Are you tired of craving sugar and totally stressed? Stopping it might not be as complicated as you think!
The number one complaint we hear from women we work with is that they crave sugar! Like, “I want a big piece of chocolate cake” or “I have uncontrollable cravings for sweets mid-afternoon”!
If you’re like we were or if you’re like our clients, you REALLY hate that you crave sugar and feel like sugar is evil! After all, that’s the main reason we all gain weight, right?!
Well, the truth is that sugar is not the only reason we gain weight - while it can be a factor in weight gain and can increase your likelihood of belly fat - it is ONLY a factor.
So let’s get down to the bottom of this mystery! Why are you craving sugar and feeling moody when you’re not due to have your period in weeks?
THE BIGGEST REASON: It’s probably your sleep!
Yep! Start to notice when you crave sugar and start to feel moody. Most women experience this mid-afternoon (3-4ish). Think about how many hours of sleep you got the night before, or the few nights before. Chances are you didn’t sleep long enough or you didn’t sleep well.
Our bodies crave sugar for a reason and that’s because our bodies need energy. We experience being tired when we are low on food or when we haven’t slept well. Sugar and carbohydrates are an easy and quick way to digest and gain energy fast. Our bodies have evolved to crave sugar to give us energy!
It’s a vicious cycle.
You don’t sleep, your body can’t manage stress, you crave sugar to stay awake and feel happy. You feel guilty about having sugar, you crash, you get more stressed, and then you don’t sleep again.
So let’s get down to the biology of the sleep, stress, and sugar cycle!
We have two sleep cycles Rapid Eye Movement (REM) which is the dreams state and Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (NREM) which is our deep sleep state. During our REM sleep cycle our stress hormones actually increase, our heart rate and blood pressure increase. During our NREM sleep cycle our stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure drop to the lowest levels all day.
Without getting enough deep sleep at night, your body never gets to reduce the stress hormones.
This translates into your body ineffectively reducing stress hormones throughout the day, so higher levels of stress hormones remain in your body!
So that means you’re going to be irritable and reactive all day! It only takes a couple days of not getting sleep to start panicking about everything. Have you ever noticed feeling extra sensitive? Check in with how much sleep you’ve had!
So where does SUGAR come in?
Sugar produces endorphins and provides our body with quick energy! Endorphins help to reduce cortisol (a primary stress hormone) and give us energy to wake us up.
No wonder we crave it!
Now we know you all have busy lives and sometimes it feels like there is no way you can get more sleep. The reality is that it’s critical to your happiness and your eating habits!
Here are a few tips for sleeping better:
- Sleep 7-9 hours a night
- Slowly reduce your caffeine intake (caffeine perpetuates the vicious cycle!)
- Have a set time you wake up and go to sleep
- Avoid watching TV, working in bed, checking your phone in the middle of the night.
- Wear an eye mask and earplugs to avoid distractions.
- Avoid drinking alcohol a few hours before sleep
- Listen to a meditation before you go to bed.
Sweet deep sleep, beautiful!
Hannah & Marisa
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