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    Xeronimo's Avatar
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    Bad/light sleep because of paleo/reduced carbs?

    Primal Fuel
    Hi,

    I've been eaing +- paleo for the last 4 months and it seems like I'm not sleeping really well ... I don't fall asleep easily and I wake up too early ... Now I've read in Mark's latest post that insomnia might be a result of a low carb diet, at least at first?

    Any comments/recommendations?

    Thanks!

    Jerome

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    YogaBare is offline Senior Member
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    This is my area..!

    I've had insomnia for years. It got worse when I went vegetarian, and got worse again when I went low carb. I've researched it to death, have asked several big boffs about it, and never found a satisfactory answer. I have several hypothesis about it.

    Are you fat adapted? Hows your fat intake?

    Basically, when the average, sugar burning person sleeps, they use up glycerin stores. When these get depleted (which they do easily - particularly if you're eating low carb), the body cannot rest, because it starts looking for fuel. The result is waking fitfully throughout the night. Some people wake up hungry, others just wake up with a racing mind.

    If you've changed to primal, but haven't upped your saturated fats considerably, you're still relying primarily on sugars as your source of fuel. Unless you're eating really heavy carbs at night, these get depleted quickly. Your body goes into a state of stress, because it's searching for fuel, and it makes you wake, feeling stressed out, or hungry.

    If you're fat adapted, it doesn't matter if your glycerin stores are low, because your body has a constant source of fuel to keep it in a state of rest.

    Another thing is hypoglecmic insomnia, which is when your blood sugar drops too low and again, you wake up looking for food. Or your liver can respond by dumping glycerin back into your blood stream, and the burst of energy wakes you.

    I'm in the process of adapting to fat burning, and I'm still waking up for an hour each night- but not feeling hungry anymore.

    I know other things it could be too - tell me more of your symptoms and I'll see what I can share.

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    ^^ Wow awesome info YogaBare. I too had this problem the first few nights on the diet but it seems to be a bit better now. Interesting facts about it though I never knew!

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    YogaBear, thanks a lot so far!

    I eat quite a lof of fats actually (meat, fish, chicken, eggs) and it's not that I'm hungry when I wake up. I've just trouble falling asleep and I wake up in the night or too early in the morning. Might also be coupled to the weather though ... but it's quite ongoing now for weeks if not months.

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    Happy to help I know what it's like...!

    Is your mind racing? Do you have any symptoms of low blood pressure? People's blood pressure goes right down when they are low carb, and if someone's was already low the further reduction can cause a range of symptoms.

    I suspect there is a connection between low blood pressure, racing mind, and sleep disturbances. I'm looking into it at the moment!

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    As far as blood pressure, I used to be in the rather low category ... But I haven't had a test since I've gone low card/paleo. The mind is racing at times too which I guess has nothing to do with low carbs though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeronimo View Post
    Hi,

    I've been eaing +- paleo for the last 4 months and it seems like I'm not sleeping really well ... I don't fall asleep easily and I wake up too early ... Now I've read in Mark's latest post that insomnia might be a result of a low carb diet, at least at first?

    Any comments/recommendations?

    Thanks!

    Jerome
    How much exercise do you get? Moving slowly each day helps my sleep. You might also consider supplementing magnesium at night
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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    If your blood pressure was already low then there's a very high probability it's dropped to very low.

    In relation to the racing mind - I do think what we eat has an effect on our minds. Our brain effects our body, and our body effects our brain. Eg. Sugary foods can cause blood sugar spikes, which can cause roller coasters emotions. It's obvious when you think about it, but we're taught to compartmentalise our bodies and minds, so we don't consider it.

    In short - Cutting carbs effects the physiology, so you can be sure it effects the psychology.

    Is your heart beating with a strong pulse when you wake? This is a symptom of low blood pressure, and the heartbeat effects the brain, which effects how you think.

    Quote Originally Posted by peril View Post
    You might also consider supplementing magnesium at night
    Many people say that magnesium helps them to sleep. Magnesium is also one of the remedies for raising your blood pressure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by peril View Post
    How much exercise do you get? Moving slowly each day helps my sleep. You might also consider supplementing magnesium at night
    I do the 'Lift heavy things' routine 3x a week. Plus the sprints once a week. And I walk quite a lot.
    Additional magnesium always made me feel ill :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    If your blood pressure was already low then there's a very high probability it's dropped to very low.
    Maybe I should get that checked at some point. What's weird too is that I'm tired during the day (since I've slept badly) but then don't fall asleep easily at night ... !?

    In relation to the racing mind - I do think what we eat has an effect on our minds. Our brain effects our body, and our body effects our brain. Eg. Sugary foods can cause blood sugar spikes, which can cause roller coasters emotions. It's obvious when you think about it, but we're taught to compartmentalise our bodies and minds, so we don't consider it.

    In short - Cutting carbs effects the physiology, so you can be sure it effects the psychology.
    Body and mind are actually one ... I don't eat much sugar anymore though!

    Is your heart beating with a strong pulse when you wake? This is a symptom of low blood pressure, and the heartbeat effects the brain, which effects how you think.[/quote]
    I don't think my heart beats strongly when I awake ...

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