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Difficulty sleeping during wt loss/ketosis

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  • Difficulty sleeping during wt loss/ketosis

    Question for anyone: has anyone experience difficulty sleeping while trying to keep carb count down and thus going into (hopefully) ketosis?

    For the past two nights, I have slept poorly. Usually I am a great sleeper and dead to the world as soon as I fall asleep. I am highly active (personal trainer) but am trying to get rid of a little bit more fat by losing ~5 lbs. So I am really counting my carb grams (started over with the Primal Challenge) and trying to keep them under 100 grams, including my post-workout maltodextrin, which is about 15 grams. I've just had a really hard time falling asleep (granted, there is a little bit of extra stress- we are buying a house!) and then staying asleep. I'm definitely getting night sweats and that wakes me up.

    Anyone got any ideas/suggestions? Thanks!

  • #2
    How long have you been counting carbs? Adaptation periods can suck for a while. 100g/day isn't very low, though... so unless you were really eating a lot of carbs before, it shouldn't be too big an adjustment.

    Are you counting net carbs (subtracting fiber) or total? Because if you're eating a lot of fibrous veggies your net carb count might be quite a bit lower than your total.

    I am low- to very low-carb all the time and I sleep just fine, but I have been doing that for a year, and everyone's a little different.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

    My Primal Journal

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    • #3
      This isn't exactly what you asked about, but it's related: I found that when I'm IFing (intermittent fasting), if I eat my meal too early in the day (before 5 or 6 pm), and then try to fall asleep later that night in a fasted state (even if I don't *feel* hungry), I have a very difficult time falling asleep, as well. Is it possible that you may need to eat slightly later in the day, or have a snack closer to bedtime? That might help.

      Also, you can take a few grams of the amino acid glycine before bedtime, which assists restful sleep:
      Life Extension, Glycine, 1000 mg, 100 Capsules - iHerb.com

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      • #4
        Yes. I have always had difficulty sleeping in ketosis, and its something I've read is common. (I am not someone who has stuck w/ continual ketosis for more than 10 days though, just fyi. This may be something that one adjusts to with time...?)


        ETA: OOPS! Didn't read your first post thoroughly enough--agree w/ others you need to be lower carb to be in ketosis (around 50g or below, although each person may vary a bit...) Like others said, may be part of the adjustment process...
        Last edited by FairyRae; 09-15-2011, 05:33 PM.
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        • #5
          try moving most of your carbs to dinner

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jlmccracken View Post
            Question for anyone: has anyone experience difficulty sleeping while trying to keep carb count down and thus going into (hopefully) ketosis?
            AFAIK, you're not exactly on a ketogenic diet. In some cases where these have been used therapeutically (e.g., with epilepsy), they've substituted a modified Atkins Diet, and even that isn't actually a ketogenic diet. With Primal—say, 100 g carbs as opposed to perhaps 50 g—you're even further out of that territory. True ketogenic is really aggressive on the fat, and with even protein quite closely controlled and minimized. Not to say that keeping carbs down shouldn't help you to be better at fat-burning ...

            So far as sleeping goes, if it doesn't come right and if it seems to be linked to the reduced carb intake, then I think I'd probably try a few more and see what happens. Mark puts the "maintenance range" at 100—150 g carbs a day:

            How many carbs should I eat each day? | Mark's Daily Apple

            ... and you have got an active profession.

            But if that doesn't appeal, there are a number of sleep strategies you can use:

            1. take magnesium—e.g., Naturalcalm

            If that doesn't help:

            2. take some 5HTP, which is a precursor for serotonin.

            If that doesn't help:

            3. take a little melatonin

            Besides supplementation, there's trying to ensure that your bedroom is as absolutely dark as humanly possible. Then there's starting the wind-down earlier: all TVs, computers, etc. off a couple of hours before you go to sleep, lights down low, even wear red sunglasses round the house. Try a cup of warm camomile tea before bed. You could also try taking a short walk just before sunset and another just before sunrise—that gets the different coloured light you get at those times on your skin and should help re-set your body clock and synchronize it with the earth's movement.

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            • #7
              Yep. This is very common. I started carb cycling so I up my carbs on Fridays and Saturdays and the carbs knock me out and I sleep like a baby. Then I go back to very low carb, IF, 1 meal a day for Sunday through Thursday and I sleep okay during the week but by Thursday night, every time, i have trouble sleeping.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone! This is helpful. Granted, I realized that 100 g carbs isn't extremely lower. I was probably eating 125 g and 98% come from veggies & a little fruit. I would like to drop down to ~80 g carbs to see if that really moves the fat. When I first started primal, sticking to 100 g carbs was enough. I've also tried IF and have noticed that I also don't sleep well those nights either. Thanks again!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jlmccracken View Post
                  Thanks everyone! This is helpful. Granted, I realized that 100 g carbs isn't extremely lower. I was probably eating 125 g and 98% come from veggies & a little fruit. I would like to drop down to ~80 g carbs to see if that really moves the fat. When I first started primal, sticking to 100 g carbs was enough. I've also tried IF and have noticed that I also don't sleep well those nights either. Thanks again!
                  According to Mark's carb curve, you need to be under 50/day to really be in ketosis. You may just have been flirting with it a bit thus in a perpetual state of adjustment. I would say really go for it to see how you do. Give it a fair trial. You can always add the carbs back later if you feel better that way.

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