(Nick Lasky writes this post for the ET Food Advocate)
Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Do you wake up feeling sluggish and unrested?
Your sweet dreams may actually be too sweet! A recent study from Columbia University suggests that consuming too much sugar will decrease the quality of your sleep. In the study, the people that ingested the highest amounts of sugar during the day had the most trouble at night due to sleep ‘arousals.’ An arousal is when you are pulled out of deep sleep but not so much that you wake up, leaving you in a lighter and less rejuvenating level of sleep.
The same results were found in those that consumed more refined carbs, like white bread and pasta. This is because refined carbs turn into sugar in your body after they are digested.
Discovering this study led me to dig deeper to see what else I could find about how sugar affects your sleep. And with 50-70 million Americans being affected by sleep disorders, this could be something affecting over 20% of the population!
During sleep, we are designed to burn fat because it is a slow process. Carbs and sugar on the other hand we burn very quickly. According to John Douillard, because of undetected blood sugar issues, many people are not entering into fat metabolism at night and instead their bodies are attempting to burn the sugar and carbs like they did during the day. “With sugar and short chain carbs delivering only short, quick emergency bursts of energy, sleeping through the night becomes an insurmountable task,” claims Douillard.
The unfortunate part is that this problem creates a vicious cycle that becomes very difficult to break. Studies have shown that the less sleep you get, the higher your blood sugar levels will be. Higher blood sugar levels cause less ‘long-lasting fat metabolism’, which, in turn, leads to less sleep!
If you want to be able to sleep deeper and longer then it is recommended you add more fiber to your diet. More fiber has been linked to longer sleep and slow wave sleep, most likely because fiber slows down digestion.
—-Nick Lasky for Ellwood Thompson’s Food Advocate