episode#79

079: Danielle Hamilton, Blood Sugar Expert: Blood Sugar & Sleep 101 Using CGMs & Sleep Trackers To Improve Health & Sleep As A Whole!

Blood sugar levels can directly impact our sleep and vice versa. Sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance and other health problems. In this episode, Danielle Hamilton, a Holistic Nutritionist specializing in blood sugar regulation, joins us to help demystify this connection between blood sugar and sleep! She is also the creator of the Blood Sugar Mastery Program and the host of the very successful, Unlock Your Sugar Shackles Podcast! For years, Danielle suffered from PCOS and the symptoms that come along with it. She tried many healthy options to regulate her hormonal imbalance, but these were not enough. That is until she learned about the connection between blood sugar & PCOS — not to mention her other health problems! Danielle discusses blood sugar management, what causes an increase in blood sugar levels and how it can affect our health and sleep. We also talk about ways to support stabilizing blood sugar with the help of continuous glucose monitoring, sleep trackers, food diet, and lifestyle change. It's essential to monitor your blood sugar regularly. Whether you have diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS, cravings, or the many other symptoms that can come with blood sugar dysregulation. This will allow you to track your progress and make any needed adjustments. Listen now and learn how to restore your insulin sensitivity and overall health.

Blood sugar levels can directly impact our sleep and vice versa. Sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance and other health problems.

In this episode, Danielle Hamilton, a Holistic Nutritionist specializing in blood sugar regulation, joins us to help demystify this connection between blood sugar and sleep! She is also the creator of the Blood Sugar Mastery Program and the host of the very successful, Unlock Your Sugar Shackles Podcast! 

For years, Danielle suffered from PCOS and the symptoms that come along with it. She tried many healthy options to regulate her hormonal imbalance, but these were not enough. That is until she learned about the connection between blood sugar & PCOS — not to mention her other health problems!

Danielle discusses blood sugar management, what causes an increase in blood sugar levels and how it can affect our health and sleep. We also talk about ways to support stabilizing blood sugar with the help of continuous glucose monitoring, sleep trackers, food diet, and lifestyle change.

It's essential to monitor your blood sugar regularly. Whether you have diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS, cravings, or the many other symptoms that can come with blood sugar dysregulation. This will allow you to track your progress and make any needed adjustments.

Listen now and learn how to restore your insulin sensitivity and overall health.

Biography

Danielle Hamilton is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Restorative Wellness Practitioner who specializes in blood sugar regulation & digestion. She became interested in blood sugar issues when she learned that Insulin Resistance was at the root of her PCOS. She was able to reverse her PCOS, cystic acne, PMS & weight loss resistance by reversing Insulin Resistance. Her mission is to help others uncover their blood sugar & insulin issues (as most people don't know the early signs), as well as help them optimize digestion for low-carb diets. Dani promotes a holistic approach to reversing Insulin Resistance which goes beyond just changing macros. She is the host of the Unlock the Sugar Shackles Podcast and the creator of the Blood Sugar Mastery Program.

In this episode, we discuss:

🍬What sparked Danielle's interest in becoming a blood sugar specialist

🍬Effects of glucose on health, well-being, and sleep

🍬Can insulin resistance affect sleep

🍬What is the most common contributor to insulin resistance 

🍬A lack of sleep results in increased production of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. 

🍬 Some natural treatments for PCOS and hormone imbalance

🍬What is healthy and unhealthy hunger

🍬What types of diets can help lower and control blood sugar 

🍬Snacking less frequently allows our body to rest between meals and reduces digestive stress. 

🍬Why it is important to check your blood sugar regularly

🍬Danielle’s night sleep routine

And more!​





DISCLAIMER:

The information contained on this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, medical or health advice. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.

Mentioned Resources

SPONSOR:
Huge shoutout to our sponsor: Biooptimizers!
They are my nightly source for magnesium supplementation
- go to www.magbreakthrough.com/sleepisaskill for the kind I use every night!


Website: daniellehamiltonhealth.com
Instagram: @daniellehamiltonhealth
Facebook: facebook.com/daniellehamiltonhealth

Guest contacts

Transcription

Welcome to the sleep is a skilled podcast. My name is Mollie McGlocklin, and I own a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability, and behavioral change. Each week I'll be interviewing world class experts ranging from doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and.

 

That you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper. Let's jump into your dose of practical sleep training.

 

Welcome to the sleep as a skilled podcast. My guest today is Danielle Hamilton and. This was a real treat for me, cuz she's actually a very close friend of mine and I love her passion and the work that she does on the ground with individuals on helping to really make a huge difference in their blood sugar and the ways of managing their blood sugar awareness that they might have a problem.

 

Or if they know they have a problem, wild steps to take many steps that they can take so that they feel certainly empowered and that there's so much that they can do to improve this area of life. As many of you that have listened for quite some time, you're likely aware that blood sugar dysregulation can absolutely show up in your sleep results.

 

So this is a really important conversation that I hope if you're listening, that you're either taking this for yourself, or if other individuals that are struggling, that you share this information, because I really believe that this can make such a difference for so many of us on so many levels, but certainly with our sleep.

 

So a little bit about Danielle Hamilton. She is a functional nutritional therapy practitioner and restorative wellness practitioner who specializes in blood sugar, regulation and digestion. She became interested in blood sugar issues. When she learned that insulin resistance was at the root of her P C O S.

 

She was able to reverse her P C O S cystic acne, PMs, and weight loss resistance by reversing insulin re. Her mission is to help others uncover their blood sugar and insulin issues. As most people don't know the early signs and as well as help them optimize digestion for low carb diets. Danny promotes a holistic approach to reversing insulin resistance, which goes beyond just changing macros.

 

She is the host of the unlock, the sugar shackles podcast and the creator of the blood sugar mastery program. I think you're gonna really love her energy. Certainly check out her podcast and make sure to check out her Instagram as well. It has tons of resources where she puts those out really routinely.

 

So I think you're gonna really enjoy, certainly at least starting there. And if not making sure that you follow her podcast, she also has a newsletter. I think many of you listen to are, are subscribe to our newsletter. That comes out every Monday. She has also created something similar. So that comes out every Monday for her as well.

