Are you waking up in the middle of the night and finding it hard to get back to sleep?
Perhaps you are so wide awake that you start cleaning the kitchen or planning for your day ahead. You may have tried everything and nothing worked to help you fall back asleep. Until now…
Fixing your sleep requires you to not just tranquilize the mind and body, but to actually address the underlying issue that is causing the sleep disturbance.
Nocturnal hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels at night can trigger these “wide-awake and can’t get back to sleep” night waking incidents. Once you identify the root cause of your night waking, it is significantly easier to remedy it so you can start getting restful sleep.
Why You’re Waking Up in the Middle of the Night and How to Fix it
Your brain and body need a steady supply of energy, known as blood sugar or glucose, while you sleep to ensure restful sleep.
Unfortunately, blood sugar issues or your brain’s increased need for glucose can compromise your sleep. For example, if you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or excessive stress, your brain will have increased glucose demands during the fasting period of sleep. This is because when your brain is healing, it requires even greater demands for fuel.
When you wake up in the middle of the night and feel so awake that you could clean the kitchen, that is caused by nocturnal hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels at night.
More specifically, if your blood sugar plummets during the night, your adrenal glands release cortisol (a stress hormone) as an emergency blood-sugar-raising tactic. This cortisol surge is what wakes you up and makes you feel wide awake.
The connection between sleep and blood sugar issues goes beyond the obvious fact that when you are tired, you will crave sugar and carbohydrates for quick energy. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that as the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. The study found that people who slept less than six hours a night experienced blood sugar problems, compared to those who slept for eight hours or more.
This has to do in part with burning sugar versus fat for fuel. Humans are designed to burn fat during the sleep cycle because it burns long and slow, like a log on a campfire, in contrast to sugar and carbs which burn quickly, more like kindling on fire. Because of undetected blood sugar issues, many people never go into fat metabolism during the night. Instead, the body attempts to burn sugar and carbs until the supply runs out, causing blood sugar to plummet. This then triggers a cortisol response, which, of course, can wake you up and make it tough to fall back to sleep. You may find yourself stuck in this vicious cycle of sleep deprivation raising blood sugar, and unstable blood sugar, in turn, compromising quality sleep.
Symptoms of Blood Sugar Imbalances Related to Night Waking
If you have two or more of the symptoms below, you might consider essential oils nocturnal hypoglycemia to support your blood sugar at night.
- Awaken hours after going to bed
- Find it difficult to go back to sleep
- Crave coffee or sweets in the afternoon
- Feel sleepy or have energy dips in afternoon
- Feel fatigued after meals
- Need stimulants such as coffee after meals
- Feel like skipping breakfast
- Slow starter in the morning
- Chronic low back pain, worse with fatigue
- Chronic fatigue, or get drowsy often
Essential Oils for Nocturnal Hypoglycemia
If you wake up in the middle of the night due to blood sugar issues, the following essential oils may be helpful:
Pancreas™: The pancreas is responsible for moving glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells. If blood sugar falls too low while you are sleeping, the body releases an emergency surge of cortisol to raise blood sugar levels. This is what wakes you what. It is the job of the pancreas to kick into high gear to return blood sugar levels to normal. Supporting the pancreas in this effort with Vibrant Blue Oils Pancreas™ blend helps return the body to balance more quickly so you can fall back asleep more easily. I often leave the Pancreas blend on my nightstand table. Just smelling the Pancreas™ blend can help balance the pancreas enough to allow me to fall back asleep naturally.
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