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  • Switched to primal, can't sleep

    Hi all,

    I made the switch to primal about 2 weeks ago, the first week was fine (for sleep), but this past whole week I've had terrible insomnia. The first thing I thought of was carbs, not i'm really not eating low carb- I've been getting 150-200 (but that is lower than pre-primal).

    Is this just an adjustment thing? Has anyone else had this experience? I was sleeping great before (from about 10-6). I've kept my routine the same, I'm not falling asleep til close to midnight and still waking up right before 6 then feeling like a zombie all day.

  • #2
    My wife and I both found that magnesium citrate helped with sleeping and digestive issues (which will likely take longer to appear, if at all). Chamomile tea seems to help me sleep as well. Neither of these worked overnight, it takes a while. Your body is adjusting, give it time, though it can be quite frustrating. Just wait till you get those series of night when you wake up at 2am! Hopefully this won't happen to you. Hang in there.

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    • #3
      You are spiking adrenalin and cortisol, most likely from lack of calories, carbs or both. Inflammatory foods like excess protein, pufa and fiber can also have this effect.

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      • #4
        Since I started mixing a few tsps of gelatin into my morning coffee, I sleep like a dead baby. Of course I sleep in a magic isolation chamber (Under the stairs in the pantry) that's free from light and electronic devices, which probably helps as well.

        Just one avenue of thought to pursue. Some people find that some late day starch helps as well.
        The Champagne of Beards

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        • #5
          Have you tried wearing warmer clothes to bed? I remember you said you've got low body temp - if it drops too low your body will start dumping adrenaline to warm you up.

          I've had insomnia for YEARS - literally nothing helped (mg citrate, gelatine, herbal teas, spoonfuls of honey etc. etc. etc) - but since I started wearing huge amounts of clothes to bed I"m sleeping way better!
          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

          - Ray Peat

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zach View Post
            You are spiking adrenalin and cortisol, most likely from lack of calories, carbs or both. Inflammatory foods like excess protein, pufa and fiber can also have this effect.
            I've kept my calories the same and only decreased carbs by a little. Should I try upping them anyway?

            My blood sugar issues during the day have gotten alot better but now I have insomnia. Ugh!

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            • #7
              Oh boy can't wait for that. So this is normal? Everyone else seems to think its not!

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              • #8
                Definitally not normal. Try a snack of sugar, salt, saturated fat right before bed. If you have gelatin, take some of that as well.

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                • #9
                  It certainly happened to me. Just took time to adapt, but was brutal while it lasted. I also take magnesium citrate (calm). Can't remember but I think it took me about a month to adjust.
                  Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                  Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                  Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AMC View Post
                    Oh boy can't wait for that. So this is normal? Everyone else seems to think its not!
                    Define "normal"

                    Everyone's stress hormones elevate at night, but for some of us any additional little changes in diet or lifestyle that stress the body send our stress hormones over the edge. If I'm low carb I cant sleep for more than 3 to 4 hours, seven nights a week. It gets hellish.

                    But seriously, try wearing warmer clothes to bed. I've been through the same thing as you: I've researched insomnia for literally years. It's worth trying.
                    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                    - Ray Peat

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=YogaBare;1178639]Define "normal"

                      Everyone's stress hormones elevate at night, but for some of us any additional little changes in diet or lifestyle that stress the body send our stress hormones over the edge. If I'm low carb I cant sleep for more than 3 to 4 hours, seven nights a week. It gets hellish.

                      Thanks YogaBare! I have been bundling up a bit, and I'm sleeping through the night that way. It's the falling asleep part that is getting me. It definitely feels like my adrenals are firing- which is leading me to believe my body is searching for carbs. I don't think i'm fat adapted yet, which may be the problem. My carbs aren't even too low (175g-200g). I'm hesitant to change anything because my hypoglycemia during the day has improved dramatically. Maybe I need to ride this out til I adapt? so confused!!

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                      • #12
                        @ YogaBare, I should add I am hypothyroid and have about 25 lbs to lose fun stuff

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AMC View Post
                          Thanks YogaBare! I have been bundling up a bit, and I'm sleeping through the night that way. It's the falling asleep part that is getting me. It definitely feels like my adrenals are firing- which is leading me to believe my body is searching for carbs. I don't think i'm fat adapted yet, which may be the problem. My carbs aren't even too low (175g-200g). I'm hesitant to change anything because my hypoglycemia during the day has improved dramatically. Maybe I need to ride this out til I adapt? so confused!!
                          That's great that you're sleeping the night through! I remember you telling me that actually.

                          That carb level sounds okay, but what was your level before? Overall calories are important too, as are the foods you eat last thing in the evening. Can you run us through a typical day of eating? What used you eat? What are your overall calories? And what were they before?

                          Also, how long does it take you to fall asleep? Is your mind racing? My instinct is that you're pumping adrenaline, as this is a common side effect of hypothyroidism. (Which is why I'm curious about what you were eating before).

                          I feel your pain! I'm borderline hypothyroid so our sleep difficulties are probably related. Hopefully some of the things I've figured out will be useful to you.
                          Last edited by YogaBare; 05-02-2013, 12:37 PM.
                          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                          - Ray Peat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            May seem counter productive, and not really "primal", but a small bowl of ice-cream before bed worked for me. That and reducing my fluid intake throughout the day (or up salt).

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                            • #15
                              Oh, and if you did try ice cream, make sure it isn't full if crap.

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