 

So that's absolutely a chock full of ton of resources. So don't hesitate to sign up for all the things. Okay. Without further ado, let's jump into the podcast. So I get a lot of questions around sleep supplements, and I'm very hesitant to just throw out a whole laundry list of possibilities. One, I don't think it's the most responsible thing to do.

 

I really do believe in testing to see what types of supplements make sense for you. And two, because I really truly believe that most of the things that you can do to improve your sleep are behavioral, psychological environmental in nature, and often don't cost a. However, there is one supplement that I personally take every day and that I do feel quite comfortable with suggesting for most individuals to experiment with because of a couple of reasons.

 

It's high safety profile and high rates of deficiencies in our modern society. Some put the numbers as somewhere around 80% of the population being deficient in this one area. And that is magnesium. So magnesium has been called the calming mineral and some report that magnesium can increase GABA, which encourages relaxation on a cellular level, which is critical for sleep.

 

Magnesium also plays a key role in regulating our body's stress response system. Those with magnesium deficiency usually have higher anxiety and stress levels, which negatively impacts sleep as well. Now before you go out and buy a magnesium supplement, it's important to understand that most magnesium products out there are either synthetic or they only have one to two forms of magnesium.

 

When in reality, your body needs all seven forms of this essential sleep mineral. So that's why I recommend a product for my friends over at bio optimizers, they have created something called the magnesium breakthrough and taking this magnesium before bed helps you relax and wake up, refresh and energized.

 

And while we don't recommend that you go two nuts on looking at all the sleep stage classifications on all your wearables. I will share anecdotally that many clients have reported improvements in their deep sleep trend numbers. Again, I don't want you going nuts on the sleep stage classification numbers on your wearables, but I do wanna let you know about that because I know that many of you do reach out on questions of how to improve your deep sleep.

 

So I also love that bio optimizers offers free shipping on select orders and they offer a 365 day money back guarantee on all their products. Plus they have a customer satisfaction rating of 99.3%. Very impressive. And you can get 10% off magnesium breakthrough. Again, this is the same magnesium that I use every single.

 

And finally you can get 10% off magnesium breakthrough. Again, that's the magnesium supplement that I use every single night by going to www dot mag M a G. So mag breakthrough.com/sleep is a skill and be sure to use the code. Sleep is a skill for 10% off. And welcome to the sleep is a skilled podcast.

 

Today's guest is a really great friend of mine, Danny Hamilton, Danielle Hamilton, to be formal. Thank you so much for taking the time. This is gonna be so much fun. I'm so excited to be here, Molly. This has been a long time coming and I'm honored to be on your show. Yay. Amazing. Amazing. You have just been a fast friend.

 

Such kind of commonalities. We actually have had opportunities at different conferences to kind of room together. And the two of us really walk our talk and could just nerd out on all of our gadgets and things to do to help optimize our sleep and health. And you know, this is gonna be such a fun conversation, but also just a really important conversation.

 

And I know you're rooted in a real clear mission for yourself and your life of sharing. How you got into being kind of in a place of thought leadership on the regulation and monitoring and awareness of glucose and how that can really affect and insulin and how that can all affect your health and wellbeing and certainly your sleep.

 

So I wanna give you an opportunity to kinda share like how you got to this place and why you are so passionate. Yeah. Thanks Molly. And yes, we certainly. Walk our talk in these  in the hotel rooms with all our gadgets and our mouth tape. And I was like, oh no, this light is terrible. You're like, I have these travel red lights.

 

I'm like, you are the best person to room with right now. Are you kidding me? I love it. So, and you're such a good partner for that too. Like, you know, that we're able to manage how to like, have fun, how to go out and about invest in our social capital quote, unquote, but then. Still get some good sleep and feel good at these conferences, you know?

 

So it's, it's an art form and really appreciate. It is for sure. I, I totally get that. And that's a great topic that we could definitely dive into later how to find a balance in this world of being healthy, but also having fun because everyone loves to do things after the sun goes down. And I prefer to do things before the sun goes down, but that's the topic for another day.

 

Yes. So yeah, so my story starts in childhood. I was kinda a sickly kid. I had a lot of colds and ear infections, lots of antibiotics, and I really loved. Processed breakfast foods. I was a big cereal head oatmeal, Eggo waffles, toaster stroodles it was a breakfast food. It had my name on it. And so I was into carbs, but also carbs with extra sugar on it.

 

and I always thought that it was just because of my sweet tooth, right? Like I'm yeah, I'm eating this way because of my tooth. Uh, so I. Not surprisingly started developing some other health issues. As I got older, I was a senior in high school. I got strep throat six times that year I had to get my tonsils out.

 

I went to college, I started to develop seasonal allergies, like really, really badly. And I started to develop asthma. And I got a lot of sinus infections that I moved to Miami where the season for allergies was year round. I found out I was allergic to even Palm trees.  I thought this is a cruel joke.

 

This can't be true. So I was, I also always struggled with my weight. I struggled with acne and I was really in a bad place in my early twenties with the allergies. I was having three medications, two inhalers. I was getting multiple allergy shots. I had to get five shots because I was allergic to so many things and I was going broke the copays.

 

I mean, it was a mess. It was a nightmare and no doctor could tell me why this was happening to me. And they certainly didn't have any other treatment ideas for me other than just keep taking these medicines, keep getting the shots and. I thought at the same time I was working as a speech therapist in a nursing home.

 

And I thought so many of my patients have so many diagnoses, so many medications and I'm in my early twenties kind of, and I could see that if nothing changed, I would absolutely be. On that trajectory to be in that bed, in that nursing home at, you know, with all those medications, maybe even earlier than this group of people.

 

And I just knew in my heart that there was something wrong. I was always asking questions, but never was satisfied by the answer. And so. By the grace of the universe. I came across this book by Rob Wolf called the paleo diet solution. And it basically took everything that I knew or thought I knew about nutrition that I had learned from conventional wisdom from commercials and things like that.

