Sleeping through the night is one of those things that can be taken for granted…until you wake up at 2am. While there are many reasons why your body goes off at magical hours, functional medicine physician Scott Beyer, DC, DACNB, says two hormones may be the reason you wake up and stare at the ceiling. to dream.
“If you wake up between two and four in the morning, sometimes for 20, 30 minutes, two hours, sometimes it can be related to an imbalance between two adrenal hormones,” says Dr. Beyer in a recent TikTok video. Adrenal hormones are hormones produced by the adrenal glands and include cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, but in this case Dr. Beyer really wants you to think about cortisol and adrenaline as it relates to waking up in those early morning hours.
@drscottbeyer #sleep #sleeptips #insomnia #functionalmedicine #adrenalfatigue #nutritionalmedicine #sleepbetter #wakeup #circadianrhythm ♬ original sound – Dr. Scott Beyer
Normally, the primary function of cortisol is to regulate blood sugar. “Classically, when we’re sleeping, that’s the longest time we’ve gone without food, and throughout the night, cortisol should start to rise, peaking in the morning,” said Dr. Beyer says. “The problem is that if people are stressed, sometimes the cortisol rhythm becomes blunted and flat, and people have to rely on a secondary, compensatory mechanism.”
This “compensatory mechanism” is the hormone “adrenaline”, as you can imagine – no cold at all. “Adrenaline is a big, huge, central nervous system stimulant,” says Dr. Beyer. When rock climbing, skydiving, or snowboarding, your brain increases adrenaline levels when it senses stress and danger.
You can probably pinpoint the sensation: you feel extra alert, your heart rate quickens, and you even have trouble breathing. In short, it’s not fun, especially when you’re trying to spend eight hours writing. Fortunately, however, Dr. Beyer has a diet trick you can try before you hit the sack. “So one of the things you can do for a few weeks is eat something close to bed, especially something heavy on protein and fat,” she says. This will keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the night and save your adrenaline for adventure.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you want to eat a big steak and fries before bed. Eating at night, especially the variety, can disrupt your natural sleep rhythm. Instead, opt for a nighttime cigarette for a lighter meal…and go to bed knowing your adrenals are taken care of.
below, Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, an inclusive plant-based dietitian in Stamford, CT and owner of Plant Based with Amy, and Ann Danahy, RDN, founder of Craving Something Healthy, name three favorite bedtime meals that include fat and protein. .
3 foods recommended by RD to help you sleep through the night
1. Plum smoothie
“If you’re looking for quick and easy bedtime recipes that boast protein and fat, I love making a plum smoothie. It has seven grams of protein and 10 grams of fat. It’s made from plums. Bone-supporting vitamins and minerals potassium , the added benefit of vitamin K, phosphorus and boron,” says Gorin. Plus, if you like to end the evening with dessert like I do, there’s a hint of sweetness.
2. Full-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
It’s a classic: Danahy recommends taking a cup of full-fat Greek yogurt and topping it with raspberries, blueberries, or whatever fruit you like. “Tthat fruit is a low-glycemic option that doesn’t spike blood sugar, and the extra glucose they provide is slowly released throughout the night,” he says.
3. Peanut Butter and Banana Toast, Whole Grain English Muffins
“It also provides complex carbohydrates along with protein and healthy fat,” says Danahy. Two tablespoons of peanut butter contains six grams of protein and 13 grams of fat, the sweet spot for a good night’s sleep.