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Thread: haven't had a great night's sleep in a long time page

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    dirk41's Avatar
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    Exclamation haven't had a great night's sleep in a long time

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    Been paleo for almost a year a now. I've experienced a lot of benefits but one thing that hasn't improved is my sleep. Going back to high school (I'm in my early 20s), I've had pretty bad sleep habits. In high school, I never got enough sleep and was perpetually tired; I would take 2-3 hours naps after coming home from school. In college I would get enough sleep but I would have trouble getting 8 hours of continuous sleep at night. It would also take me a long time to fall asleep (around an hour).

    Nowadays, I just started graduate school and I'm still working part-time. I have a busy schedule but I've been able to consistently get 7 hours of sleep each night. I don't really have issues with falling asleep anymore; I can fall asleep usually within 20 minutes. But I seemingly can't sleep continuously for longer than 6 hours at a time. When I wake up, I don't feel well-rested but I am able to get up and go through my routine with no problems. During the day my energy levels are stable (thanks to the fat-burning of paleo) but I feel like they could be better if I were getting better quality sleep.

    What are some ways to improve my quality of sleep?

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    eKatherine's Avatar
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    How's your diet? What do you eat and when? I sleep much better when I eat starches with my evening meal than during lunch.

    And when I say "much better", the difference is between laying in bed for hours and getting only a few hours sleep vs sleeping like a log, being able to go right back to sleep if something wakes me up, and waking up well-rested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    How's your diet? What do you eat and when? I sleep much better when I eat starches with my evening meal than during lunch.

    And when I say "much better", the difference is between laying in bed for hours and getting only a few hours sleep vs sleeping like a log, being able to go right back to sleep if something wakes me up, and waking up well-rested.
    Agreed. If you've been low-carb, consider adding some sweet/white potatoes before bed. Carbs can increase serotonin production, which will improve your ability to sleep.
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    The thing is, I wasn't low carb. I was eating a fair amount fruit, but mostly during lunch, and not craving starches at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    The thing is, I wasn't low carb. I was eating a fair amount fruit, but mostly during lunch, and not craving starches at all.
    I didn't say you were. I was just pointing out that being low-carb can have some negative effects on sleep quality. Yes, I agree that eating starch before bed improves sleep, even if you're not low-carb.
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    I'm very similar to OP, my main problem is probably entertainment distractions. My goal is to stir naturally 10-15 minutes before the alarm. If the alarm wakes me up I consider the night a "fail" and set the bedtime back 10-15 minutes the following night to determine how much sleep I truly need.

    This routine really has helped:
    • midday light + activity (in the winter I take my D supplement with lunch since it may carry a circadian signal)
    • ample dinner--last bite about 4 hours before bedtime, followed by long walk, followed by hot or cold herbal tea and 200mg magnesium glycinate
    • ultra masculine solution: chamomile or lavender sachet in the pillowcase, and a quality blindfold. Try to identify the specific disturbances--outside noise, stuffy air, too hot, too cold, etc.
    35//6'3"/180

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    My meals basically consist of a piece of meat (chicken, beef, steak, bacon, sausage) and some veggies on the side (broccoli, onions, peppers, cauliflower). I have one egg a day. I do eat dairy - yogurt, cheese, and milk. I drink only milk and water. I do eat some grain-free cookies a few times per week (made with almond butter, eggs, and chocolate chips). I don't eat a lot of fruits - occasionally a banana or some strawberries. Basically no alcohol. I don't any starches like potatoes since they cause my skin to break out.

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    If potatoes make your skin break out, how about other starchy tubers, like sweet potatoes, parsnips, and tropical tubers? Winter squash? Does rice bother you?

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    Ever since I started taking magnesium citrate supplements at bedtime, I sleep like a baby. Could be worth a try.

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    You could look into and possibly try some melatonin. IMO its the best thing out there for fixing messed up sleeping patterns.

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