Sugar: how does it affect health and sleep? Here are 5 alternatives

Many adults have insomnia nowadays: 770 million people worldwide!

Sugar: how does it affect health and sleep? Here are 5 alternatives

But in addition to stress and daily worries, our eating habits certainly play a fundamental role in the quality of sleep.

Sweeter and sleepier

If you’re a sweet tooth, we really have to give you this bad news: the number one enemy of good sleep is white sugar. Although the World Health Organization advises us to consume no more than 50 grams per day, you must know that it is present in rather high percentages in almost 80% of processed foods.

More sugar = more nighttime awakenings

According to studies, the more sugar we eat during the day, the more frequently we wake up during the night.

The damage of white sugar on our sleep

Sugar intake causes a reduction in orexin cells, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our sleep-wake cycle.

And even if you manage to sleep uninterruptedly throughout the night, the sugar in your blood will cause a light sleep, making you feel tired the following morning.

Sweet dreams? Follow the experts’ advice!

The first suggestion for a regenerating sleep is certainly to have dinner at a proper time: at least 2/3 hours before bedtime to allow digestion well before falling asleep.

Since the quality of sleep depends on what we eat and hormonal changes, experts also suggest to pick fiber-rich dishes, whole grains, and complex carbs and avoid cakes, pastries, and sweets at dinner.

Dulcis in fundo

If you really can’t do without a bit of sweetness before diving into dreamland, here are a few healthier and natural sweeteners you could opt for:

  • Honey: not only is it rich in nutrients, but it also offers excellent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
  • Stevia: it does not contain calories, and it can also be consumed by those who have diabetes as it does not affect the level of sugar in the blood.
  • Maple syrup: rich of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Barley malt: it is suitable for daily sweetening and is rich in sodium, magnesium, potassium and amino acids.
  • Agave nectar: with a flavor reminiscent of honey, it contains metabolic activators, minerals, and vitamins.

Here are some percentages to keep in mind when using these substitutes in the kitchen for the preparation of delicious desserts.

Remember that 100 grams of white sugar correspond to:

  • 80 gr of honey;
  • 40 gr of stevia;
  • 75 gr of maple syrup;
  • 150 gr of barley malt;
  • 75 gr of agave nectar.

And now, sweet dreams!

Besides following experts’ advice for promoting sleep and good health, remember to choose a mattress, bed base and pillow that suit your physical features and sleeping habits!

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