Getting Better Sleep is Important
I didn’t realize how precious sleep is until I found myself laying wide awake at 3 a.m. for several weeks. Why was I up at this hour? And why couldn’t I fall back asleep?
I would stay in bed, but I admittedly would hop on my phone to help pass the time. It’s not uncommon for hormonal changes to impact our sleep. Being part of the endo sisterhood, we know this all too well.
Supporting our overall hormonal health is important to address the root cause, but there are also some things that you can do to set the stage for a restful night's sleep.
Food and quality of sleep
Did you know that what you eat during the day can impact your quality of sleep at night? It’s true.
A high sugar, highly processed carbohydrate food can create imbalanced blood sugar levels, which can impact you not just in that moment but also into your sleeping hours. Focusing on more balanced meals throughout the day can be especially helpful.
Aside from the obvious recommendation of reducing or eliminating sugar from the diet, there are some easy combinations of food you may find helpful. To help reduce the risk of carbohydrates spiking blood sugar levels, you can add healthy fat and or protein.
Let’s take a healthy carbohydrate food – an apple – for example. An apple offers a lot of fiber and nutrients that are beneficial.
It also is higher in natural sugars, which can still spike blood sugar levels. However, you can enjoy your apple with a bit of nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, or even sunflower butter) to help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
You can do the same combination with a banana. Another example is a potato – white or sweet – either can be a healthy starch but can increase blood sugar levels.
However, if you add a little fat to it, it can stabilize the spike. You could add butter, ghee, or coconut oil as your fat.
My personal favorite is a sweet potato topped with coconut oil and cinnamon. It’s delicious!
Pasta is another high carbohydrate food. That’s why adding a meat sauce, meatballs, or another form of healthy protein and fat can be beneficial.
Impact of stress on sleep
Let’s take a look beyond food. I recognize that this phrase may sound a bit odd, “what’s eating you?” but we must recognize the stressors that are on our minds. Mental and emotional stress can play a big factor in our ability to get more sleep at night.
Sometimes stressors are out of our control. The stress of a sick loved one or the uncertainty of living in a pandemic are valid stressors and not in our control.
However, our response to them IS within our control. So, if you find stress being a trigger for your sleepless nights, it’s likely time to explore some tips that can help to best manage the emotions – counseling, journaling, prayer, meditation, etc.
What have you found to be especially helpful to ensure a better night's sleep for you? Share below so we can all catch some more z’s tonight!
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