In the health world it is often encouraged to stop eating at least three hours before bedtime mainly for reasons of healthy digestion. While this is generally a good rule of thumb to adhere to so a heavy meal isn’t interrupting a good nights sleep, there’s a category of people that I’d recommend rebel against this seemingly textbook rule: females.
You see, and I’m sure you already know, fasting is the new keto. While fasting certainly has its place, the majority of studies for fasting have actually only been studied on the male population, so where does this leave women?
The majority of my female clients come to me with a laundry list of bad dietary advice and hardwired rules of restriction, low-calorie and generally low-nourishment. They haven’t been taught how to listen to their bodies (in case you didn’t know, symptoms are just messengers we haven’t been taught how to listen to.)
Females don’t follow a 24 hour hormone cycle like men. So, while adopting fasting can have tremendous healing benefits for those who indulge consistently in the Standard American Diet, where does this leave females who are under-eating, under-nourished and generally under-performing in their day-to-day lives? STARVED and HANGRY.
Many come to me with symptoms like: anxiety, OCD, insomnia, erratic energy and low libido, but they were never told these issues are directly connected to under-eating or longer fasted states. This is where blood sugar balance comes into the picture, which for females, fasting can disrupt both blood sugar, hormones and sleep, specifically leaving your adrenals to pick-up the slack ALL. THE. TIME.
Having a proper balance of blood sugar levels is one of the body’s top priorities. The body will do whatever is necessary to get blood sugar back in balance. It comes before almost all other biological functions.
When our hormones are imbalanced and our stress is high, our liver has a hard time keeping blood sugar stable and can only go a few hours. Your body needs fuel or it will start breaking itself down and interrupting normal/restorative sleep patterns.
To give you an idea of stress: not eating enough is stressful, fasting (especially if your hormones are whackadoodle) is SUPER stressful, using coffee as a crutch and drinking caffeine without a meal to buffer stress hormones is well, stressful. Eating trigger foods that in general are not good for the body is stressful and it all effects are glycemic load (blood sugar)
We want to STOP using cortisol as fuel, that SHIZ is STRESSFUL, it’s what makes you feel jittery, panicked, hurried and OUT OF YOUR FREAKIN’ mind 25/7.
Let’s re-introudce a bedtime snack=balancing blood sugar and cortisol before bed=ROCKSTAR sleep, yay!
✨ Eating a properly balanced bedtime snack, 30 minutes before bedtime can help you:
✨ Stay asleep with fewer wakings
✨ Heal your body
✨ Keep balanced hormones
✨ Make you more emotionally balanced
Ideas for a bedtime snack:
Eat a bedtime snack that consists of protein, fat and glucose, like:
-a piece of hard cheese and oranges
-a piece of cheese with honey and venison
-an avocado and scrambled eggs with raw cheddar cheese
-a glass of whole milk with a @gomacro bar and a banana
-a glass of OJ + a scoop of collagen
In summary, balancing our blood sugar with a proper combo of protein and carbs helps us STAY asleep.
Be patient with your body, it will take time to heal if you’ve been training your body to fast from food. I know it’s confusing that so many diets say so many different things– we’ve all felt it! Biological eating just means listening to the nourishment your body needs, and serving it well!Then, as fight or flight turns off, you can relax back into, normal, restorative deep sleep patterns.
So, tell me friend, will you start eating to thrive (happy hormones and better sleep) or will you continue to deprive and force your body to just survive? I hope you choose option A.
Let me know if you found this helpful and connect with me on Instagram at: @wholly.well