Too much sugar is detrimental to your health in more ways than one. This sweet but harmful substance will increase your waistline, increase your risk for diabetes, decrease your energy levels, and can cause a myriad of health issues if you consume too much of it.
And when it comes to negative effects, sugar can also greatly impact your ability to sleep well, too.
Are you trying to reduce your sugar intake to improve your health, and need a little extra motivation to take the leap?
Consider these ways that too much sugar will ruin your rest.
Excess sugar can literally lead to a restless night, as an increase in sugar is connected to an increase in sleep disruptions.
A recent 2016 study examined this link, and placed participants into two groups. One group was on a controlled diet with minimal sugar, and the other one could eat whatever they liked.
The researchers discovered that the folks who ate more sugar tended to spend a lot less time in deep, slow-wave sleep, which is an essential time for the body to restore and heal itself.
As such, the people in this group woke up more often with aches and pains and were more restless in general due to the fewer and shortened periods of deep sleep.
Ever have trouble falling or staying asleep because your stomach is growling?
Sugar could very well be to blame. This is because an abundance of sugar tends to hyper-activate the hormones in our body that are related to hunger as well as metabolism. This in turn signals to our brains that we are starving when we’re actually comfortably full.
In addition, the more sugar you eat, the more your body and brain crave the dopamine rush that sugar provides, leading to a vicious cycle where that hungry feeling progresses. Just like with harmful drugs, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you’ll want – even when you’re trying to sleep.
Sleep and inflammation are inherently linked, as inflammation – among other things – can impact our natural circadian rhythms. These dictate when it’s time to be awake, and when it’s time to be asleep.
Too much sugar can lead to an increase in inflammation. This does not only create extra pain and stiffness in the body, (especially when we’re trying to rest at the end of the day). But it also can interfere with our naturally occurring sleep cycles.
In addition, an increase in inflammation can lead to an increase in the production of cortisol – a hormone that produces stress as well as alertness. As such, with an increase in inflammation, especially due to sugar, it can be hard to fall and stay asleep comfortably all night long.
For more helpful information about sugar and sleep, check out this past blog post!
A little sugar is a sweet thing in life, but too much sugar can wreak havoc on your body, your health, and your ability to rest well. So skip the sugar when possible. Or opt for natural sugars found in fruits and certain vegetables to get a sugar fix without affecting your sleep. With a little attention to your sugar consumption, you can take a step towards sleeping better on a daily basis.
Are you still waking up groggy and feel fatigued all day, even after you lower your sugar intake? It could be sleep apnea. Don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you get back to sleeping well and feeling great!