“I often wake up very hungry in the middle of the night. What is going on?”

You appear to be having blood sugar dips. You may get some relief by eating a small amount of protein at bedtime (cheese or an egg) with some carbohydrate (a whole-grain cracker)…or some celery with nut butter. If you still wake up during the night, try having more of the same foods.

Waking up because you feel hungry suggests that you may have hypoglycemia, low blood sugar that can be triggered by eating simple carbs, such as white bread or cookies, which are quickly digested.

To ease blood sugar fluctuations, consume slowly absorbed, unrefined carbs (such as whole grains, beans and starchy veggies), protein at each meal and a little fat (for example, fatty fish, olive oil and avocado).

Eat several small meals a day, beginning with breakfast. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, especially before bedtime.

A chromium supplement—200 micrograms (mcg) twice daily—will also help balance your blood sugar levels.

Another issue here could be high cortisol during the night, caused by stress. Wind down from the day by taking a warm bath and/or drinking a cup of chamomile tea. If you still have trouble staying asleep, I recommend a natural sleep formula that contains L-theanine, valerian and other sleep-promoting herbs.

Be sure to check first with your doctor before taking chromium or herbs—these supplements can interact with some medications.