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Thread: Back with my tail between my legs and a question on sleep page

  1. #1
    timbrownson's Avatar
    timbrownson is offline Member
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    Back with my tail between my legs and a question on sleep

    Last August I went Primal and I was here for about 10 or 12 weeks reading and interacting.

    I never got through the carb flu stage even though a lot of people here were really supportive and helpful.

    Round about late October, early November, I slowly started to slip off the wagon and to be honest, gave up. I was convinced I was the only person that this didn't help! I know, ridiculous, I'm not an alien as far as I'm aware.

    Over the holidays I decided to take another look. I was finally honest with myself in as much as admitting I took the 80-20 rule to extremes on occasions, mainly with beer and wine!

    I know, I know, how the hell can you do this and still be drinking beer? It wasn't a lot, maybe a 6 pack per week, but even so it was something I'd be kicking a clients behind for doing. I'd also have a bottle of wine spread out of the week and it was white not red.

    As I type this I'm thinking poster child for doing Primal wrong and wondering why?

    So I've kicked things off again and this time I'm being a lot stricter. No 80-20 to begin with. In fact I'm pretty much 100% primal at the moment.

    I'm experiencing carb flu again, but something that is maybe worse. My sleeping is terrible. I'm lucky if I'm getting 4 or 5 hours per night and if I try and nap during the day, I can't. As I was reading in Robb Wolf's book, I am definitely tired and wired and it is effecting my concentration big time.

    I have done some digging and read bits about a high fat diet effecting sleep patterns and was wondering if anybody else had this problem in the early days, and if so how long did it go on for?

    I definitely have ramped up the fat big time, but the tiredness is crushing at the moment and I guess I'm looking for something positive to grasp on to because I really believe this is me and not the system and I do not want to quit again.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. #2
    eisenreich's Avatar
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    Hi Tim, welcome back, this really is a great community for providing support when you need it. I'm relatively new to the PB lifestyle (3 weeks in), so I can only share anecdotes on what I've experienced so far.

    I've managed to dodge a bullet on the carb-flu, with energy levels higher than ever. While I'm not 100% strict, I've been pretty close and have found I'm sleeping better than ever. I'm not sure what your daily schedule looks like, but if you have time to get in a workout, either moderate cardio or some bodyweight training, that may go a long way in helping you get to sleep at a more reasonable hour. I've also found that I get tired much easier if I turn off all external stimulants (television, bright lights) and curl up with the Kindle. I believe Mark also mentioned in the book that you shouldn't be drinking/eating right before you try falling asleep.

    The other thing I took away from your post was that you were overthinking it, a lot. By worrying and encouraging negative thoughts about carb-flu and "wired and tired," it sounds like this alone could be raising your anxiety and being counterproductive. Not saying you need to light incense while mediatating and thinking happy thoughts, but just carve out some time in your day to do something you enjoy as an outlet for accumulated stress; or as Mark says, "Play."

    Finally, if you find yourself lying in bed at night with your mind racing, keep a notepad by your bed and write down what's bothering you. The act itself can help ease your mind and in the morning help you to focus on priorities for what you need to accomplish.

    Best of luck-

  3. #3
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    TigerLily is offline Senior Member
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    Howdy Tim. I remember you from last year. No worries about the dropping out and then sheepishly sneaking back into the cave. It happens to a lot of us, including me. I actually think it can be a good thing because it really drills home how crappy eating CW makes us feel, and it's clear that the difference is like night and day.

    I just remember everything was askew in the beginning -- energy, sleep, bathroom habits -- but then it all started to come together. The only thing I can say is to keep your calendar as commitment-free as your life allows and get lots of rest, laying around reading if you can't nap, etc.

    Anyway, good to see you back again.

    Cheers!
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

  4. #4
    egger's Avatar
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    Consider slowing down a bit and spending more time educating yourself on the why's. It's a tedious task but worth it over the long haul. And unless you are here only to quickly lose weight, this is all about the long haul anyway. The more you know, the more motivation you'll have.

    Consider eliminating gluten grains or eating "whole" foods for a while until you have that down if your body reacts strongly to a lower carbohydrate lifestyle. Don't let the best be the enemy of the good (but don't kid yourself either).

    You won't do what the Primal Blueprint says to do for the next 50 years - you'll do what you want to do. Education is key to shaping your wants.

    Good luck and stick around no matter what you're eating.

  5. #5
    timbrownson's Avatar
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    @ Eisenreich - Thanks man. Unbelievably though it may seem, I'm a Life Coach and published author. I'm literally in the middle of writing an article on stress for a newspaper. I'm also a certified hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner. I exercise about 4 times per week and meditate daily. I wasn't at all stressed prior to this, but yeh, you're right, I am now ;-)

    The worse nights sleep i got which was literally zero (and trust me it really was zero, I never even came close to nodding off) was on Monday after doing a gentle work out and then a yoga session followed up by 30 minutes meditation.

    @TigerLily - I think you just described my day! I only see 3 clients per day, the rest is writing, working out, dog walking, reading and meditating. That's why I'm so confused. Most people would kill for my chilled lifestyle. Thanks for the welcome back.

    @egger - I'm on it! And I don't intend going back again, I know this has to be to do with my body switching over and I'm 100% gluten free as of Monday. I have even cut out my beloved English Mustard!

  6. #6
    janagram's Avatar
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    I have sleep problems, but have had off and on for yrs...I resort to ambien when a cycle gets too bad...hate to but need sleep.
    it cycles tho' and then I can sleep 6 hrs or so for wks, which is enough. I also meditate and have a chill lifestyle...a painter.
    Last edited by janagram; 01-20-2011 at 12:03 PM.

  7. #7
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    Everyone keto-adapts differently--and you may need to tinker with your Protein/fat ratios a bit--maybe up the protein a bit--especially high tryptophan meat like turkey. Read this post. And welcome back!

  8. #8
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    DO you exercise? LHT wears me the hell out, and I sleep like a baby.

  9. #9
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    I'm just like you in the sleep department.
    The inability to sleep thing was irritating massively. You're tired, and just lying there watching the clock run...
    It lasted 2-3 weeks. By the time the irritability and general carb cravings were gone, I was able to sleep. I'm 100% sure these things are all linked. We crave more sugar when we're tired and we're irritable. When I asked other people about sleep problems, I got a lot of "me, too"s.
    Take heart. It will pass soon...

  10. #10
    eelnus's Avatar
    eelnus is offline Senior Member
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    I'm 3 weeks in and the first week I had really bad insomnia. I wrote several posts crying for help. My carb flu kicked in on day 4 and lasted a couple days. But the insomnia lasted about a week. Before pb I was a perfect sleeper. Never had a problem, could decide to go to bed, lay down and fall asleep right away.
    Now, on my 3rd week, I don't feel like I have insomnia anymore. But my sleep does feel different. Its like everyone says, I don't seem to need as much sleep as before. So now, i don't have trouble falling asleep, but I go to bed later. And I seem to wake up earlier. I can't explain it, but it feels different.
    But the insomnia is gone. I'm still eating vlc, so I didn't change my carb intake. I read somewhere that if you give in by increasing your carbs, then thats like giving candy to a screaming child, it won't fix anything. But I also read that it is different for everyone.

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