Dear Mark: Dealing with Undersleeping, and the Nutritional Value of Yeast

YawnFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got two questions. First up is a big one: how do you deal with the inevitable bout of acute sleep loss? Are there pills to take, exercises to do or avoid, foods to eat or not? Or are we completely helpless in the face of undersleeping? And second, I discuss the importance – or not – of yeast in the diet. Are we missing out on an integral part of the human diet by avoiding the yeast found in bread?

Let’s find out:

Hi Mark

We all agree that getting enough sleep is important on all levels, and a good sleeping routine is vital to ensuring a good night’s sleep. However, what can we do when sleep deprivation cannot be helped – e.g. new mothers, sudden stress induced insomnia, deadlines, travel etc. – to help ourselves the day following such sleeplessness to counteract the bad effects/generally help us get through the day (without getting into a sleepless cycle, i.e. too much coffee)? Should we attempt to sleep in? Should we take more supplements that day? Eat more primal carbs? Take naps? Take the day off from exercise? Or exercise to induce fatigue? No strength training but cardio is ok? Go to bed earlier? Would really appreciate your thoughts on how to deal with “undersleeping”. Thank you!


Great question. Sleep deprivation is sometimes unavoidable, but we don’t want it to totally undermine our efforts to be healthy. By identifying the specific and known health effects of sleep deprivation, we can propose physiologically plausible solutions or temporary workarounds. A 2010 review of the endocrine effects of sleep deprivation on humans provides a good overview:

Glucose tolerance goes down. This is a well-known phenomenon, and it’s probably one reason why chronic sleep loss is a big risk factor for diabetes.

Solution: Avoid unnecessary carbohydrates. The more intolerant you are to carbs, the more body fat you’ll gain when you eat them. The day after bad sleep should be lower carb than a day after good sleep.

Appetite increases. Leptin, the hormone that signals satiety, is lowest in people with sleep debt. In a cruel twist of fate, people who haven’t slept tend to crave carbohydrates and junk food more than any other food. Their ability to resist these cravings also decreases.

Solution: “Don’t eat so much” doesn’t really work for most people, especially if your body is telling you to eat as much as possible. Some of us can simply go without and be fine, but others have this weird inability to easily ignore the body’s physiological impulses. If you feel like snacking, try pistachios. The little green nuts improved glucose metabolism and insulin resistance in a recent randomized controlled trial. Anything with cinnamon is also good, since the spice improves insulin sensitivity following a bad night’s sleep.

Cortisol rhythm grows discordant. Normally, cortisol is highest in the morning (to wake you up) and drops through the day until the evening, when it’s lowest (to let you get to sleep). Under sleep debt, cortisol is still high in the morning, but the drop-off throughout the day is far more gradual – and at night, cortisol remains elevated enough to disrupt the quality sleep you so desperately need.

Solution: There are several things you can do throughout the day to help normalize your cortisol levels.

  • Meditate, especially at night before bed. Meditation has a remarkable stultifying effect on cortisol.
  • Eat your carbs at night. Carbohydrate can lower cortisol in the short term but sleep loss has made you glucose intolerant, so limit your carbs to night.
  • Go easy on the exercise. Walk, don’t run; walking lowers cortisol. Even better, go walk through a forest, a park, the beach, or anywhere out in nature for even more cortisol reduction. If you lift, keep the volume low. Go for singles and doubles instead of sets of 12. If you promised your buddy you’d run hill sprints with him, make them super short – like 3 or 4 seconds long.
  • Don’t not eat. Fasting will probably just exacerbate the sleep deprivation stress you’re experiencing. Stick to protein, fat, and limit (but don’t eliminate) the carbs.

Your blood pressure goes up. When you haven’t slept, your body is on high alert. The sympathetic nervous system kicks in, your pulse pounds, you’re all sweaty and disoriented in this alternate reality you’ve stumbled into, and your blood pressure spikes. That explains the “tired but wired” zombie-esque head space we’ve all felt after a bad night of sleep.

Solution: Get some bright light and sun, but not too much strong sun (a disrupted circadian rhythm also increases your skin’s susceptibility to UV damage). However, sun exposure does release nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure. It’s also calming, soothing, and just plain enjoyable.

Balance decreases. A night of sleep deprivation disrupts your postural control. In one study, sleep deprived adults had a harder time maintaining their balance; excessive swaying was evident.

Solution: Avoid workouts involving complex exercises requiring coordination between multiple body parts. Stick to simpler exercises, like walking, cycling, pushups, or pullups. Bodyweight stuff. Don’t go for a PR in the snatch today, yeah? You probably won’t hit it and you might hurt yourself.

Intestinal permeability increases. Your gut becomes more leaky after a bad night’s sleep, allowing passage of unwanted and/or harmful irritants, allergens, bacteria, and endotoxins from your gut to your bloodstream.

