well-rested.
So, what is it that you must avoid to sleep sound, is to avoid refined sugar! This is the main culprit that knocks your blood sugar levels off balance. You can find refined sugar in your soda, barbecue sauces, breakfast cereals, desserts, juices, and even canned fruits. You will be surprised to know that refined sugar finds its way into white bread, regular pasta, and even white rice. When you cut back on these foods and replace them with whole grains and complex carbs, you will not just improve the nutritional value of what you eat, but also will help you sleep better at night.
Want to eat better and sleep more? Experts opine that cutting down on sugar and eating more fiber will induce deep, slow wave sleep, as fiber can slow down digestion and doesn’t trigger a spike in blood sugar levels like carbs do. A few painless tweaks in your diet can help you sleep better and feel more energized.