Is Stress Waking You Up at Night?

published by Dr. Marcantel on October 14th, 2019 Print this page No Comments

Having trouble sleeping through the night? Try this easy tip–it might be just what the (naturopathic) doctor ordered!

Do you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night?
Do you feel hungry when you wake up?
Have you been experiencing a bit more stress than normal lately?

Stress, the adrenal glands, blood sugars–all these things can be related factors in preventing you from sleeping through the night. This week’s blog post is a tip that may help you get that good night’s sleep you’re looking for.

Transcript:

Today I want to talk about stress and sleep.

Sleep issues can be related to a number of things, but I want to talk specifically about how stress can affect our sleep. I have three questions for you:

Do you wake up suddenly in the middle of the night?
Do you feel hungry when you wake up?
Have you been experiencing a bit more stress than normal lately?

Stress can be defined in many different ways, whether it’s physical stress or emotional stress (I see this with caregivers, as well).

So if you’ve connected the dots so far with “I’ve been having more stress than usual and I notice I’m not sleeping as well and I wake up during the night” — this blog is for you!

What’s happening behind the scenes?

On a physiological level, when we experience more stress than usual our wonderful adrenal glands kick in and they release cortisol, which is a stress hormone, so we can handle stress. What that does is, it fluctuates our blood sugars. And our blood sugars can drop suddenly in the middle of the night. Let me give you a tip that can prevent this sudden fall in blood sugars.

About an hour before you go to sleep, have a snack. Let me give you some examples of a good snack to prevent that sudden drop of blood sugars in the middle of the night.

You can have a complex carbohydrate and a protein. What do I mean by a complex carbohydrate? It’s a carbohydrate that’s not refined like flour and sugar. It has a lot of fiber in it.

For instance, a seed cracker with a little bit of nut butter on it is one good option. Another good option is an egg with a half slice of Ezekiel bread, which is very dense and high in fiber. You can also use a piece of chicken that you had left over from suppertime.

Any of these options are real good. And what does this do? It helps to balance our blood sugars in the middle of the night.

So about an hour before you go to bed, have a good snack with a complex carbohydrate and a protein and it will prevent those sudden blood sugar drops in the middle of the night that have been waking you up. It’s so much easier and really better for you in a natural aspect to just try this instead of maybe taking a sleeping pill in the middle of the night. Try this first.

To learn more about how stress affects blood sugars and for more snack ideas, read my article, “Stress, Blood Sugars, and Weight Gain (and how to control them)”

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