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  • Another sleep question

    I know this is probably been answered before but i am after some specific answers to my problem.

    I have being Paleo for a little while and never used to have trouble sleeping. I used to be one of the 5 small meals guys. This week i have i have gone to doing 3 larger meals while doing a 16/8 fasting model (I eat between 2pm and 10pm). I eat three meals at 2pm,6pm and 9:30pm. I used to have 5 small meals eating at about 3pm/6pm/7pm/8pm and 9:30pm. So as you can see i was going to bed quite full due to eating a lot close to bed. I now howerver eat the same amount over 3 meals instead of 5. I am going to bed not too full but not hungry as i eat right before bed. I feel better as i am not cramming food into my stomach.
    Since going from the three meals to five, my sleep has been poor. Sleeping a lot less and tossing and turning more. I have not eaten any less or more, just grouped my 5 meals into 3.

    Below i will list the three meals. Just so everyone knows, i dislike fish and Avocados so that is why they are missing from my diet.

    I use 2 tbsp of Coconut oil for cooking

    Meal 1 - 2pm

    10oz Chicken
    3oz Sweet Potatoe
    1 tbsp butter
    Apple
    Large veggie mix (Carrot/squash/mushrooms/red pepper)

    Meal 2 - 6pm

    7oz rump steak
    3oz gammon steak
    3oz sweet potatoe
    20 Almonds
    Large veggie mix (Carrots/mushrooms/red pepper/squash/cauliflower/lettuce/tomatoe)

    Meal 3 - 9:30 (just before bed)

    3 Eggs
    2oz sweet potato
    7oz Chicken
    3oz Gammon steak
    1/2 cup blueberries

    This lot works out to roughly 250g protein (i know its a lot but it fills me up more), 200g carbs, 100g Fats.

    Works out to around 2,600 cals. Not looking to drop or gain any weight.

    I workout 3 times a week.

    I am looking to add some more fat in place of the protein a bit further down the line.

    Anybody know why after eating these 3 meals i am having trouble sleeping, as opposed to the 5 smaller meals i was having before which made me sleepy?

    Any advice would be welcome, thanks.

  • #2
    Hello, i would suggest stir-fried white rice instead of sweet potatoes in your last meal, and increase your prebiotics in general (unripe bananas, onions, artichokes, roasted-cooled 24h-then-fried-white-potatoes, etc). It makes me sleep like a baby after years of broken sleep due to poor gut flora I believe. Just try it and see if that helps.

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    • #3
      If you eat the same foods only in 5 smaller meals, would you sleep better? Primal does not insist on having less meals a day. Some folks do great on the IF, some do badly, because of the added stress on the system.
      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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      • #4
        I don't quite understand the schedule. You're loading up with food, and are pretty much as full as you can get by the time you go to bed, but asleep is when we expend the least energy. I know that if I eat close to bedtime, then I can't sleep because I feel too energised. I need to leave a couple of hours between eating and sleeping.

        This doesn't exactly answer the question of why five small meals worked and three large ones doesn't, but it could be because you've moved more of your food closer to bedtime when you moved to the larger meals.

        Why not move your meals to an earlier time in the day? You could eat between 10 am and 6pm and still maintain the same 16/8 fasting model. I don't do this on purpose, but I have naturally moved to a way of eating where my first proper meal is at about 9:30 and my last is at about 6:30... I just do it because it just seems to work for me.

        I'm sure I came across a study recently where insulin control was better with the majority of the food loaded into the earlier hours of the day compared to when food was loaded into the later hours in the day. The study was on women with PCOS, so may or may not be generalisable to everyone else... but it's not the first place that I've heard it's better to load your food consumption into the earlier parts of the day.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Leida View Post
          If you eat the same foods only in 5 smaller meals, would you sleep better? Primal does not insist on having less meals a day. Some folks do great on the IF, some do badly, because of the added stress on the system.
          I was sleeping better on the 5 meals but my stomach feels better with meals spaced out a bit.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by poing View Post
            I don't quite understand the schedule. You're loading up with food, and are pretty much as full as you can get by the time you go to bed, but asleep is when we expend the least energy. I know that if I eat close to bedtime, then I can't sleep because I feel too energised. I need to leave a couple of hours between eating and sleeping.