 

And I realized that. Oh, my goodness. I need to do the exact opposite of everything that they're saying. You know, don't avoid red meat, embrace red meat. Don't avoid salt, embrace salt. Don't have packaged food, have real food. So it was just all these opposite types of lessons. And I. Changed my diet to a whole foods, paleo diet.

 

I got out all the processed foods and it was like a miracle. My health completely changed. I got rid of all my allergies, all my asthma issues, sinus infections never had another sinus infection. Got off all my medications. And I just wanted to shout this from the rooftops. And I definitely talked to more people who were not really interested in what I had to say.

 

And I was like, you don't even understand we've been lied to and not everyone is ready to hear that. And now I respect that. Now I just yell into my own podcast. Mike, when I have those feelings that yes, I wanna tell people things. I was eating a really healthy paleo diet I was doing well. And then all of a sudden I started gaining weight.

 

I had a really stressful year and I was like, what's going on? I, I started to miss my period. It was six months and I didn't have a menstrual cycle. My acne that I had always kind of struggled with became. All the time. It wasn't just cyclical. It was cystic. It was on different parts of my face that I had never had acne on.

 

Like on my cheeks. It was all over my forehead. I had no energy and I was like, what's happening? This diet that I was eating just made me so healthy. And now is it causing these issues? And I just felt in my heart that it can't be real food. That's doing this, you know, I'm eating real healthy foods from the earth, like what's happening.

 

So I looked online and all of my symptoms lined up with polycystic ovarian syndrome or P C O S. And I went to a doctor and I said, I feel like I'm doing everything right. I'm eating well, I'm exercising. I can't lose weight. No matter what I do. I think I have P C O S like, can you help me? And he said, you do have P C O S you have to lose weight.

 

There's no cure. And you have to take the pill.  I was like, wow. Did I pay for this appointment? Did I just pay for you to tell me that? Yeah. So I took the prescription that he forced me to take. I ripped it up when I got to my car. I'm like, I'm not doing that. And I. Decided that I had more motivation than ever to fix it on my own.

 

And so I was not able to make a dent in these symptoms. I kept trying to go after the hormonal imbalances that I was experiencing, I was having PMs PM, D D I had the P C O S anything apparently with an initial that starts with P I had, and I was trying to, you know, take Vitex for my progesterone and take all these things to lower my estrogen and lower the testosterone.

 

I could not make a dent in this to save my life. And I kept trying, I kept learning about nutrition. I was listening to all these podcasts and reading blogs and, and I just couldn't figure it out. Until one day I was listening to a podcast and it was Megan Ramo. She works with Dr. Fung and she said that P C O S is the diabetes of the ovaries.

 

And I heard that and I was driving at the time and I almost ran my car off the road because I was just so flabbergasted that. No one had ever mentioned anything about diabetes or blood sugar or insulin. And I, at the time, even though I knew a ton about holistic health, I knew nothing about blood sugar.

 

So I was, I thought to myself, okay. Think about your clients, your patients with diabetes. What do you know? And I, if I had to write it down on a piece of paper, it would've been something about blood sugar, something about amputate. That's all I knew. I didn't know anything about blood sugar. I didn't know how this affected us in any way.

 

So I had to dig in and see, do I have symptoms of blood sugar issues? What are the symptoms of blood sugar issues? I don't even know the symptoms of diabetes and that's really progressed blood sugar issues. So how am I gonna know earlier issues? So what I realized was that insulin resistance, which we can go into is actually.

 

A major cause or driver of P C O S. So by working on the blood sugar and insulin stuff, I was able to reverse my P C O S. But again, these symptoms, I didn't know what they were. So I started to take an inventory and look at, after I learned about blood sugar symptoms, I said, what are the symptoms that I am experiencing?

 

Because. I have to be having some symptoms that I don't know about. So the sweet tooth, that's one of 'em, you know, I'm not eating because of my teeth. I'm eating because of my, you know, my physiology yeah. Is driving that. And I was a person who used to wake up and I would be shaky. Like I needed to go immediately to go get something to eat.

 

If I did any fasting blood work in the morning, I hated it because I hated how it made me feel. At that time I was getting fasting blood work. My blood sugar was 60. That's very low. No doctor said anything to me. I have three instances of getting my blood work done and my blood sugar was 60. Every single one of those times, not one of those doctors, not one of the three said one thing to me about that.

 

Meanwhile, I was dizzy. I was shaky. I felt like I was gonna pass out. I felt like I need to get something to eat right now. It, it didn't feel like, oh, Wait a few minutes and eat later, it was like, get me something right now felt very urgent. I was a person who needed to carry food with me. When I left the house, I was always thinking about, okay, where can I eat?

 

Where can I go to eat next? It was always a thought in my mind, I had to eat before I went out to eat because. Heaven forbid the food take too long, because I used to say I couldn't tolerate being hungry. And that's a huge sign that if your hunger is something that feels intolerable, because it feels really bad in your body, like you're gonna pass out.

 

Like you're gonna get hungry. Like you get anxious that you feel shaky, you don't feel well. That's a sign of blood sugar, dysregulation, hunger should feel like. Yeah, I could eat, oh, I think my stomach's growling. Like, no, I, I feel like I could eat. That is what hunger should feel like that's healthy hunger, but unhealthy hunger comes with a lot of symptoms.

 

And so what I had done sort of intuitively is be a person that grazed and ate and snacked all day on healthy foods. But I would do that to kind of self-medicate so that I didn't have these crashes or feel these symptoms of low blood sugar. Or hunger as I knew them to be. So after I realized that I started to add more fats to my diet, I went keto.

 

So I took my whole food, paleo diet and just switched it to ketogenic macros. I dabbled with some fasting. I worked in my digestion and, and stressed and sleep. And. Got rid of all my P C OS symptoms. So I have none of those anymore. And so people don't like the word cure and I'm not gonna use that word, but I reversed it.

 

And I'm non diagnosable, P C O S. So yeah, that's, that's the story. Wow. Well, congratulations on that turnaround, but also I hear you that there was a lot of navigating and kind of personal responsibility and investigation that you had to bring in to the conversation to. Figure out this. And so thank you for now helping Sherpa others on this process, because to your point, unfortunately, some of the doctors that you might come across might have no training in this or very little training and not to knock them because they're trained in all these different areas.