Solution: Limit foods to which you suspect you’re intolerant. Suspect you have an issue with gluten? Don’t test your luck with a pizza cheat day if you haven’t slept much.

Oh, I almost forgot:

Take a nap. Naps after a bad night’s sleep are exquisite. They’re perhaps my favorite pastime (that I don’t get to do as often as I’d like). It’s going to bed and dropping into the abyss of deep inevitable sleep, except you get to do it twice. Once during the day, once at night. Oh, and naps (even a ten minute nap) are pretty good at helping you recover alertness after sleep deprivation (PDF). They take the edge off.

I’d like to make an important point: if we’re talking a bad night’s sleep every once in awhile, the above recommendations will help and might even mitigate most of the short term issues. But acute sleep loss, while bad, isn’t the real problem. It’s eating a high carb, high junk food diet while getting five hours a night for months on end. It’s going to bed at midnight and waking up for the 5 AM CrossFit class every other day. It’s staying up until 2 AM watching bad TV and eating your weight in gluten. It’s chronic sleep loss/deprivation that’s truly dangerous. These strategies may keep the negative health effects initially, but not for long. Don’t take today’s post as a free pass to skip sleep. It will catch up to you.

Hi Mark,

We already established that mushrooms are beneficial to our health. I was wondering what really is the purpose of yeast – the yeast people make bread with – which is a fungi in the same kingdom as mushrooms.

Are we missing out on yeast in the Primal [Blueprint] diet because we don’t eat bread?

Can you advise if you consider it primal and how can we get it or try to get it in our diet?

Thank You and Kind Regards


Good question. I’ve got good news. Yeast is everywhere. If you’re eating real produce, it’ll have live, active yeast – as long as it hasn’t been subjected to major industrial washing. The blackberries you got at the farmer’s market? Teeming with yeast.

Natural yeast allows fermentation. It’s the natural yeasts and bacteria on cabbage that allow sauerkraut and kimchi. The wild yeasts on grapes allow wine (although most modern vintners add certain dependable species back in after washing the grapes). Both beer brewers, winemakers, and bread bakers use yeasts from the same species: Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Brewer’s yeast is a popular nutritional supplement, too. A couple tablespoons contains:

  • 1.2 mg thiamine (80% of daily value)
  • 1.5 mg riboflavin (90%)
  • 10 mg niacin (50%)
  • 0.8 mg vitamin B6 (40%)
  • 80 mcg folate (15%)
  • 1 mg copper (50%)
  • 63 mcg selenium (90%)
  • 633 mg potassium (18%)
  • 16 grams protein

That’s not bad. It’s also a good source of chromium, a trace mineral that may help insulin resistant people improve glucose tolerance. If you’re really interested in getting baker’s yeast, you can get pretty close by eating brewer’s yeast.

It’s not totally benign, of course. Many people find that they simply cannot tolerate concentrated dietary sources of yeasts (like bread, alcohol, or straight tablespoons of supplemental yeast). A recent study found that hidradentis suppurativa patients are more likely to be sensitive to brewer’s/baker’s yeast and experience fewer symptoms when yeasts are eliminated from the diet.

Bottom line: There are nutritional benefits to baker’s/brewer’s yeast, especially in people who avoid animal products, but a piece of bread isn’t giving you enough yeast to make a difference. To make bread, bakers typically add just a teaspoon of yeast to over a pound of flour. Good luck getting enough yeast to make a dent in your nutrient requirements from bread alone.

You’re not missing much. And if you were, you could just drink a glass of wine with yeast bits floating around or take brewer’s yeast. No need for bread.

Thanks for writing in and reading, everyone!

TAGS:  dear mark

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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57 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Dealing with Undersleeping, and the Nutritional Value of Yeast”

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  1. Interesting little tidbit about brewer’s yeast. Might be worth looking into throwing a tbsp or two into a smoothie to help boost the nutritional profile. Does anyone have any input on how this would affect flavor or their own personal experience supplementing with yeast?

    1. I have been adding brewer’s yeast to my morning smoothie for quite some time and I have not noticed any difference in flavour.

