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Thread: Liver Glycogen and Sleep page

  1. #1
    Ratio's Avatar
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    Liver Glycogen and Sleep

    Primal Fuel
    Greetings.

    The wife brought me to MDA after I challenged her to find a rationale for exercising before breakfast.

    Our lives haven't been the same since: No more chronic cardio for her; and no more grains/glutens for either of us. As a result, we have noted improvements in many areas. Apart from periodic fasting, she eats a regular breakfast with me now; as the "chronic cardio" pressure is off which caused her to wring her hands about exercising EARLY in the day ;o)

    Now, having done this for a while, I do have one question for the community: What about using raw honey just before bed to act a sleep-phase energy store via liver glycogen? I have noticed suboptimal sleep in both of us since starting on PB; which, after some research, I experimentally resolved with a tablespoon of raw organic honey just before bed. As I understand this, it seems as though the fructose in honey is quickly taken up by the liver to replenish its glycogen stores (which PB can deplete); yielding normal sleep values as the end benefit. Indeed, glycogen depletion at the hepatic level can wreck a havoc with sleep patterns via an overnight drop in brain glucose...

    So, I guess what I'd like to know is this: Is there a "good" amount of raw honey which one could take before the overnight fast and still operate within the PB plan? If not, is there a better way of "topping off" liver glycogen stores immediately prior to rest, thereby avoiding an overnight neuro glucose dip?

    Thanks, and have a great day

  2. #2
    jo's Avatar
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    I remember a friend suggesting honey at night and I wasn't able to find any proper research confirming any benefit (if you have found some studies I would be interested in a link). Having said this, if eating honey has eased your sleep problems then go right ahead. I found that after a year of low carb my sleep suffered and my temperature dropped. I found that eating carb foods at night helped this, so there may be some issue there to unpick. I'm still low carb generally but have more regular carb ups. Sleep is fine now.

  3. #3
    Ratio's Avatar
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    Thanks, jo, for your input.

    Sadly, the med journals are somewhat devoid of a thoroughgoing treatment of the subject. My diggings helped me to elucidate the problem in a rather roundabout way. What I do know is that it seems to work; and, as I understand it, the biochemistry points well away from any sort of "placebo effect."

    I agree that it seems to be an issue which might bear some investigation by one with more ready resources than I in this regard.

    Thanks again

  4. #4
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    I've been following these and other forums for quite some time and have never read where it was advisable to eat a high calorie or carb snack before bedtime. If anything, just the opposite. I don't eat at all after dinner and fast until noon the next day. My sleep is just fine. I had some sleep issues a while back--I'd wake up around 2 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I realized it coincided with the days I would walk 3 miles after supper. I now do all my walking and lifting before supper and sleep has returned to normal.

    Not sure if you are trying to lose weight or just be healthy, but if you find a spoon of honey helps you sleep, I see absolutely no harm in it. A lot of people on these forums have said the same thing about drinking a cup of bone broth before bed.

  5. #5
    activia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    I've been following these and other forums for quite some time and have never read where it was advisable to eat a high calorie or carb snack before bedtime. If anything, just the opposite. I don't eat at all after dinner and fast until noon the next day. My sleep is just fine. I had some sleep issues a while back--I'd wake up around 2 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I realized it coincided with the days I would walk 3 miles after supper. I now do all my walking and lifting before supper and sleep has returned to normal.

    Not sure if you are trying to lose weight or just be healthy, but if you find a spoon of honey helps you sleep, I see absolutely no harm in it. A lot of people on these forums have said the same thing about drinking a cup of bone broth before bed.
    The opposite is true for me. Whenever I eat a huge meal or do major exercise (lifting day) I ALWAYS sleep BEST. If I go to bed midly hungry or am fasting, I do NOT sleep as well. If I do not exercise that day at all..I do not sleep well at all.

    So I guess its not the same for everyone. Just find what works for YOU

  6. #6
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    Last edited by Paleobirdy; 12-16-2011 at 06:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Here's an interesting blog post about some research on eating carbs with dinner.....

    Save Your Carbs For Dinner? | Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

    A study by Sigal Sofer and colleagues from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, published in OBESITY, suggests that eating most of your carbs at dinner may have beneficial effects on hormonal patterns, metabolism, and lead to more weight loss than eating a similarly calorie-restricted diet with carbs spread out throughout the day.

  8. #8
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    I tried carbs for dinner for a while, but found it stalled my weightloss. So I prefer protein, but I think I can do carbs like sweet potato once I really get serious with my LHT.

  9. #9
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    Have you tried Magnesium (Natural Calm is popular around here) before bed?

  10. #10
    Ratio's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Hello again.

    Thank you for all of your observations. Interesting stuff...

    While it may not be entirely conventional to have a bit of carb before sleep, it seems that it doesn't hurt overall with respect to the PB objectives. Last night, I was able to sleep like a baby again; until the hungries attacked in the wee hours. Ugh. Leftovers to the rescue!

    I consider last night a "method failure" issue caused by eating dinner "on time" and going to bed "really late" after modest activity. Should've been well asleep by the time I finally turned in for the night: I used up most of my fuel on evening nitwittery before even getting around to the bedtime carb-up.

    So, I'll try again tonight. BTW -- apart from spousal-induced sleep disturbance, the wife slept great ;o)

    @jammies: Yep, we're doing the magnesium thing in conjunction with a balance of chelated calcium and vitamin D. It helps with sleep, and is great for the bones/teeth

    Have a great day, folks!

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