 

And unfortunately, Sleep is one of them where often on average, the average primary care doctor, certain studies that of Harvard seem to point to that on average, they're getting around two hours or so training in sleep and I'm would wager that there's something in the similar realm, certainly around nutrition at the very least.

 

And then this topic of. Blood sugar might go more into the pathology realm versus just this, this in between state that many of us are dealing with on a wide scale. So thanks so much for really putting a flag in on this topic and helping to guide people. And in case we didn't make it clear, how is sleep connected in this conversation?

 

And what do you see there to kind of break that down a bit more? So, what we know about sleep is that it is so essential for good blood sugar regulations. So even, I don't know the studies, but there's tons of them out there that show that even one night of poor sleep. I think you just posted about it in your newsletter.

 

Yes. It really, it causes more insulin resistance. The very next day. And so chronic sleep deprivation of course, would lead to a more chronic state of insulin resistance. Just even sort of just from a lived experience. If you have those nights where you're like, wow, I had a really terrible sleep. Think about the foods and beverages that you were drawn to?

 

Yeah, that day they're always going to be high sugar, high caffeine beverage. It's just like, I need something, I need more coffee. I need a donut or I need something. And your, your body is looking for that fast, easy energy. And so from just a regular. Average Joe kind of perspective. You're gonna be drawn towards wanting caffeine and sugar on those days where you don't get a lot of sleep.

 

And then we also know, I love this. I got this from you. Is that sleep and blood sugar have a bidirectional relationship. Yes. So our blood sugar is not only affected by our sleep, but also affects our sleep. Yeah. So if you have blood sugar that throughout the day is having these highs and lows, which by the way, What the body doesn't like with, when it comes to blood sugar, it doesn't like really high swings.

 

It doesn't like low dips. It likes to stay in this nice sort of Goldilocks zone of like a happy medium, these little gentle Hills and drops it. Doesn't like sharp mountain peaks and ridges. And so if our blood sugar is doing that throughout the day, these highs and lows. We're setting ourself up to have trouble sleeping the next day or that night mm-hmm

 

And, uh, a lot of people that I see, they struggle with this condition called reactive hypoglycemia, or even just hypoglycemia. And they have a lot of wake up in the middle of the night. So people wake up with a pounding heart and they think, oh, I'm having an anxiety attack. Well, you are just sleeping.

 

You're not really anxious about much when you're sleeping. Yeah. And what it usually is, is a physiological. Anxiety provoking situation in the body because what's happening is that the blood sugar is crashing. And when that happens, and if our liver is out of glycogen, which is stored sugar, it will tap in.

 

It will say, Hey, adrenals, you are our last chance. Our blood sugar is going down and without you, we will die. So the adrenals kick in like this backup generator, and they're like, we got you, we're gonna make some new glucose for your body and it will. Elicit a big spike of epinephrine and no epinephrine, which is adrenaline.

 

So you wake up with an adrenaline surge, that's pumping your heart and your heart's beating out of its chest. And you think you had an anxiety attack, but really it was your blood sugar going too low. And for a lot of people, this happens after drinking alcohol as well. But again, this is another way how our blood sugar.

 

Is affecting our sleep. So if we don't have good blood sugar regulation, if we have insulin resistance, it can really negatively impact that. And then the other thing is the tie with the blood sugar and the liver. So the liver is a major organ of blood sugar regulation, along with the adrenals and the pancreas and the liver.

 

Very often affected in a negative way from having blood sugar, disregulation, insulin resistance. There's often fatty liver that comes with that. And that can cause wake up when our liver is not healthy. That can cause wake up. Usually it's between the hours of one and three, I believe is that mm, yeah.

 

Often happen during that period. Yeah. And for different people, depending on the different schedules, but very, a common range for. Yeah. So it has this bidirectional relationship. So what we wanna do is work on a lot of times working on both of these things at the same time, it's essential. You can't really work on one without the other, because if your blood sugar's a mess, but you're working on your sleep, you're, it's gonna be impacted and vice versa.

 

So I see a lot of people. I mean, and in general, a lot of people who do work on their blood sugar, they're like, I'm sleeping through the night. I'm not waking up anymore. Yeah. And sometimes that's the ticket. I have a, a student who's in my program now, 73 years old, she had a fasting blood sugar up one 40, which is in the diabetic range.

 

It's now down to 83. Her blood sugar is in a perfect range all day. No more drops at night. And she said, That she used to wake up every night and would be up for several hours. And since working on her blood sugar, she is now sleeping throughout the night, two hours and 40 minutes of REM sleep and two hours of deep sleep, according to her Fitbit watch.

 

So, you know, we take it with a grain of salt, but yeah, I mean, for a 73 year old, Fantastic. Like to me amazing.  oh, and even just the, the measurable shift, both subjectively and objectively to sleep through the night. I mean, that alone is just such a game changer, especially as we get older. Um, there's just more instances often of those wake ups.

 

So I think many people aren't quite aware of, cause there's many reasons for wake up and you know, sometimes it can be layered and there can be a lot going on. It can be temperature stuff, light, you know, all kinds of stressors, whatever. I think the blood sugar regulation piece is very much an unrealized element to that.

 

We had a actually kind of informal look at using levels. And so people using CGMs there, but are also using orang and kind of overlaying that data and seeing a tendency for some of those wake up to correspond with some of those drop. In, you know, measurable blood sugar ranges. So really interesting stuff that does seem to come about.

 

So if anyone's listening and they are just so frustrated with those wake up, really, really exploring this topic of blood sugar. So assuming that person's listening and saying all right. Yeah, I do have a sense that it's likely this is an area I could work on. If you can help guide us on what are some of the steps that you for anyone maybe they've, they've never used a CGM.

 

They've never. Used, you know, prick any blood or they don't even know where to begin. How do we navigate this? What are like the most important steps to. Yeah. So the most important step is to first off getting one of these meters is really easy. So there's a bunch of companies now that will give you yes, your prescription for continuous glucose monitors, or you can get the finger prick meter.

