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Thread: Insomnia and Ketosis -- How to make it better without more carbs???? page 3

  1. #21
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    I read this thread with interest yesterday. I don't sleep brilliantly although taking a magnesium supplement has certainly helped. I do follow a low carb diet & noticed that a small glass of warm milk could help me get back to sleep when I got tired of tossing & turning. So I figured it could be a ketosis - glycogen - blood sugar issue. I tried a spoon of honey in a glass of warm water last night about an hour before bed & slept from 11pm to the alarm at 6.45am. Now I know it was a one-night experiment - but it worked!

  2. #22
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    I've slept good two nights in a row. One thing I noticed is that after having a salad with almonds and black olives for lunch, my heart rate dropped and I felt much more relaxed. Don't know if the fats helped, but I'm going to keep experimenting until I find some answers.

  3. #23
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    Second night with a spoon of honey before bed. Second good night's sleep!

  4. #24
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    Starch = good sleep

    Quote Originally Posted by LolaLola View Post
    Second night with a spoon of honey before bed. Second good night's sleep!
    I'd like to reopen this discussion as I'm unable to get a good night's sleep in ketosis. I perform excellent throughout the day in ketosis, lots of energy and good mood, no carb cravings. However, once bedtime comes around, I get a restless, almost anxious feeling (sometimes I feel like I'm fainting while I lie down in bed). I tried protein, fat, only thing that will cure it is a small portion of white potatoes or rolled oats with milk. If I have enough, I will sleep like a log until alarm clock wakes me.

    Honey only helps me fall asleep, I will wake up shortly after again.

    It seems strange that my brain seems to run BETTER on ketones during the day, but DEMANDS glucose in the night? At least that's how I interpret it. I'm not scared of carbs or anything, but I do wish to shed a few pounds still and the first two months I seemed to especially lose weight during sleep-- I would wake up and literally be able to grab less stomach fat than the night before.

    So I'm curious to hear what you guys who had problems two years ago think today? What was your continued experience and experiments? Thanks a lot in advance for any help!

  5. #25
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    it's your gut bacteria: you are starving them and it is not a good thing at all in the long term. This is why potatoes do you good in the evening: some carbs will make it to the colon and feed them (and you indirectly). Don't compromise your gut / immune system, and feed the gut bugs. Your sleep will improve. No need to be in constant ketosis, while it is a smart metabolic strategy in times when food is scarce, it is probably only supposed to give you a boost in energy to continue to seek foods until you find some. You are not supposed to stay in this state all the time. Eat some fermentable carbs (resistant starch, fructo-oligo-saccharides, inulin, etc) for your gut health. Sleep will follow once you fix that.

  6. #26
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    Thank you, FrenchFry. Your reply makes a lot of sense to me. I've started making kefir at home to support healthy gut function and to try and combat some mild eczema I get once in a while. I've become aware of resistant starch of late-- and also the "gut-brain axis" which is all about the vagus nerve and also the amount of serotonin being produced in the gut. I agree that ketosis is not something you should do 24-7, and I do have carb reload days (when I sprint, lift weights etc). It's only because I'm afraid I might gain weight by eating a bunch of carbs before I go to bed. Obviously, the more resistant starch I eat, the better. That's also why I'm curious about the recommendation to eat honey before bedtime.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by andersemil View Post
    That's also why I'm curious about the recommendation to eat honey before bedtime.
    I heard that honey just before bedtime makes you sleep good (but it must be raw honey). I don't know, I never tried and I sleep good enough so I don't care to test.

    About the carbs making you fat, etc. That's rather simple:
    - eat the bulk of them in the evening and make sure they come from good sources (starchy veggies, fruits - and raw honey, why not ?)
    - adjust quantities according to activity (if you are 100% sedentary, use the car, crash on your couch most evenings, etc), you hardly deplete your glycogen stores and there is no need to force carbs down your throat but remember the gut bugs.

    Don't graze on digestible carbs throughout the entire day, there is no point. All you will do is prevent efficient lipolysis. The evening is best because you will sleep good, and you will be fasting while you sleep

    During the day, prefer proteins and moderate fat if you feel hungry (if your goal is fat burning, burn your own, sounds simple uh ? ). Proteins are satiating and you won't go fat with them for sure! True enough, they will trigger an insulin response (a very natural and necessary thing) but to avoid hypoglycemia, glucagon will come to the rescue. Glucagon also happens to promote lipolysis. That's my take on it. You can also have some resistant starches (just a fix) with some probiotics. It will probably blunt your appetite.

    In any case, it all depends on your meal timing and composition. And that also depends on your activity level during the day. Tweak, experiment and see how you feel.

    Last remark: you don't necessarily lose fat on ketosis. And to be in ketosis, you don't necessarily need to be high fat - low protein - 0 carb What you need is a calorie deficit. Prioritize proteins, all the time, and adjust fat intake up to a certain cal deficit (but not a huge one). Btu that's only if you want to be in ketosis and lose fat in that way.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFry View Post
    Proteins are satiating and you won't go fat with them for sure! True enough, they will trigger an insulin response (a very natural and necessary thing) but to avoid hypoglycemia, glucagon will come to the rescue. Glucagon also happens to promote lipolysis. That's my take on it.
    That's what I thought too until I heard about this study:

    Macronutrient composition of the diet and prospecti... [PLoS One. 2013] - PubMed - NCBI

  9. #29
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    Yeah, well, it sounds bad but ...

    "Diet was assessed at baseline using country-specific validated questionnaires and weight and height were measured at baseline and self-reported at follow-up in most centers."
    I see many confounders al ready:
    - which kind of proteins ?
    - how much fat came with them ? (proteins don't usually come alone in whole foods)
    - what kind of weight gain ? (lean, or adipose tissue - lean can be anything, from more muscles to more gut - this seems to be the case when the carbs eaten with the proteins are fibrous ... the more colonic activity, the bigger the colon ...)
    - meal quantity, timing, quality
    - sleep amount and quality
    - daily stress
    - daily activity
    - reliance on grains in the daily diet ?

    I wouldn't draw any conclusion from it.

    OK, I am an n=1 data point but I have been on a diet high in proteins for almost 2 years, I prefer starches as my bulk carbs, and I am not afraid of fats (I am following a french diet, minus the grains). I eat mostly once / day, sometimes 2. I generally have no morning breakfast, and I move my butt (daily biking to work, a bit of resistance training, body weight lifting, etc).

    After I switched from conventional wheat based diet to this, I dropped a lot of bad weight (visceral fat) and build muscle mass. After that, my weight had not been changing (1.5 year at the same average - 68kg +/- 1.5 kg). I don't track my food quantities, don't restrict anything, don't indulge in anything. I have not been sick at all during all this time and my sleep is good.

  10. #30
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    Totally with you, I haven't been sick (AT ALL!) for three years now, which I attribute to getting rid of sugars and grains as well. I've even had major cheat days but the vast majority I spent in a low-carb (not ketosis), low inflammation state.

    Anyway, I have two major reasons for pursuing ketosis: 1) I feel GREAT, much more energy, no flatulence/bloating from carbs (I've had major issues digesting vegetables and fruit), 2) I've accumulated a small but obvious "tyre" around my belly and back which I credit to my poor sleep and thus over-eating.

    So I think you're right that I should up my carb intake before bedtime and get a row of good nights sleep before I make any further changes.

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