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Sleep and Our Relationship to Food

Sleeplessness can drive our food cravings and make sticking to our nutritional intentions challenging. Read more to see if your food choices have been influenced by your lack of sleep.

Do you experience insomnia, restless sleep, trouble fallingasleep or waking in the middle of the night? This summer, I experienced sleeplessness, and not only did it affect my mood, energy, focus and ability to handle stress, the lack of sleep also impacted my food choices. The need for caffeine via matcha, green tea, black tea and dark chocolate were higher than normal. My occasional soulful enjoyments were turning into daily physical cravings and necessities to get through my day. Can you relate?

Layered on top of the sleep challenges, I was also startingto feel adrenal fatigue. My ability to handle and cope with stress was not as optimum and resilient as normal and that also influenced my cravings and need for energy and pick-me-ups throughout the day.

For 6 weeks I was waking up in the middle of the night and finding it very difficult to fall back asleep. It reminded me of the time whe nmy kids were babies and I barely slept. I recall needing to eat a lot, not because I was hungry, but just to give me energy to get through my day. Food became the go-to when taking a nap or having a rest was not an option.

There are a multitude of reasons for why we can’t sleep.

*Imbalanced blood sugars in the day

*Deficiency in nutrients such as magnesium, Vitamin D, B Vitamins, zinc and omega 3s.

*Protein malnutrition, making it difficult to receive amino acids that help with sleep such as tryptophan, glycine, theanine and glutamine.

*A deficiency in the amino acid tryptophan. This is essentialto make serotonin which is the precursor to melatonin (your sleep hormone). If any of this biochemical pathway is impaired, or if the co-factors (like Vitamin B6) are deficient, then deep restorative sleep will be impossible.

*Adrenal fatigue and exhaustion

*Unresolved stress

*Excess sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and drug

*Hormone changes

Luckily, I know a great Nutritional Therapist! I knew my sleep challenges were due to stress of a home renovation and worrying about my kids being away for 3 weeks at summer camp and a very full work and exercise schedule. I knew I needed to support my adrenals during the day to help manage my stress. I used adaptogens in the form of Tulsi tea and drank 3 tsp of medicinal mushrooms in the morning and had an additional reishi elixir atnight. The mushrooms help to be more resilient and adaptive to stress andprovide a sustaining energy vs a jolted energy from caffeine.

I also used an adrenal glandular but only for 2 weeks and then my body didn’t need it anymore. I moved to an adrenal support formula and my favorite energy and stamina supplement from doTerra called Mito2Max. I used some GABA in the day to help take the edge off and feel calmer amidst the stress. Things were starting to feel better in the day, and I didn’t crave caffeine or chocolate anymore.  

I then focused on some key sleep nutrients that I needed. I added in 400 mg of magnesium bisglycenate and the amino acid l-theanine to calm and relax me before bed. Within a week I was sleeping through the night,dreaming and waking up feeling more restored.

Everybody is unique and your reasons for sleeplessness and solutions may be different than mine. If you struggle with any sleep challenges, please contact me for a nutritional sleep analysis and assessment.Through some specific questionnaires we can detect nutrient deficiencies, we can assess your nutrition and lifestyle factors and get to the root of your sleep issues. We can then trial options until we get you sleeping again.

Deep restorative sleep is one of the pillars to optimum wellness and longevity. If we don’t sleep, we don’t function and our relationship with food will be impacted which can further perpetuate other issues. Sleep is not an option. It is a necessity, a requirement for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Get in touch and I would love to help.

Yours in health & vitality,


Connect with Amy today to start nourishing your body, mind and soul.

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