If you’ve ever woken up from a midday power nap to find yourself feeling a bit (or more than a bit) ravenous, you’re not alone. Post-nap cravings – especially for not-so-healthy foods that are high in sugar – are something of a trend. And while you might be tempted to point the finger at an inadequate breakfast or your body’s confusion after some impromptu shuteye, the culprit is likely something else altogether.
While there isn’t a whole ton of science to back the theory up per se, chances are that the real reason you wake up from a nap with cravings is the same reason behind why you might have felt the need to take a nap in the first place: a slight glucose deficiency. Dips in blood sugar are often responsible for making you tired throughout the day, hence their role in making you feel the need to nap. At the same time, low glucose levels cause you to crave sugar to help balance out the sugar in your bloodstream.
This means that your sugar cravings probably aren’t coming about as a result of your nap. Rather, your need to nap, and to give in to some after-nap munchies, likely both start with your body’s need for sugar.
The key to avoiding dips in your blood sugar levels that are likely to leave you feeling groggy and hungry throughout the day is to work on cutting back the carbs in your diet. Eating too many carbs and sugar-heavy foods sets a cycle into motion whereby your blood sugar level rises temporarily, only to crash later on. It’s this crash that leaves you scrambling to work in time for a midday slumber, and when you wake up craving more sugar, the cycle becomes a difficult one to stop.
The key to getting your system on track is focusing on eating more energizing, protein-rich foods – think meat, yogurt, almonds, etc. – which are sure to reduce cravings and to lessen your need to rest up in the middle of the day. Two birds, one stone (and by stone, we mean steak).
While a healthy diet can help get your sleep schedule on track and minimize your need for the occasional power nap, it sometimes helps to have an extra boost. Try reBloom for an all-natural solution to your sleep troubles!