        1. Hi;
          I had been very attractive to mosquitoes. We had used a natural product from our naturalist vet, until he passed. Saw the product was mostly garlic and Brewer’s Yeast. Concept was that it changed Blood Chemistry and made scents unattractive to pests, like fleas, ticks, mosquitos. So, in Feb 2012, instead of paying for an expensive product plus shipping, I decided to give to our two dogs, 1 Tbl per day. I also started taking 1 Tbl per day (in smoothies). By itself, it has a cheap cheesey type flavor. Noticed no taste difference in smoothies. That Spring I noticed hardly any mosquitos/mosquito bites from our very active (NH) outdoor activities (kayaking, hiking, bicycling). Been taking it ever since.
          Forward 2-3/4 years to last week (Aug 2014). Vacationed in Bar Harbor, Maine. Did not take the Brewers Yeast with us, mistakenly. After 4 days of taking our two dogs out each early morning and evening, when mosquitos are most active, I noticed them swarming and landing on me like they used to do before I started ingesting BY! It was horrible, and also proved to me, more than anecdotedly that the concept of changing the blood chemistry, actually had been really working. Oh, and the Spring before we gave it to the doggs, we would notice 4-6 ticks on ea dog after ea walk in tall grass, where they use to “latch” on to warm-blooded animals. The Spring after Brewers Yeast, we might have found, maybe one on one of the two dogs in Spring, and none later in the year. (Wet Springs are when they are most active, and also the colder the winter, the more of them there tend to be, esp with a following very wet Spring, which we tend to have in New England.) We only use natural products for our dogs. So, in addition to the Brewers Yeast, we use a combination of natural oils in a spray to repel. (Dr. Mercola brand, or various recipes on web if you want to mix your own.) The two pronged attack really helps with the two dogs and for ourselves.
          So, bottom line? Brewer’s Yeast is basically water soluble B vitamins – but does seem to actually work in at least changing blood chemistry to make warm-blooded animals repulsive to pests. Its worth that, at least, if nothing else!.

        2. John, that’s VERY interesting! We have a minor mosquito problem (due to a neighbor with a defunct pool), but I’m more curious as to if this would affect fleas…

          We’ve had a terrible season for fleas and our poor dogs can’t ever seem to get a break. We’ve used flea collars, the liquid you run down their back, baths, etc and nothing keeps them at bay. This is due to the same neighbor that has the pool situation. He has a mangy dog he never bathes.

          My wife and I are going to “nuke” our backyard pretty soon. Basically cut the grass super short, spray bug killer all over the backyard, and bathe our dogs then put a collar and the little liquid things on them….yes we’re THAT desperate!

          Feeding them brewers yeast might help as well. Was thinking of getting them some beds to lay on outside filled with cedar shavings. Heard cedar shavings repel bugs as well.

      1. I add a tablespoon of brewers yeast to my organic popcorn…very tasty.

    2. I’m also interested in anyone’s experience adding brewers yeast into their diets – any notable health improvements?

      1. It’s possible to be allergic to brewer’s yeast (I am). If you use it, watch for bad reactions as well as good ones.

  2. Thank you Mark. That is excellent advice regarding the “day after”. The carb cravings can become a very strong obsession. I will try your tips and hopefully avoid that Milky Way bar from the snack machine. And, I’ll start the day with a cappuccino topped with cinnamon!

  3. I had noticed that upping protein and fat on the days I don’t get enough sleep, seemed to help. It occurred to me a few days ago, that I was probably lowering the carbs by default, because I was staying fuller for longer. My husband, who is not primal, and used to work a job where he worked odd hours and 80+ hour weeks were the norm, realized very quickly that if he was not getting enough sleep, he could not skimp on food and keep going – and that fat and protein rich helped the most.

  4. “Interesting”, she mumbles incoherently at 2.45am!
    I’m a long term (my whole life) sleep struggler!! And I have a very long list of things that help and things that don’t. I appreciate what you have written here, I learnt a few things which is amazing because I thought I knew everything about insomnia and sleep deprivation.
    My best friends: melatonin (wish I didn’t have to take it and am trying to look after my thyroid and adrenals but it helps and stops me having severe bouts), lavender, paleo/primal eating, happy thoughts!

    1. I wish I could take melatonin but my body doesn’t tolerate it well. When I first began trying to change my sleep schedule from going to bed at 10:30 to 9:00, I tried melatonin to help me get to sleep.

      The only thing I got was a crappy night’s sleep and a headache the next morning. Have tried regular, half, and double doses to see if that would help with all of them having the same end result. 🙁

      1. More isn’t necessarily better. Try taking even less. I have occasional problems with insomnia and take melatonin quite often with no bad after-effects. I buy the 3 mg tablets and cut them in half. Anything more than 1-1/2 mg has a reverse effect and makes me feel like I want to jump out of my skin. You might do well on as little as 1/2 mg.

        Melatonin won’t override too much caffeine or late-night stimulation (such as exercise), and it doesn’t seem to work well if your body doesn’t really need the sleep. Also, it doesn’t work for everybody.

        1. I’ve tried taking 1.5 mg and I usually stop drinking caffeine after 2PM. I suppose the evening exercise could be a factor.

          I will tell you this much….my body definitely needs the sleep. lol

  5. Long time lurker, first time commenter. Another excellent post Mark. I tend to suffer from sleep deprivation on the weekends, usually preceded by a night on the tiles. Hard to maintain a regular pattern with an active social life at the end of the week. Solid advice though.

  6. I don’t fully agree with the following:

    “Glucose tolerance goes down. This is a well-known phenomenon, and it’s probably one reason why chronic sleep loss is a big risk factor for diabetes.

