We all know how sleep affects our well-being. Sleep deprivation can lead to a variety of issues including weight gain. As a woman ages her metabolism slows and it becomes more difficult to maintain, let alone lose weight. This is especially common during perimenopause and menopause and is caused from hormonal changes. These shifts in hormones and metabolism commonly disrupt sleep, which may alter hunger. These two shifts can lead to weight gain.
Sleep difficulties are a common complaint in perimenopause and menopausal women Researchers have found a potential link to difficulties in sleep and alterations in glucose management, with the lowering of blood sugar (hypoglycemia) commonly occurring in many post-menopausal women during the night. This phase of hypoglycemia may increase the likelihood of weight gain and potentially wake you up at night. The cause of this lack of sleep may result in a tired, grumpy woman who reaches for a more high caloric food or drink to make her feel better.
Studies are showing the key to prevent hypoglycemia, (and the associated weight gain) at night is to eat a slow acting carbohydrate prior to bed. By eating this type of carbohydrate the diurnal (nighttime) hormone leptin, which makes us hungry, is reduced.
However, remember the type of snack (and amount) is important. Eating a simple snack of long-lasting carbohydrate can prevent hypoglycemia and weight gain. An excellent one is homemade almond butter and celery. Try this simple snack to keep glucose active at night, prevent being awake and hypoglemia, as well as further weight gain!
- 4 cups of raw unsalted almonds
- ½-1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Place 4 cups of almonds in food processor & process for about 1 minute
- Scrape down the sides, close lid and process for another 2 minutes.
- Open lid and add sea salt (your almonds should have a buttery and creamy consistency at this point); continue to process for 1-1.5 minutes.
- Scoop almond butter out and store in a container with a lid.
Serve with celery, peppers or a small apple and enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep. If any of my readers have other night-time snack tips, we would love to hear!