Sugar’s Effect on Your Sleep, and How to Quit


Consuming excess sugar leads to more awakenings when you’re trying to sleep through the night, according to a 2016 sleep study conducted by Columbia University, where 26 adults were studied in a sleep lab. And completing the vicious circle, the more sleep deprived you are, the higher your desire for high calorie foods like sugary treats, according to a 2013 UC Berkeley sleep lab study of 23 adults.

The USDA has found that Americans consume 29 teaspoons of sugar every day (including natural sources)—4 times higher than recommended.

Too much sugar is not only linked to worse sleep, but also obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and it can train your body to become used to a high level of sweetness. This can cause you to crave—and consume—more sugar. Get off the cycle!

Quitting Sugar Makes You Feel Like $$$$$$

The good news is you can reset your body to consume less—or no—added sugar, and you will feel incredible. Start by taking the 2-week sugar and artificial sweetener challenge below. The Challenge: For 2 weeks, cut out all added sugars and artificial sweeteners.

  1. Don’t add sugar or artificial sweetener to any food or drinks.
  2. Avoid sweet drinks: soda, bottled tea, sports/ energy drinks, juice, etc.
  3. Cut out sugary foods: cookies, cake, yogurt, cereal, energy bars, etc.
  4. Read labels! Avoid foods with added sweeteners like the one’s below.

Examples of Added Sweeteners

  • Sugar (White or Brown)
  • Sucrose
  • Glucose
  • Dextrose
  • Honey
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Agave and agave syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Cane sugar
  • Turbinado or raw sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Date sugar

What can you eat instead?

Real food.

Check out The Whole 30 Program or 100 Day of Real Food for some ideas.

What can you drink?

Sparkling mineral water, unsweetened tea, infused water with lemon, mint, herbs, or crushed fruit. Check out our Liquid Energy article for more ideas.

What can you do about sugar cravings?

There are tons of methods you can find online to deal with sugar cravings, including increasing consumption of foods high in omega3s, eating fermented foods, taking a walk, and gradually diluting the sweet drinks you’re used to. Check out our article on How to Deal With Sugar Cravings for specific ideas.

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