Hey Angels and Alphas,
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night after a post-work weight loss cardio session… or felt really restless as soon as the time came to go to bed? One of the possible culprits could be a drop in blood sugar.
How can your blood sugar drop as you’re spending the entire night sleeping? Low blood sugar can be one of the culprits to restless sleep because even though your body is sleeping, your body is still using up glucose as an energy source for your internal bodily processes to function.
That could result in sweatiness, shakiness, stress, and other responses that keep you up at night. Low blood sugar can also be called hypoglycemia.
But we all know getting quality sleep is important for everyone. In fact, not getting enough quality sleep will negatively affect your health and weight, and people who tend to low in fewer hours of sleep or don’t get consistent sleep are more likely to have a higher body mass index. Making sure you’re getting in enough quality sleep is actually one of the foundational cornerstones of a good weight loss strategy.
WHY YOUR BLOOD SUGAR DROPS AT NIGHT (AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT)
While natural alternations in blood sugar are often thought to only apply to people who struggle with diabetes, adults without diabetes also experience the same dips and raises in their blood sugar which all have effects on the body. How much you eat, what you eat, and at what times are also factors that will impact your blood sugar levels.
Here are a couple of reasons why your blood sugar might slump around bedtime…
#1 IF YOU SKIPPED DINNER OR DIDN’T EAT ENOUGH
If you skipped your last meal of the night either because you were too busy or you did it intentionally, the result would likely be a small slump in blood sugar. Or maybe you didn’t eat enough and went to bed on an empty stomach.
You might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to fall asleep with an empty stomach. That’s a good time to grab a light, nutritious snack, even if it’s an odd time to be eating. It’s perfectly natural to listen to your body’s hunger cues.
To make sure this doesn’t happen in the future, make sure you’re consuming a balanced dinner that keeps your blood sugar steady – and that you’re not going to bed hungry.
#2 YOU ATE THE WRONG BEDTIME SNACK
A pint of ice cream, crackers, chocolate, or cookies can all be examples of bedtime snacks that have a negative effect on your blood sugar. High-sugar, low-fiber snacks can cause a big spike and then a sharp drop in blood sugar (and this can happen even during the night as you’re sleeping.)
A better option might actually be a snack that pairs high-fiber carbohydrates with a food that’s high in protein – this combo will trigger an even, balanced blood sugar response. One example could be Greek yogurt sprinkled with some whole-grain granola or cottage cheese and berries.
#3 IF YOU DRINK ALCOHOL
Some people actually find that drinking alcohol before bed causes their blood sugar to drop. This happens because alcohol increases your insulin response (which can take your blood sugar levels down very low), and this inhibits the natural processes through which the body can turn non-carbohydrates into glucose.
It’s important to keep your drinking to a minimum if you want to decrease its negative effects. If anything, it does not help that a potential hangover could be a part of your morning. So try to decrease the amount you drink at night when you’re out with family and friends. Sip water after every drink so you can offset the dehydration that comes with alcohol, which can make things much, much worse.
#4 IF YOU’RE WORKING OUT HARD BEFORE GOING TO BED
When you start a strength training workout or head out for your run, your body will release stress hormones that increase blood sugar. This is all natural and normal, and in the end, exercise will improve blood sugar levels as a whole.
However, if you exercise with high intensity before bed, you may cause a spike and then dip in blood sugar similar to what you would do if you ate something sugary before bed.
Here, you have two options: either experiment to find the correct timing for your exercise or at least make sure you eat something after your workout (if late-night workouts are your thing to begin with.)