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HELP!! I can't SLEEP and my mind won't stop RACING!!!

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  • HELP!! I can't SLEEP and my mind won't stop RACING!!!


    I adressed this in a recent thread but I'm concerned and felt it needed its own post.

    I have been following paleo for 2 weeks. No issues at first. However, the last two nights I cannot get to sleep. My mind has been racing constantly. And the second I wake up after very little sleep my mind starts racing all over again. I have a headache. I'm exhausted. And my cravings are way up. In short, I feel like complete crap.

    What is happening here and what should I do? Should I just slam down an apple and orange this morning and try to up my carbs? My carbs have been pretty low. I wonder if the shock of this change was too much for my body. I'm getting really concerned though about my sleeping pattern and inability to think clearly.

    This is WAY out of the ordinary for me!!!!


  • #2
    Eat some carbs from a healthy source like potatoes or white rice.Too many people try to go VLC or even zero carb because people demonize carbs,and their body throws a fit as a result.
    Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own experience.

    In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.

    I've shaken hands with a raccoon and lived to tell the tale

    SW: 220- 225 pounds at the beginning of January
    CW: 180 pounds

    Goals for 2012: Lose a bit more fat and start a serious muscle and strength routine


    • #3
      I agree with @lex. Eat some more carbs. Your experience sounds like when I use to do Atkins and was VLC. It created like a 'high' effect that always kept me wound up. Made for some vivid dreams but not always restful sleep. For your cravings you can try adding a bit more fat and salt - these help control cravings when I get them.

      Also if you're taking vitamin D supplements before bed move them to the morning because they can be stimulating for some people.


      • #4
        Be kind to yourself when you awake. Stay away from negative self-talk like, "OMG! Why are you awake again!? Go bad to bed, ya moron!"

        Instead, listen to your breathing, and tell yourself it's ok to be awake, it's ok to be thinking. Relax. Listen to your breath. You *will* fall back asleep.
        A Post-Primal PrimalPat

        Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.


        • #5
          are you active? a little exercise, even a short walk could help burn off the excess energy and help your body rest easier.

          you don't have to answer this online, but answer it to yourself, what is your mind racing about? work issues? spousal issues? issues from the past? family issues? try to deal with the issue that is racing around in your mind, and you'll rest a lot easier

          also, what are your goals and what is your current diet like? i'd be hesitant to increase carbs, especially from sources like white rice or potatoes, unless you are highly active.


          • #6
            I highly recommend taking some melatonin about an hour and a half/two hours before you want to sleep. It really helps me, and this from someone who never used to get to bed before like 3am. Now I go to bed at 9:30 and I'm asleep within 5 minutes.

            Also make sure you are not eating for at least 3-4 hours before bed, and that you are doing the usual things like turning off the bright lights when the sun goes down and are chilling out and relaxing instead of anything high-intensity.

            Are you taking any supplements? If so, what and when?

            _-J o u r n a l_--------- ---- ---- --- --- -- -- -


            • #7
              Sounds like low carb flu. Up the healthy carbs to make it less of a shock for your body and make sure you are exercising. It will help with the cravings.. what I can say is it gets MUCH easier if you don't give in to them, also the cravings wont be so bad if you up your carbs... your mind will change, coming from someone that has been there and is now looking from the other side.
              Primal since March 2011

              Female/29 years old/5' 1"/130ish lbs


              • #8
                I've had this once or twice. I associate it with being hungover too often and drinking too much tea and coffee. Very unpleasant.


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone. I had an apple with breakfast this morning and I just probably ate way, way too many cashews. I feel better though. I'm going to start to integrate more carbs on lifting days and try to keep things as they are for less intense days. I guess my body is just adjusting.

                  As an added aside....I am in the middle of starting a business and it is extremely the mind racing may not just be nutrition related.

                  Thanks again.


                  • #10
                    When this happens, I usually watch a relaxing video. Things like Bob Ross, or nature documentaries, or even chess commentaries will lull me to sleep pretty nicely. If I'm feeling a bit too wired, I'll do a mini workout, or go outside for a short jog to burn the energy.
                    There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
                    There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
                    There is society, where none intrudes,
                    By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
                    I love not man the less, but Nature more...
                    ~Lord Byron


                    • #11
                      Sprints or heavy lifting early in the morning with a large recovery meal afterwards with a healthy starch source would make me sleep earlier and deeper.


                      • #12
                        It'll pass when your body gets used to the changes. I go through the same thing whenever I start eating better. I feel that mine has to do with yeast die off when my body starts to heal.


                        • #13
                          Melatonin (a neurotransmitter that improves sleep) is produced more at night when you get sunlight during the day. It may (I assume) have something to do with your mind seeing a bigger contrast between day and night, so it's more certain of when to be producing melatonin. So get some sunlight, without sunglasses.

                          Also, I have found supplementing with iodine (potassium iodide + iodine) to have helped my sleep tremendously. While I used to spend most of the night WISHING I would fall asleep, now it feels as though as soon as my head hits the pillow, I'm gone. Your thyroid may be under active. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include racing thoughts, fatigue, weight gain, etc:

                          When you cut out SAD foods, you lose out on the iodine they add to refined salt. They add it to salt because the only other sources of it is sea vegetables, muscles, kelp, etc. And not many people consume that, so hypothyroidism was a huge problem. If you have cut out processed foods, and by extension refined salt, you NEED to have another source of iodine.

                          Here's an excellent thread on the subject:

                          Look into it.
                          Last edited by Bosnic; 02-22-2012, 11:19 AM.


                          • #14
                            I follow Terry Wahls' recommendation for the paleo diet which is eating 3 plate fulls of non-starchy vegetables per day. The Wahls' diet puts a focus on your getting the micro nutrients your mitochondria needs and because (unlike potatoes) it keeps you from spiking your insulin level.

                            It seems to me that a lot of people treat a Paleo Diet as a remake of the Atkins Diet.

                            You might try drinking some Camomile Tea when your mind is racing and/or before you go to bed. Melatonin only ever caused me to have weird dreams and restless sleep.

                            and I'll add this videos in case you haven't seen them yet

                            Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?


                            • #15
                              and to add

                              The Wahls Foundation - The Diet

                              The Wahls Diet The Wahls Foundation
                              Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?