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Trouble falling sleeping

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  • Trouble falling sleeping

    I've been primal for about a week now, and immediately after starting, I've noticed that I'm having trouble falling asleep. I initially started primal for a few months last year (which was interrupted by a month spent at my parents' house), and I had the same problem.

    I have a few ideas as to why I'm having trouble falling asleep, but I'm not sure exactly what it is.

    1. Coffee. I drink one mug a day, which probably equals out to between 2-3 cups (at most - sometimes I dump the remaining coffee if it gets too cold). However, I have a hard time seeing this as the culprit, as I've always drank coffee, sometimes a lot more than my daily cup, and sleep was never an issue. I do seem to be affected by caffeine more strongly than others, however. I sweat slightly for a few hours after consuming coffee, and I notice my mind moves much faster and I have a hard time sitting still. It's mostly an enjoyable sensation, and it makes me think quite clearly, but it does come across as nervousness at times. Additionally, coffee (and to a lesser extent, chocolate) sometimes gives me an uncomfortable stomachache that will last for a majority of the day. It isn't all the time, and I usually can drink coffee just fine. For some reason, I can almost tell before I even drink the coffee that it's going to give me the stomachache. I don't know if this has to due with pH balance or something altogether different.

    2. Blood sugar. During my last primal phase, I experienced what I'm assuming was low blood sugar after going a few hours without eating. It was very strange, as it was something I had never experienced before. But I would get very shaky, my mind would be moving at 100 miles a minute, and I would get EXTREMELY irritable. This went away during the month I spent at my parents' house (possibly because I was eating more carbs and eating more often), and now that I've started Primal again, it hasn't happened once. In truth, hunger has actually become somewhat of an enjoyable sensation over the past week. However, I do notice that when I do get out of bed and go get a snack, I fall asleep rather quickly. I don't want to rely on this, because I don't like eating right before bed.

    3. I just don't need as much sleep now that I'm eating better. This could be it, but I am finding myself somewhat tired and cranky at times, which tells me that I might not be getting enough sleep. Typically, I'm a ball of positive energy, especially when Primal, but I can always tell when I'm irritable due to tiredness.

    Those are my three biggest ideas. I will say that once I fall asleep, I don't wake up until morning. I've been sleeping throughout the night, and I don't feel drowsy at all during the day. My dreams are also much more vivid while eating Primal, which I'm still deciding whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing.

  • #2
    Trouble falling sleeping

    Eat your carbs (at least 100g or so) from noon-7pm. Sounds like low carb insomnia.
    HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

    My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links

    Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

    " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel


    • #3
      That could be it. I've been fairly low carb, sometimes not really eating any starchy vegetables or fruit at all during a day. Maybe that just isn't working for me. I'll try it out!


      • #4
        Magnesium. I'd start with magnesium. Supplement magnesium. It used to take me 3-4 hours to fall asleep on a good night. 2-3 months ago I started agressively supplementing my magnesium using 4 x mag-tab sr a day (cheaper if you buy the 1k tab jug direct from them at Welcome to Niche Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ) and Magnegel (I just kinda blob a random amount out on my left forearm and the rub my right forearm against it before bed.

        For the mag-tab sr's I usually take 1 in the morning, 1 when I get home from work, 1 with dinner and 1 just before bed. I now fall asleep within 5 minutes or so of getting in bed.

        Edit: I also have been using f.lux on my phone and computer monitor, but I usually disable it because I"ll be watching tv shows on my monitors before bed so I don't give it much credit, I also don't wear my blu-blocking glasses much but when I do they too help me fall asleep quicker if I put them on 30-45 minutes before I want to go to bed.
        -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz


        • #5
          It's just elevated stress hormones causing insomnia, it's incredibly common on a low carb diet. Eat some carbs before bed, sugar and salt help immensely to blunt stress hormones.


          • #6
            Originally posted by MarkChopper View Post
            It's just elevated stress hormones causing insomnia, it's incredibly common on a low carb diet. Eat some carbs before bed, sugar and salt help immensely to blunt stress hormones.
            +1 - when you are a sugar burner, carbs help prop up cortisol to keep blood sugar in check. Remove those carbs and cortisol drops, which forces epinephrine to be released to help prop up blood sugar. This equals faster heart rate and often insomnia. This is temporary, your body will figure it out and not require the extra carb boost over time.


            • #7
              Eating right before bed is not a bad thing. Quite a few people do very well on low (or no) food intake in the am and a larger meal before bed. If that actually solves your problem, you may want to see if your body is falling naturally into a fasting protocol.

              Are you also eating enough? The symptoms you described can be easily associated with plain and simple undereating.
              My Journal:
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


              • #8
                There is a chance that I'm not eating enough. I've noticed that I've been able to go longer periods of time without eating, and I've really been enjoying the decreased reliance on frequent food intake. I might be taking it too far though and not filling up enough.

                I might experiment with skipping breakfast and doing a 12-8 eating window. I tried this when I first went Primal, however, and that's when the sleeping troubles really kicked in and the hypoglycemic symptoms were in full force.


                • #9
                  you don't say what you're actually eating or why you are going low-carb? primal doesn't have to be lc.
                  As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

                  Ernest Hemingway


                  • #10
                    Maybe your mattress is old, and it's a coincidence that you started primal. Mattresses don't gradually go...they are just all of a sudden not the same. Buying a new mattress did wonders for my problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
                    Stumbled into Primal due to food allergies, and subsequent elimination of non-primal foods.

                    Start Gluten-Free/Soy-Free: December 2012; start weight 158lbs, Ladies size 6
                    Start Primal: March 2013, start weight 150lbs, Ladies size 6
                    Current: 132lbs, Ladies size 2

                    26lbs lost since cutting the crap.