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[The following is the full transcript of this video blog. Please note that this video, like all of Dr. Chiu's blog videos, features Dr. Chiu speaking extemporaneously– he is unscripted for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!]
Hey, my friends, I'm Dr. Titus Chiu and this is The Modern Brain. In this video, I'm going to be sharing with you two surprising secrets to defeat bad sleep and help you sleep through the night.
Many patients I work with have trouble sleeping.
Whether it was after a concussion, or since their head injury, or maybe stress or anxiety over long periods of time, they couldn't get a good night's rest. They've been struggling with sleep issues for years.
Regardless of the situation, one common symptom that I see with many of my patients is sleep disturbances.
Avoid Temporary Solutions
They try different things. Maybe they tried some supplement that their friend said, "Oh, this was a game-changer for me." Or maybe they read a blog article somewhere saying, "This lifestyle habit would be the game-changer for you", or maybe they saw an ad on social media.
But guess what — it didn't work for them.
The reason for that is these weren't addressing the root cause. So the first step in addressing any type of sleep issue is to get to the root cause.
Now there are many different root causes for why you might have trouble sleeping. But one of the biggest and most common root causes I see is blood sugar imbalances. The reason for that is simple.
Your brain is always constantly surveying your body chemistry, checking for levels of glucose.
When glucose drops too low, your brain sees that as an emergency situation and what does it do? It triggers the release of cortisol from your adrenal glands. What cortisol does, it helps to raise your blood sugar levels on.
How Low Blood-Sugar Can Trigger a Stress Response
Check this out: When you're sleeping you're entering a fasting state. You have stores of glucose that we call glycogen in your liver.
Over time, as you're sleeping, your liver is releasing that glycogen to be used and converted into glucose to keep your blood sugar levels stable. If your blood sugar levels drop too low, again, the same thing happens.
Whether you're awake or asleep, your brain triggers an alarm reaction. This causes your adrenal glands to increase cortisol to mobilize that blood sugar.
In addition to mobilizing blood sugar, your adrenal glands will release adrenaline or epinephrine, which is another stress hormone. In doing so, it can wake you up.
What Waking Up Anxious Means
If this is one of your root causes of sleep disturbances, you might wake up with a racing mind. You might wake up with your heart beating really fast or you're not sure why. You might feel anxious or, in some, situations you might have somewhat of a panic attack even.
If you wake up and you experience any or all of those symptoms, likely, one of the root causes for your insomnia or sleep trouble is blood sugar imbalances.
Spiraling into Insulin Resistance
When this happens, it becomes a very vicious cycle, because if you have trouble sleeping through the night and you wake up, that throws off your sleep cycle.
If your sleep cycle gets thrown off that can actually create what we call insulin resistance where your cells become resistant to insulin, and that further throws off your blood sugar balance. And when you throw off your blood sugar balance, you could then have difficulty sleeping through the night. So we really want to nip this in the bud.
What do I mean by a fatty snack? It can be something as simple as a scoop of guacamole, or maybe a quarter of an avocado. If you have high-quality organic coconut oil or olive oil may be just taking a teaspoon of that 30 minutes before you go to bed.
That can go a long way in balancing your blood sugar levels and giving you enough energy throughout the night, so your brain won't trigger an alarm reaction and waking you up.
If you try this out and it doesn't work for you, another thing you can try is taking a teaspoon of raw honey.
If it's in a raw form and unpasteurized, the sugar that's available in the honey will be released slowly throughout the evening, balancing your blood sugar levels and avoiding an alarm reaction tripped off by your brain.
And so if you do that, and this is one of the major reasons and root causes for your insomnia, or you're waking up in the middle of the night. It could be a game-changer.
Take Blood Sugar Imbalances Seriously
If you try this tip out and you find that it does help you sleep through the night, then that's a huge indication that you probably have some blood sugar imbalances that need further investigation, as well as support.
There are different labs that you could run to explore the depth of your blood sugar imbalances. Based on the results of the lab testing, you can put together even more specific supplement protocols, diet recommendations or lifestyle practices to help balance your blood sugar, once and for all.
But in the meantime, if it does work for you to continue using this one simple tip, and that should help you get a good night's sleep.
I hope this video has been valuable to you. Give it a try. Check it out.
If you have trouble sleeping through the night because of blood sugar imbalances, this is one simple thing that you can do to give yourself a good night's rest.
Try it out, let me know how it goes. If you have any questions feel free to post in the comments.
If you know anyone else that you care about or love that has trouble sleeping, this tip can be a game-changer for them if the root cause for their sleep disturbances is blood sugar imbalances.
My name is Dr. Titus Chiu. Thanks for watching, this has been The Modern Brain.