Many people understand the harm that can stem from eating sugar. However, many of us will frequently treat ourselves with a sweet snack. If you notice that you don’t wake up feeling well-rested, or you begin to have a difficult time staying asleep throughout the night, it may be a signal that sugar is negatively impacting your lifestyle (2).
Here are just a handful of areas of your health where sugar can lead to a worsened sleep cycle:
Increased Insulin Levels
When we consume excessive amounts of sugar, our bodies can react by producing high amounts of insulin. This process occurs so that the cells can use the sugar to create a source of fuel (1). So by eating sugar late at night, you’re also creating an energy boost. Overstimulation from sugar can prevent you from sleeping, eventually leading to insomnia.
Lessens Magnesium in the Body
Magnesium is a mineral that is known to help the body relax. By doing so, magnesium makes for an essential component of falling asleep more easily. However, consuming sugar uses up quite a bit of magnesium present within the body, according to nutritional therapist Charlotte Watts (1).
Sugar Often Equals Caffeine
Though you might not realize it, many candies and beverages that contain sugar also contain caffeine. This is because the caffeine is naturally found within the ingredients, and the sugar is added for taste. They don’t always go together, but it’s not uncommon to see both in the same product. You also want to make sure that you’re avoiding any drinks that contain high amounts of sugar. Even though this may seem obvious, there are some drinks, including alcoholic beverages, that you may not realize are high in sweeteners.
Here’s a list of beverages that we recommend steering away from before bed:
- Caffeinated tea
- Dairy products/milk
We recommend that you avoid sugar altogether, but we understand that this might be challenging for some or a lifestyle preference for others. So, regardless of whether or not you regularly consume sugar, try to avoid it at least two hours before bed. The #1 goal is to avoid creating a cycle where you crave more sugar because you’re always tired. If you limit your sugar intake, you can increase your sleep quality over time.
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