Do you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep? Oh man, not getting enough sleep is the absolute worst!
We need sleep to be productive and focused during the day, to heal and prevent illness and let our bodies go through their natural detoxification processes. The CDC states that adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. For many of us, 7 hours isn’t even enough!
There are many factors that can affect sleep quality:
- Poor blood sugar regulation
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal imbalance
- Lifestyle habits
- Poor sleep hygiene
- Kids or partners
- Full bladder (ha!), and more!
While addressing any of these areas, or a combination of them, can help improve sleep quality, one of the first things I ask my clients is this: Are you hungry when you go to bed?
If the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘maybe a little’ this one’s for you! A simple change that can make a huge difference for your sleep is to eat something!
But, but… isn’t it BAD to eat before bed???
No! While eating a large meal right before you hit the hay may make for an active digestive tract, going to bed hungry has it’s own issues, too.
Finding a middle ground, like eating a small snack before bedtime, has helped many of my clients achieve more restful sleep. Seriously, this simple change can make a world of difference!
Think about this: Have you ever felt a little anxious or stressed when you’re hungry? Hunger can be a stressful place for your body! You can’t really relax and wind down for sleep when you’re body is wondering where the heck the next meal is coming from!
Adding a small amount of food before bed can also help regulate your blood sugar during the night. If you’ve ever woken up and had a hard time falling back to sleep in the middle of the night, it may be due to your blood sugar dropping so low that cortisol (the wake hormone) was needed to drive your blood sugar back up. With a little extra sustenance for your body to use to regulate your blood sugar, you may find that you sleep through the night with no issue.
When choosing foods to have before bed, you may need to experiment to find what works best for you. I typically recommend an unrefined carbohydrate. Try foods like fruit, berries, sweet potato, white potato, carrots or other whole carbohydrate rich foods.
If there’s only a short time between your last meal and bedtime, like 1-2 hours, adding more dense carbohydrates to your dinner may be a more helpful place to start.
Play around with adding these carbs at night time and see how you feel! Let me know if you give it a try! I’d love to hear how it’s going for you!
If you need help troubleshooting your sleep, I’m here to help!