Waking up stressed in the middle of the night? Eat a snack

Sleeping through the night is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted…until you start waking up at 2am night after night after night. While there are many reasons your body may be sounding the alarm at the witching hours, functional medicine physician Scott Beyer, DC, DACNB, says two hormones may be the reason you’re wide awake, Staring at the ceiling when I could be. ringing

“If you’re someone who wakes up between two and four in the morning and sometimes you’re awake for 20, 30 minutes, two hours, sometimes this can be due to an imbalance between two adrenal hormones,” says Dr. Beyer. in a recent TikTok video. Adrenal hormones are hormones that come from the adrenal glands and include cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline, and noradrenaline, but in this case, Dr. Beyer really wants you to think about cortisol and adrenaline in relation to waking up in the mornings. early morning hours.

@drscottbeyer #sleep #sleeptips #insomnia #functionalmedicine #adrenalfatigue #foodismedicine #sleepbetter #wakingup #circadianrhythm ♬ original sound – Dr. Scott Beyer

Normally, cortisol’s number one job is to regulate blood sugar. “Classically, when we’re asleep, that’s the longest we’re going to go without eating, and throughout the night, cortisol should start to rise higher and higher, peaking first thing in the morning,” says Dr. Beyer. “The problem is that if people have been under stress, sometimes that cortisol rhythm becomes dull and flat, and now people have to rely on the secondary compensatory mechanism.”

That “compensatory mechanism is ‘adrenaline,’ a hormone that, as you can guess, isn’t relaxing at all. “Adrenaline is a huge, huge, huge central nervous system stimulant,” says Dr. Beyer. For context, Your body can also increase your adrenaline levels when your brain perceives stress and danger, like when you’re rock climbing, skydiving, or snowboarding.

You can probably pinpoint the sensation: you feel more alert, your heart rate quickens, and you may even have trouble breathing. In short, it’s not fun, especially when you’re just trying to log your eight hours. Fortunately, though, Dr. Beyer has a nutritional hack you can try before you go to bed. “So one of the things you can do for a couple of weeks … is eat very close to bed, particularly something that’s high in protein and fat,” he says. Basically, this will keep your blood sugar levels stable overnight and save adrenaline for more adventurous activities.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you want to eat, say, a huge steak and fries before bed. Nighttime meals, particularly the more substantial ones, can disrupt your natural sleep rhythms. Instead, opt for a lighter bedtime snack…and go to bed knowing your adrenals have been taken care of.

Down, Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, an inclusive plant-based dietitian in Stamford, CT, and owner of Plant Based with Amy, and Anne Danahy, RDN, founder of Craving Something Healthy, share their three favorite bedtime snacks that contain fats and proteins.

3 RD Recommended Bedtime Snacks to Help You Sleep Through the Night

1. Prune Smoothie

“If you’re looking for quick and easy bedtime recipes, you can make them with protein and fat. I love making a prune smoothie. It contains seven grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. It’s made with prunes, which contain the added benefit of containing bone-supporting vitamins and minerals, potassium, vitamin K, phosphorous and boron,” says Gorin. Plus, it has just a hint of sweetness if you like to end the night on a dessert note, like I do.

2. Whole Greek yogurt with fresh fruit

This is a classic: Danahy recommends taking a cup of full-fat Greek yogurt and topping it with raspberries, blueberries, or whatever fruit strikes your fancy. “TBerries are a low-glycemic option that won’t spike your blood sugar, and the extra glucose they provide will be slowly released overnight,” she says.

3. A Toasted Whole Grain English Muffin with Peanut Butter and Banana

“This also provides complex carbohydrates along with protein and healthy fats,” says Danahy. A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter contains about six grams of protein and about 13 grams of fat, the sweet spot for a good night’s sleep.

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