 

Both are phenomenal. For knowing what's going on and for a good start to taking the guesswork out, right? Like just like how you have your clients get aura ranked. Yeah. We need to be able to see what's happening instead of just guessing. So getting a glucose monitor, whatever form that is, and starting to get familiar with what your numbers are and really starting to connect your symptom.

 

With your numbers. So it's like, oh, you know, that afternoon headache. I'm realizing that my blood sugar is kind of going low. I thought it was because I was staring at a screen all day, for example. Right. Or I always seemed to get anxious at this time. And I didn't realize my blood sugar was going up because I ate a breakfast that was spiking it.

 

Right. So starting to connect the symptoms with the blood sugar, that's really important. We want to also look at. Our fasting blood sugar. Ideally, we don't want that to be too high. The doctors will say under a hundred is good. I say between 70 and 85 is ideal. If you're outside of the country, just divide any number that I'm telling you by 18 to get the Millis, I'm gonna be speaking in milligrams per deciliter.

 

We do things weird here in the states. So that's one metric you wanna look for. And then after a meal, ideally, we don't want our blood sugar to be spiking more than 30. Because that is considered for some, a spike. Ideally again, we wanna keep our blood sugar below one 40 because above one 40 is gonna start to be inflammatory and we're gonna have some repercussions on the walls of the blood vessels.

 

It's gonna have the, these. Inflammatory cytokines being produced. So keeping our blood sugar stable and not having those spikes is a perfect way to get started with stabilizing your blood sugar. So if you are eating and you're like, well, my blood sugar's going up really high. What do I do? So we need to think about the fact that we have three.

 

Options for macronutrients. We have fat proteins and carbohydrates, and we know that carbohydrates are gonna spike blood sugar. The most protein is a very far second from that. And then fat almost has no impact whatsoever on blood sugar and insulin. So we knowing that we wanna think about, we need protein as our building blocks.

 

We wanna start with a good amount of protein. And ideally if that protein can come naturally as it does with some fat. So think about a whole egg. Or ground beef or chicken thigh, these or salmon. So most often in nature, protein is coming with fat and we want to eat those two together. That's really important for how we digest it and also for our blood sugar.

 

And so getting those two together and then thinking about if you wanna add fiber via above ground vegetables. So non-starchy vegetables are great for blood sugar. They have almost. No effect whatsoever. And they will also reduce or dampen that blood sugar spike as well from the fiber. It will slow the absorption of the glucose into the system.

 

And then when it comes to carbohydrates in that category, it's a very big, broad category. And there very, a lot of differences in there. We can't just lump them all together. We always wanna aim for when it comes to overall health, blood, sugar sleep, we always wanna aim for whole food carbohydrates. So anything that comes in a package box bag, even a whole wheat bread is still highly processed.

 

And so any sort of processed carbohydrate. So thinking about like a rice cake over rice for a potato chip over potatoes, or a dried mango over a mango. All of the processed forms are going to spike you much more than a whole food carbohydrate. So you can look online for a diet doctor as a great website that has visual guides to carbohydrates, and you can see how many carbs are in all of these different whole food carbohydrates.

 

And what you can do is eating your carbohydrates. Also actually helps to blunt that spike from the meal. So if we save our carbs for last in our meal, then you can kind of figure out, okay, what carbs work and in what quantity to help me not get a big blood sugar spike. And then you're also gonna tune into those symptoms.

 

So, oh, I didn't really have a spike, but all of a sudden. Like I had those beets and now I just, I can't stop thinking about chocolate. So certain foods, maybe for me, it's grains. Like if I eat rice or oats, I just cannot stop thinking about sugar. So remembering that those foods break down to sugar and they're still gonna be impacting your blood sugar.

 

So just figuring out what works for you in terms of what types of carbohydrates should go in there and what quantity. So that's sort of like the, do it. And this is why testing is so, so important. So that would be the first step to reduce those spikes. We're gonna add fats and proteins and some veggies, and that's a great basis for your diet.

 

It's also really important to stop snacking because that's gonna keep spiking your insulin. It's gonna destroy your digestive tracts because your body's never getting rest in there. And so. A lot of people can't make it to the next meal because their blood sugar is crashing. So making sure to focus on those fat and proteins to help push that meal even further.

 

So maybe instead of having to have three snacks in a day, you only have to eat one snack and your three meals. So ideally we wanna go longer and longer between meals. So having bigger meals, we wanna make sure that we're eating at. Three to four hours before bed. This is really important for a lot of people.

 

Some people, again, I get a lot of people with reactive hypoglycemia. They can't make it through the night. Yeah. So something small at night, perhaps like a fat and protein, just like a small thing, right before bed can help. To stabilize some people. So they're not having those nightly wake up, but in general, we wanna be doing that work in the beginning of the day and making sure that we're trying to not be eating so often.

 

And then when it comes to fasting, fasting can be great for our blood sugar, but a lot of people will skip breakfast and they'll do a heavy meal at night. So they's say they're doing two meals. They'll eat at like 1:00 PM and then 7:00 PM. And they're eating. Two thirds of what they're supposed to eat for the whole day, like right at night.

 

And it feels like it's probably too heavy for the digestive tract. I know my aura ring will always yell at me. It tells me, oh, did you eat too close to bed? I'm like how it did, you know, it knows. It knows. And so I notice a huge difference in my sleep scores when I eat too close to bed. So that's something else we can do if you're doing a fasting where you're skipping a meal.

 

You wanna move that fasting window earlier in the day, which is more in line with our circadian rhythm. So at least three to four hours before bed. So those are some quick tips. Yeah, no, this is so helpful. So actually related to that. So for instance, just yesterday or no, the other day, We had a group call and there was one participant on there who was really grateful to have the permission to kind of graduate from the nighttime eating.

 

So kind of doing that trip. So I'm hoping you can help break us down. Which people does it make sense to kind of have this snack before bed to help stabilize? And when can you graduate from having your last bite of food earlier and then fasting throughout the course of the night? So I asked this, cuz this participant was saying for an extended period of time, she was doing that kind of, you know, almost like band-aid or ways to help keep her stabilized throughout the course of the night.