            This doesn't exactly answer the question of why five small meals worked and three large ones doesn't, but it could be because you've moved more of your food closer to bedtime when you moved to the larger meals.

            Why not move your meals to an earlier time in the day? You could eat between 10 am and 6pm and still maintain the same 16/8 fasting model. I don't do this on purpose, but I have naturally moved to a way of eating where my first proper meal is at about 9:30 and my last is at about 6:30... I just do it because it just seems to work for me.

            I'm sure I came across a study recently where insulin control was better with the majority of the food loaded into the earlier hours of the day compared to when food was loaded into the later hours in the day. The study was on women with PCOS, so may or may not be generalisable to everyone else... but it's not the first place that I've heard it's better to load your food consumption into the earlier parts of the day.
            2PM till 10pm fits with my schedule best. I work out fasted and eat straight after. I dont think moving the meals earlier would cure the problem as i used to eat a lot before bed and slept better.

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            • #7
              If I were you, I would eat twice a day and make the meals earlier. Or at least the second meal not as close to bedtime.
              Depression Lies

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              • #8
                Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                If I were you, I would eat twice a day and make the meals earlier. Or at least the second meal not as close to bedtime.
                But i was eating a lot and close to bedtime and sleeping great. Since spacing the meals out, sleep has worsened.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chris Bickley View Post
                  But i was eating a lot and close to bedtime and sleeping great. Since spacing the meals out, sleep has worsened.
                  And maybe it won't help, but you won't know unless you try!
                  Depression Lies

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                  • #10
                    True, i may have to try the standard Breakfast, lunch and dinner again. Going to be difficult as i love eating often. Going 4 hours plus in between meals will be a challenge.

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                    • #11
                      Chris, what kind of problems you have experienced with 5 meals a day? It might be easier to address than sleep problems (sleep is more iffy in my experience)
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #12
                        No problems really, just read that people prefer to have three eqaually spaced meals. The more meals i add, the more i tend to eat the meals close together which can really bloat me. I just like eating and it seems more of an emotional thing. Im not overweight or anything, just my world seems to revolve around food which im trying to get out of. I can go a while without eating (hence the fasting), but when i eat, i like to have like 5 meals in 8 hours which can cause mild discomfort even with primal foods.

                        Also i think it may be better to leave a good amount of time between meals to let the nutrients actually go to work rather than piling on food after food.

                        Sorry i'll stop now, im rambling!

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                        • #13
                          Sure, give it a shot. It could be that the sleep will normalize once your system gets accustomed to the changes in the digestive timing. But seeing your digestion issues are minor, if sleep disturbances add up over time, you can simply go back to the grazing schedule. I chew on a wooden chopstick instead of food sometimes if oral fixation/boredom eating is an issue.

                          EDIT: Also if your goal is to break a food obsession, do not measure out your food. Simply eat till you are very full, and your mind is completely free of the thoughts of food. The condition of obsession that you have described is typical for chronic hunger of a typical dieter who is always afraid to overeat. Keeping breaks between meals with a calm mind is only possible when you are actually full. A very simple approach is to go for a few weeks eating of 3 foods whenever you want: eggs, fried ground beef and boiled potatoes. Fry a huge family pack of beef, boil a few pounds of potatoes, and whenever you feel like eating ask yourself :meat, eggs or potatoes? Then combine in whatever proportion (and unseasoned) and eat till you are full. Put leftovers back. It breaks the food spell.
                          Last edited by Leida; 10-03-2013, 09:02 AM.
                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                          • #14
                            Food carries a powerful circadian signal so after any meal the body may expect at least 3-4 more hours of "day". 9:30p would be too late for me excepting special occasions.
                            37//6'3"/185

                            My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leida View Post
                              If you eat the same foods only in 5 smaller meals, would you sleep better? Primal does not insist on having less meals a day. Some folks do great on the IF, some do badly, because of the added stress on the system.
                              Three meals a day is hardly what I'd consider IFing.

                              Just sayin'.
                              "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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