Foods that help you sleep or keep you up at night
Do you wake up too often in the wee hours of the morning? Well, diet could be responsible for ruining your sleep cycle.
Naturopathic doctor Kate Rheaume joined Bob Cowan on Morning Live to share which foods promote sleep or keep you up at night.
“What we eat can make or break our sleep,” Rhéaume said in an interview Friday.
“If our blood sugar levels fluctuate too much while we sleep, it can actually wake us up in the middle of the night.”
Foods that keep you up at night
Rheaume said high glycemic index (GI) foods, also known as foods that raise your blood sugar faster, can disrupt your sleep at night.
Examples of these types of foods include white bread, white rice, cereals, chips, and cookies, among others.
High GI foods also contribute to weight gain: “As people gain weight, especially abdominal fat, blood sugar gradually begins to fluctuate more in response to food throughout the day. When your blood sugar isn’t stable, it can drop overnight and that’s what wakes you up,” she said.
If you’re not overweight but wake up in the middle of the night, Rhéaume said it’s still important to keep blood sugar levels stabilized.
Foods that balance blood sugar
What you eat for your first meal of the day sets the tone for your blood sugar levels for the rest of the day and night.
Here are three food categories to focus on at every meal:
Protein: This macronutrient helps the body stay full for long periods of time and is an important source of energy. Protein also helps slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes after meals. Food sources include meat, eggs, organic dairy, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, and vegetables.
Fiber: As for dietary fiber, Rhéaume recommended avoiding bran and psyllium as they can contribute to digestive issues. Instead, focus on whole, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Soluble fiber absorbs water to form a natural fiber gel in the stomach. The gel will combine with the sugar to release it more slowly into the bloodstream, lessening the impact on blood sugar.
Fat: Eating healthy fats such as seafood, avocados, nuts, and seeds can help lower cholesterol and keep blood sugar stable. Other sources include avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil.
Blood Sugar Balancing Supplements
While diet and exercise are crucial for healthy blood sugar levels, Rhéaume said supplements can also play a role.
Berberine: A compound naturally present in certain medicinal plants. She said it shares the same hypoglycemic actions as metformin, one of the most prescribed drugs for diabetes.
cinnamon: Whether used as a spice or supplement, research suggests that cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar. One study found that people with prediabetes who took a cinnamon supplement had improved glucose tolerance.
Chromium: This supplement can improve glucose metabolism and is naturally found in broccoli, potatoes, green beans, whole grain products, beef, poultry, dairy products and fruits such as apples, bananas and grape juice.