 

Yeah. And then more recently. CGMs and different things. She was able to what she feels graduate to stopping her last bitta meal earlier and being done throughout the course of the night and then feeling less kind of heavy the next day. And what have you, how do we break down understanding that? And then a lot of people get confused cuz then it's like, well, I thought we had this circadian call out, but now we're eating at night.

 

Like how do we think about that? When wind does make sense for us to have like a little snack or. So I would say the only reason why a person would need to have something to eat right before bed is if they're waking up in the middle of the night with a blood sugar crash. Yeah. So this would be evidence on a CGM sometimes on CGMs.

 

And it's so important to call out. Cause I get this question all the time. Yeah. It looks like you're crashing in the middle of the night because you can be laying on the meter. Yes. And it's cutting off blood flow. So. It not really cutting off blood flow just to the meter. So if you're not waking up with symptoms, if you're not waking up with that pounding heart, waking up hungry, a lot of people need to eat in the middle of the night, too.

 

I see this and that's a blood sugar thing as well. And if you are not waking up. Feeling like you haven't slept at all. And so if you're seeing those crashes and on the CGM and you feel terrible, you're waking up, you feel terrible in the morning. Chances are you are crashing and that would be an indication that you may need to eat something.

 

Some, maybe some fat and protein to help stabilize you. Some people need to add carb to that, and that would be. For me, the only reason why someone would need to eat before bed and if you're not crashing, then that would be a reason that you could start maybe bumping it up a little bit earlier, playing with lowering the amount.

 

And as your blood sugar starts improving, you feel more stable during the day. You feel less need to snack. Your hunger becomes less urgent. You can kind of skip a snack during the day. You feel like you have more leeway. You're not thinking about food as much. These are all signs that your blood sugar regulation and insulin resistance are improving and that you might be able to take out that snack.

 

Okay. That's really helpful. Mm-hmm  and I have a question for you around. And this is something that I've been testing with. So I'm curious your thoughts on those times when we deviate. So hopefully we're doing all kinds of things and we're often kind of Peros principle, we're managing our blood sugar things are really working and for those times, and I know certainly for sometimes people listening, they wanna be able to whatever indulge on, I don't know, 4th of July or whatever the heck it is.

 

So during those times, Do you have suggestions on how to kind of manage that, hack, that, to use the sort of term that, how do you think about that when you it's likely that you've kind of created a bit of that rollercoaster for yourself, even though you don't normally do that? So for myself, when I've traveled and I know that I might be eating later and it's the types of foods that I don't normally eat and there might be more spiking or maybe I'm having a drink, which usually doesn't happen that often, you know, but on the rare occasions, when all that does come.

 

How do you kind of guide people to help bandaid some of, or mitigate some of the effects? Yeah, so we can just use some hacks. Yeah. Kind of some blood sugar hacks, if you will. So apple cider vinegar before a meal, or some of those capsules can be really helpful for reducing a blood sugar spike. I happen to have this right here.

 

It's called good idea. It's a, yes, it's a seltzer water that. Helps to reduce blood sugar spikes. So that's really socially appropriate. It's great to bring with you 4th of July barbecues, gatherings.  you know? Yeah. You've introed me to, to that company and that's been really cool extra resource to, to know about.

 

So that's perfect to, you often bring that in too. If you know, you might deviate a bit mm-hmm  okay. Yeah. So if I'm going to a party, I will absolutely bring a good idea with me and I'll have that during. The course of the time that I'm there, that I'm eating and it will reduce the blood sugar spike a bit.

 

The other thing is we already talked about saving your carbs for last. Yes. So if you're going somewhere and you know that there's gonna be a lot of food out, you could even, some people have eaten some broccoli and protein before they leave the house.  and then, so it's like you have some buttered broccoli, you have your fats, your fiber.

 

And have a little protein and then you have some, maybe apple CID, vinegar, bring a good idea, and then you go there and then you can have some carbohydrates walking and doing some, any sort of activity is gonna be really great for bringing your blood sugar spikes down. So after you eat carbohydrates, if it's something where, okay, we have a, a hike plan for today, or maybe I'm at.

 

Picnic or something. And I could go take a walk around the lake after I eat or something. So getting movement in where appropriate, where you're able to, I mean, I have had a CGM and been like, oh my blood sugar's spiking. I'm gonna run to the bathroom. And I go do like bust out a bunch of spots in, yes, I've done that too.

 

Or done airport, you know, when it's like up and down. Yep. Uhhuh . Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, I mean, all of those things are really helpful and then. You know, choosing things that are, you know, if you have alcohol, just being mindful of having a mixer, that's not gonna throw you over the edge doing like soda water with your mixer, eating food with alcohol.

 

It's gonna also help. Especially if you have blood sugar crashes, you really wanna stay away from that. Having the hard keytones instead. Yes. Which are actually really good for your, for your blood sugar. And just one of them doesn't really impact your sleep, which is great. And, um, hurt anyone listening.

 

That's um, like an alcohol option. So both Danny and I are big fans of hard keytones so it has a little bit of alcohol in it, but it's. Ethanol free. And it's not like we don't have any steak per se in the company. We do have different promo codes, but, uh, besides I don't have one yet. Yeah. Oh, say there we go.

 

So, you know, it's, it's just genuinely like the two of us have, are always trying to find alternatives, like just other options so that you can still engage in the world, but not feel like crap the next day. So that's a great option too. Anything we missed with that as far as hacks or things that you, um, just the other thing is I usually say one of the hacks that I have is no naked carbs.

 

Oh. And so that would just be a carbohydrate by itself. So chips and salsa, perfect naked carb, just bread at a table. So a lot of these things that they're putting. If I were a restaurant owner, knowing what I know about blood sugar, it would be like, how could I get people to eat the most food possible?

 

It's start them off with a carbohydrate. So you don't wanna do that. Save that for less. Save the chips themselves for less. Yes. And don't eat them by, by itself, even if it's a healthy carbohydrate. So like, oh, I'm gonna have a snack of a banana in the middle of the. Not a good choice at all. Go for something less sugary, pair it with something that has some fat and protein to lower the blood sugar response.

