Sleep Disturbance1Over Stimulated by Diet

If we’re going to talk about sleep disturbance, we better start with the basics before you waste your money on a lot of sleep aids.

Of course, when you’re around me, we always start with diet and toxicity – both big culprits in a lot of things that ail us.

Eating sweets can rob your sleep too.

Consumption of concentrated sweets, (we’ll just call them sugar for short) over-stimulates our glands. When the adrenals kick into action, they pour out adrenaline among other hormones.

Eating sweets induces uneven blood sugar levels. When blood glucose levels fall, the adrenals secrete adrenaline to bring those sugar levels back to normal.

You know that adrenaline revs us up.  There goes your sleep.

Conversely, once our glands wear down from the constant stress of sweets in our diets, you may get very drowsy after eating sweets. But don’t eat sweets at bed time to induce that effect, because of the rebound effect from the adrenals as described above.

So get rid of soft drinks, fruit juice drinks (yes, even fresh fruit juice – it’s a concentrated sweet), candies, pastries, baked goods, doughnuts, pies, cakes, cookies and any other concentrated sweet. That includes “natural sweeteners” like honey, molasses, agave syrup, rice syrup, date sugar, etc. They all affect your metabolism similarly causing blood sugar swings that rob your health and possibly your sleep.

If you aren’t convinced yet about getting rid of sugar, that’s lots more info at:

Eliminate Caffeine

Do I have to mention caffeine? Most everyone knows the profound effect that caffeine can have on sleep, causing insomnia and restlessness. Besides coffee remember to avoid the stimulants contained in tea, and soft drinks, chocolate, cough and cold medicine, and other over-the-counter medications.

Coffee addiction can be tough to break, especially if you get caffeine withdrawal headaches and feel dazed in the day time after you stop. Try gradually weaning yourself off of coffee and other caffeinated products by decreasing the amount you ingest by 1-2 cups per day. Especially avoid caffeine drinks or food after 3-4 pm.

Many folks find relief from the caffeine withdrawal headaches by taking buffered vitamin C, 1,000 milligrams about 3 times per day between meals. Be sure that it’s the buffered C, buffered with calcium, magnesium and potassium so it will neutralize the acidity released by the caffeine withdrawal. (By the way, it’s very good to get rid of that acidity.)

Take the buffered vitamin C between meals if at all possible so it doesn’t neutralize your stomach acid when you eat. You don’t want to interfere with proper digestion by neutralizing stomach acid.

Include Foods that Help You Sleep

The amino acid tryptophan metabolizes to serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin.  So eating tryptophan containing food helps with sleep.  Eating a complex carbohydrate snack at bed time can preferentially boost the tryptophan into the blood and brain to switch on that metabolic pathway to the production of melatonin. You could choose to eat a little brown rice, whole grain cracker, ½ of a potato or small amount of sweet potato for that snack. But be sure to avoid concentrated sweets.

Turkey contains rich quantities of tryptophan. Maybe the reason we all crash on the couch after that big turkey dinner comes from eating all those carbohydrate rich foods along with the tryptophan-containing turkey.

Other rich sources of tryptophan include:

Since calcium helps the brain turn tryptophan into melatonin, eating dairy products can be a good choice close to bed time. Maybe that’s why warm milk has been a traditional recommendation for insomnia. Milk contains the tryptophan, carbohydrates and calcium.

If you don’t tolerate dairy food, animal proteins, eggs and seafood all contain good amounts of tryptophan.

Here’s a link to a list of foods highest in tryptophan:

Eat Magnesium Rich Foods to Help Sleep and Lots of Other Potential Problems

As a sedative and relaxant, magnesium leads the list of minerals that aid sleep. Most Americans eat so little of the magnesium rich foods that their cells are starved for magnesium. No wonder we have so much difficulty sleeping, constipation, muscle tremors or cramps, anxiety, irritability, pain and even restless leg syndrome. Most of the list interferes even more with sleep.

Foods rich in magnesium include:

  •  legumes and seeds
  • dark leafy green vegetables
  • wheat bran
  • almonds
  • cashews
  •  brewer’s yeast
  •  whole grains
  • pumpkin and squash seeds
  • pine nuts
  • black walnuts

More information on magnesium rich foods and how they favor health:


Dr. Jo

About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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