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Video: Sugar Abuse Can Cause Insomnia
Sugar abuse can cause insomnia
A diet high in refined carbohydrates - white bread, sodas, added sugars, and refined grains - increases the likelihood of insomnia. Scientists speculate that a spike in blood glucose may trigger the release of sleep-disturbing hormones.
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About one in three adults suffers from insomnia. Food may be one of the reasons, as scientists have found out, who published their new study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Scientific work has shown that high levels of refined (refined) carbohydrates in the diet - white bread, sodas, added sugars and refined grains - increase the likelihood of insomnia.
“Cognitive behavioral therapy or medications are often used to treat insomnia, but they can be expensive or have side effects. By identifying other factors that lead to insomnia, we can find simple, inexpensive interventions with fewer potential side effects,”said James Gangwisch of Columbia University, lead author of the study.
Previous research has looked at the possibility of a link between refined carbohydrates and insomnia, but the results have been conflicting. It was unclear whether high levels of these carbohydrates caused insomnia or whether insomnia caused people to eat more sweets.
To find out if refined carbohydrates are a risk factor for insomnia, scientists collected data on 53,069 postmenopausal women who completed food diaries.
According to the data obtained, insomnia developed more often when refined carbohydrates predominated in the diet. This was especially true for added sugars and refined grains. The fact is that refined carbohydrates have a higher glycemic index and cause a sharp jump in blood sugar levels.
“When your blood sugar rises rapidly, your body responds by producing insulin, and as a result, the lowering blood sugar levels trigger the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that can disrupt sleep,” explained Gangwish.
In contrast, women who ate more unrefined carbohydrates (vegetables, fiber, and whole fruits) were less likely to have trouble sleeping.
"Whole fruits contain sugar, but the fiber in them slows down the rate of absorption, which helps prevent spikes in blood sugar," said Gangwish.
Since most people, not just postmenopausal women, experience rapid increases in blood sugar levels after eating refined carbohydrates, the authors suggest that the findings could be extended to other groups.
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