 

And yeah, that should help. Oh, that's great. And quick question two. We have a, you know, cause we have a lot of kind of biohackers or people that are tracking and have different wearables and they'll have questions about a couple. Where to put like sauna use workouts, some of these times where they'll see that there's um, even, I know you mentioned you had a participant in one of your classes that even it's a hot shower would kind of spike them.

 

So like some of these things, how do we think about that? Or do we need to shift how we're thinking about maybe all spikes are not. Bad. How do we, how do we navigate that? Yeah, that's a really good question. Very important question. So oftentimes we know that stress will spike our blood sugar. So I think that's an important thing to call out.

 

It's the, I think the most underappreciated underestimated cause of blood sugar spikes and blood sugar dysregulation is stress. Whether that be. An acute stressor. So if I'm one time, I was rushing around to get ready for work. And I saw my blood sugar shoot up and I was like, oh my goodness. That's crazy.

 

That's good too. Yeah. Yeah. And then the chronic stressors will tend to elevate our blood sugar over time, more as a whole, as opposed to one spike. But when we look at the body, these things like sauna, cold exposure, exercise. They are stressors. They're more medic stressors, but they are stressors. So if our body is strong enough to handle these stressors, it will adapt and get stronger.

 

So that spike that stressful spike of the blood glucose that we are gonna get from exercise hot and cold exposure to name a few. Those aren't bad things. If your body can handle it, right. If afterwards you're crashing and you don't feel well, you know, that that stressor was just too much for you, but if you're a generally healthy person you're in this biohacking space and you get a spike from exercise.

 

That's fine. If you recover from that, well, chances are, it's going to improve your glucose sensitivity for the rest of the day and for the future as well. So we see this same trend with ice and heat and exercise. So. Even though you're gonna get that spike. It's not a bad thing and it's not a bad thing to spike in the shower, unless you're someone with reactive hypoglycemia.

 

Who's like, I can't take a shower without my blood sugar crashing. So unless you're having the crashes where you're not feeling well, it's good to go. Ah, okay. Really helpful. So it's not as if we should strategically like harp on or how much we're spiking, what time we're spiking. Those are gonna be helpful in the long run.

 

Yes, absolutely. Cool. Okay. So one, anything that we left out in this topic of sleep and blood sugar kind of awareness management, anything that you want to point to, that we didn't touch on? One of my favorite things that has helped it helps both sleep and blood sugar. So I thought it deserves a call out is, yeah, please.

 

And I know that you said that you haven't tested this officially, but I have just seen just some, you know, data from my personal aura ring. Some of my clients that caster oil packs are so helpful. For it's helpful for sleep because it's helpful for your liver and which is gonna help your blood sugar, it's gonna help your sleep.

 

So I saw fewer wake up when I have, when I wore a caster oil pack before bed. And I just think that it's such a great strategy. It also helps you digest your fats better. So it's just one of those things. It's like this old school thing that, you know, our great grandmothers used to use, but the pack itself is just putting some caster oil on this cloth.

 

You tie it around your liver, which is on your right side ribcage. And I just wear it before bed. Sometimes I wear it throughout the night and there's just so many benefits to it. And it's. People will report much better sleep. So it's subjective, but also I got some, you know, objective data on my aura ring.

 

So I feel like it's worth a shot if you are struggling with blood sugar and, or sleep. So something fun to try.  I love that. That's definitely something that not a single person on this podcast has mentioned. So I appreciate you sharing about that. And actually it's underscoring, cuz I, you know, you know that I just moved.

 

So I need to pull out a lot of different things. It's kind of underscoring to make sure I find that, cuz I need to bring that back into my rotation. And so I appreciate you sharing that because a lot of the things, and also it's not like that's gonna break the bank. You know, it's something that you can just kind of make as a nice self care ritual to bring in, test it for yourself.

 

See what possible shifts could come from that it's a quite affordable hack if you will. And if nothing else, it just gives you a time throughout your evening to kind of wind down, take some time for yourself. So I really appreciate that one good call. Yep. Well, so we might learn some other things from you specifically on how you are managing your sleep.

 

So for our four questions that we ask everyone, very curious, your responses, I'm sure they evolve and you're always like learning and trying different things. So curious what the latest is. The first question is what is your nightly sleep routine looking like, maybe involves caster oil, but let us know what we would see.

 

Yeah. So typically I, on an ideal day when I get everything together and I'm able to do this, I will, it starts with seeing the sunset. And then after the sunset, I will put on my Amber colored blue blocking glasses and. I do this. Isn't a good thing, but I'll usually watch some TV with my wife. And then when I put on my pajamas for the night, I'll put on my cast Royal pack.

 

So then we'll watch some TV. I try to get off screens. I'm not great at it. So this is maybe a little bump in . Yes. There, you know, a nudge to get off my screens earlier and yes, totally. Yeah. Then. Yeah.  and then at night, when I do get into bed, I use earplugs. I have every single day, since freshman year of college when I was 18.

 

So I've used earplugs. I use a sleep mask every single night. Again, since I was 18, I use my mouth tape and then sometimes I'll sleep with the cast Royal pack and I have a very dark room. My mom has always called it the cave, even when I was a kid, I was. Taping my blinds closed, cuz there was a crack of light.

 

I had Lisa Frank sticker that I put over my TV and I colored it with black Sharpie. I had a VHS tape up against my VCR because that had a light at night. So I was doing this stuff  from when I was little amazing. A biohacker from the womb? Yes. Okay. And I can also attest that you bring these principles on the road with you when you travel.

 

So it's not like it's just a free for all. Uh, you do all of those things as much as you possibly can, you know, in hotels or what have you. So really cool. And then for your morning routine, what might we see there and how that can connect with sleep? Yeah. So getting morning, sunlight is really, really important.

 

So the first thing I do is I try to get up with the sun. I haven't been super successful since this time change. I don't like this time change. I wanna go back to the old time.  yeah. And so I usually get up around the sunrise and I get out first thing to get some sunlight into my eyes. And that's number one, if.

 

Sometimes I'll step on the grass and try to, you know, do some grounding, but it is kind of hard in Florida. There's a lot of ants and it's, there's a lot of bugs. So, um, that doesn't always happen. And then I feed my cats, play with my cats.  because they need to be played with, so that's my morning routine.

