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Thread: I never woke up at night to urinate as a vegetarian, but do so as caveman! page

  1. #1
    ewilhelm's Avatar
    ewilhelm is offline Junior Member
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    I never woke up at night to urinate as a vegetarian, but do so as caveman!

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    I have been eating a paleo diet for 8 years, first inspired by the work of Eaton and Cordain. I'm not aware of any health issues, am lean, and, due to OCD, consider it fun to do hormonal and micronutrient tests, so have high confidence that my cortisol, testosterone, vitamins, lipids, and other measures are all in the optimal range. I kitesurf or paddlesurf whenever I can, and do crossfit (no more than twice per week) when the weather isn't conducive to going in the ocean.

    Prior to switching to a paleo diet, I was a strict lacto-ovo vegetarian for 10 years. I was lucky never to have any serious problems with a vegetarian diet, but will report that it's great to actually feel full after eating -- unlike after a meal of beans and rice or pizza -- and awesome to be able to put on muscle. However, one notable difference is that I now often wake up 3-4 hours after falling asleep, urinate, and then fall immediately back asleep. As a vegetarian, this never happened (and it's not just rose-colored memories: much of that time was in college or grad school where I slept in an elevated loft and getting out of bed required climbing over my girlfriend and down a ladder -- getting up every night would have been quite memorable). Further, I remember the best sleep happening after I ate a bunch of sugary, processed crap right before bed like cookies, peanut butter, or ice cream. Even further, as a vegetarian, I drank a lot of water (multiple liters per day), and never worried about drinking it all in the last hours of the day. Now, if I find myself thirsty in the last few hours before bed, I try to ignore the thirst to see if I can sleep through the night.

    I doubt it's prostate issues. I'm 35, and never have any problems urinating or issues that might implicate the prostate (but frankly, am open to a better understanding that might implicate it...). When I wake up, it's not even urgent to urinate, urination is never difficult, nor is the volume "fully loaded". I've simply learned that if I go, I'll be able to go back to sleep immediately.

    I sleep in a fully pitch-black room, and go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every day, weekends included.

    Recently, I went an entire day without drinking any water or other fluids. There must have been plenty of water in my food since I was never thirsty and didn't actually realize I hadn't drunk anything until the end of the day. After sleeping soundly for 4 hours, I still woke up and peed a small amount that night. (For reference, here's what I ate that day: veal with chopped fennel bulbs cooked in lard; salad with lots of raw veggies dressed with olive oil and vinegar, turkey breast and pork loin; ground beef cooked with onions and carrots.)

    On days when I don't exercise, my carbohydrate consumption can be very low -- not out of any real effort, but rather because my normal diet is lots of meat, fish, cooked vegetables, and salad with highly limited amounts of fruit. Perhaps a dose of carbohydrate before bed (although not crap carbohydrate like when I was veggie) would help hold some more water in my muscles and keep me from needing to urinate? Does being a fat-burner mean I produce more water than a sugar-burner? My sleep on either side is sound, and I generally feel well rested, but did cavemen really get up in the middle of the night to pee?

  2. #2
    ottercat's Avatar
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    2 things, IMO
    1) glycogen holds like 3x its weight in water and on a low-carb diet you have very little glycogen and less fluid retention
    2) if there isn't an urgent need to go that's waking you, it might be a mild form of insomnia. As your blood sugar goes down, your cortisol comes up. you might try a snack before bed and see if that helps.

    If you feel well-rested, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Sounds like you're doing great!
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  3. #3
    Linny's Avatar
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    I've found since going Primal that nightly peeing is more frequent. I also find that it happens more often when my body is losing weight or caused by monthly hormones. I'm interested to hear what others have to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ottercat View Post
    2 things, IMO
    1) glycogen holds like 3x its weight in water and on a low-carb diet you have very little glycogen and less fluid retention
    2) if there isn't an urgent need to go that's waking you, it might be a mild form of insomnia. As your blood sugar goes down, your cortisol comes up. you might try a snack before bed and see if that helps.

    If you feel well-rested, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Sounds like you're doing great!
    Agree. I almost always need to pee during the night when eating low-carb (and thus holding less water-retaining glycogen). When high-carb eating, my muscles have more glycogen and thus I stay puffy and night-peeing-free. Personally I prefer being less puffy.
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    I was thinking the same thing. When I've been eating crap, I rarely have to pee. When I start eating better, I start peeing more because my body isn't hanging on to the water.

    Is it the same time every night? It could be something simple as an outside noise waking you up (like a neighbor slamming a car door when they leave for work), which wakes you up just a little and then you realize "Yeah, my bladder could use some emptying." Even if the initial trigger is gone, it could become a habit.
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  6. #6
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    get your prostrate checked to rule it out.

  7. #7
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    The onset of prostate enlargement is not uncommon at 35
    Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    I've found since going Primal that nightly peeing is more frequent. I also find that it happens more often when my body is losing weight or caused by monthly hormones. I'm interested to hear what others have to say.
    Sounds like me, I get the big whoosh where lots of fluids goes out followed by a big drop in weight. I gain fluids during my period, but no night-peeing... Just lots of toilet-visits for 2 days.

  9. #9
    dado's Avatar
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    because when you were vegetarian your body wished it was dead when you went to sleep, but now you are alive so your body wants to live and it wants to urinate.

  10. #10
    bighok's Avatar
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    same thing happens to me when i veer off and come back on strong i go vlc and for a week i urinate like crazy at night kinda sucks but worth it

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