 

And I drink, I love that mostly decaf coffee, because the caffeine is something that spikes me. And so I definitely like to use mostly. And then sometimes I'll do RAA coffee alternative, which is like adaptogenic herbs for your adrenals. I turned view onto RAA. We love it.  and they do. And it it's so funny cuz, and will you help me also just like make it a doable thing.

 

So I had heard about it in the past. I had even gotten their packets, but they just sat there because I was like intimidated by the French press and the whole thing. And. This occurred as like a whole to do and you helped me be like, no, it's not scary. Just do it. Like, and then you got me, um, the mug, which was so cool, like such a great present.

 

And so that has just been such a nice addition. So anyone who feels like, oh my gosh, you know, the idea of having alternatives or coffee alternatives can feel like a lot, but there's so many great products on the market to maybe have like a hybrid. So it doesn't have to. So dramatic where you have no caffeine, but you can have low to no or lower ring.

 

So that can be really helpful. And I love what you shared about the fact that for some people that can spike you, if you are having caffeine. So that's why another reason why it's so important to test, to see what are some of the triggers for you. And so then you can kind of be in charge of that. So really great call outs.

 

And then the next one would be, what might we see on your kind of nightstand or proverbial nightstand if you're travel. Yeah. So all those sleep things. My earplugs, my sleep mask, my mouth tape. Yes. And although I tell my wife, hold on, I'm getting my gear on. She calls it my gear. It's like, thank you for loving me because I look probably like a crazy person.

 

There's also castor oil packs that you can put on your eyes. So sleep mass that you put on your eyes. I don't do this all the time, but sometimes, and there's extra benefits if you have it. Around like the eyebrow area and on your eyelashes, it could help regrow hair, but there's also other benefits connected to the liver.

 

I, I can't even remember all these things. So I have that, the Castrol there, and I also have a reading light. That's like a, an orangery light. Yes. And even though I'm not really good at using that because  into audio books, but that's there and some books. Fantastic. A click light. This is a really fun non, we have a red light in the bedroom.

 

That's on my wife's night stand, not mine. Um, but the red light bulb in there is helpful for nighttime. And then. Click lights are awesome. So you don't have to turn the switch. So I have a little remote click light  yes. I love those. Absolutely anything that can be portable. I know when we were traveling the little like hockey puck style, red lights love those emotion lights, and you can turn those on off and the click lights are fantastic.

 

So for anyone that wants to have some more of a portable option and then just something to walk you to the bathroom and not have to then have the bright shadow, light and impact your melatonin production really, really. And then the last question would be what has made the biggest change to your sleep game or maybe the biggest aha moment as you're managing your.

 

So I would say earplugs are like, I just don't sleep without earplugs. I'm I know you like a noise machine and I like silence. Yes. And so I feel like, I don't think I could sleep, like sleep is brought to me by my earplugs. And so it's just so important for me. You should be sponsored by this. I should be sponsored by max earplugs.

 

I know. I just, I can't sleep without them. And I. I love the silence. I like the sensory deprivation, but yeah, I would say that that's probably my biggest one. I love that. Well, amazing. Thank you so much for kind of just sharing also, I guess that's one of the things that I really appreciate about. Well, the, some of the work that you're doing is that you're really sharing your own personal experience and what you are experimenting with.

 

What's working, what's not working and it's not as if you're someone that's saying, oh, I've got it all figured out. I'm just done. Cause I'm right there with you. Like we wanna continually test different things and play with different things, but also share some of our fallibilities abilities. And some of the things that like, oh yeah, you know, I'm still working with the TV at night.

 

I, you know, I often share with my. Group with our groups that we work with as far as sleep optimization. That for me, it's like the thought timing piece and the nighttime, you know, kind of some of the things that you're engaging with and not engaging with and by vulnerably sharing that, I just think it's so helpful cuz people it's like the humanization process of all of this is it's an ongoing thing.

 

So I really, really appreciate that. And because of that and because you are so fun to follow, how can people follow you? Cause you're putting out lots of great content. What are the best ways. Yeah, thanks. I hang out a lot on Instagram. So my handle is Danielle Hamilton health. I made it nice and long and hard to spell for everybody.

 

And  my podcast is unlock the sugar shackles and my group coaching program is called blood sugar mastery. So we work in a group format kind of like your program. Yes. I was happy to inspire you to go group  you did. She inspired me to go group, cuz I was so like, oh, you know, listen, we do one on ones and I don't wanna lose the effectiveness of switching from one-on-ones to the group.

 

And now I am a total convert for the group. I think that's so much more value can be given. And it's just amazing. So and so great. You get so much more contact time with everybody and then everybody's supporting each other and we're working through things together. They're inspiring each other. They're holding space they're or even.

 

Commiserating with each other, because sometimes you just need to be like, this is hard, this sucks. And I just want a pity party right now. And that's fine too.  yes. Cause least you're still in the conversation of it. I mean, yeah. And to be around likeminded people that are thinking about these topics, just in general, prioritizing it and important to them and the vulnerability to sometimes say like, Ugh, you know, I.

 

Whatever have ice cream and cake and whatever, but then to have that thrown out there, but then to also, you know, have healthy alternatives or steps to take or sometimes fall off and get back on course. So yeah, really, really good points there. And you also have a fantastic newsletter that you're doing consistently.

 

So if anyone wants to kind of follow you on all these different platforms, all the different ways of consuming information on something. So crucial and I think more and more people are getting in this conversation thanks to wearables and some of these different CGMs. And what have you that you provide a lot of just actionable tips that people can start practicing and playing with.

 

Like today now mm-hmm , which is really just a cool thing. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, my newsletter, you can get on that. If you go to my website, Danielle Hamilton health. Amazing. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I, so, so, so appreciate it. Yeah, my pleasure. It was so much fun. Awesome.

 

You've been listening to the sleep is a skilled podcast. The number one podcast for people who wanna take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday, I send out something that I call Molly's Monday, obsessions containing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep head on over to sleep is a skill.com,

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