    Solution: Avoid unnecessary carbohydrates. The more intolerant you are to carbs, the more body fat you’ll gain when you eat them. The day after bad sleep should be lower carb than a day after good sleep.”

    Nobody is “intolerant” to carbs, makes no sense, unless you have a serious diabetic condition that prevents you from disposing of glucose efficiently. And if you eat carbs from natural sources like tubers and fruits, it will hardly turn to fat unless you are already glycogen replete and don’t move your butt _at all_ Usually, it is the fat that you eat with the carbs that get mostly stored while the body is disposing of the glucose (increased TEF, glycogen storage, brain fuel, etc).

    The real solution to the initial problem: sleep!

    1. LaFrite:
      Everything in your comment is incorrect. You have lots of research and analysis to catch up on: Taubes, Sisson, and Minger are all good places to start.

  7. I laugh at the “new mothers” part. My kids are 5 and 9 and I still have interrupted sleep. Nightmares, illness, you name it. (My kids are gluten-free, so I know it’s not gluten doing it. Add in a hubby who won’t even consider going prima to address his snoring and I have nothing BUT interrupted sleep.

    I yearn for the day when I can truly sleep through the night without interruption.

  8. Getting enough sleep is an ongoing issue for me. I am not a sound sleeper and while paleo/primal eating has helped it a lot, it’s still not great. I wake up early (5 or 530) to run and though I try to go to bed by 10:30 it doesn’t always happen. I’m not completely sure how much sleep I need either but I know it has to be more than 6 hours. Has anyone done anything besides diet to improve sleep?

    1. resistance starch / potato starch. aside from sleeping late and only getting 6 to 5 hours of SHALLOW LIGHT sleep if I’m lucky, potato starch helped me get that 8 to 9 hours of deep sleep consistently. and to test for myself (n=1 folks) if it was PS, I purposely skip PS for 1 week and bam sleep went downhill. as soon as I took PS again, in 3 days I was sleeping deeply again. from what I understand our gut microbiome also produces seratonin in the gut so maybe the PS has help this beneficial bacteria to produce the required seratonin for me to experience 8 to 9 hours of deep sleep.

      1. however, I have NOT figured out yet how to sleep early. usually, i’ll be asleep by 1:00 AM. even if I take PS between 6pm and midnight it’s all the same can;t get to sleep until 1AM and if I manage to sleep by 11pm it is pretty much guaranteed that I will break my deep sleep and wake up around 3am.

        1. Bone broth & gelatin have been very effective at inducing a solid all-night sleep within 40 minutes for me, regardless of caffeine or other stimulus.It’s an n=1 experience, so your mileage may vary.

        1. check out the article the Mark wrote, guide to resistance starch

    2. Hey Michele,

      I’ve used some of your recipes so I thought I would share something that I’ve noticed myself. I am very active physically, and when my workout frequency gets too high my sleep is affected quite a bit. My other friends that are into bodybuilding/power lifting as well suffer from the same issues. As soon as I give myself a rest day (or two) I sleep great again! Do you suppose running frequently is affecting you in the same way?

      1. I’ve definitely considered that my running impacts my ability to relax, sleep, etc. I feel like after my nov marathon it’ll be time to take a big step back with my running at least for a while and see how that impacts me. Thanks! And glad to hear you’ve looked at my recipes 🙂

  9. When I hear yeast I think Candida. Candida is one of the biggest gut biome bad guys. The paleo diet is synonymous with an anti-candida diet. This poses some more questions. Does brewer’s yeast react with candida albicans? Is brewer’s yeast just a nutritional supplement or is it taken as a pro-biotic? Is S. boulardii a better yeast supplement than S. cerevisiae or perhaps a beneficial candida antagonist? Does candida cause insomnia?

    1. Good questions. Speaking as someone who suffers from psoriatic arthritis I have always thought that I am either missing something from my gut or have too much of something. Whilst avoiding all sugars has helped quite a bit I have always felt (slightly) better when I cut out bread as well. I have never really figured whether it was the glutin or the yeast in bread which makes the difference.

      1. Just curious, my wife also suffers with psoriatic arthritis. She is on several medications that I worry could possibly be worse than the problem in the long run. I’m wondering if you know of any PA specific articles or groups with a primal or paleo view. We hear about RA all the time and I’m sure there are some commonalities. She is starting to see the connection with food and how severe her symptoms get. I would love to hear about your experience; success and other, in coping. Thanks for your comment. G

        1. Hi Glenn
          I don’t know of any specific groups. No-one could explain why I have psoriatic arthritis and I don’t like to blindly just accept things. I was taking Meloxicam (an NSAID) and Omeprazole (to counter the effects) but it is a sticking plaster solution rather than a treatment and the Meloxicam made me fuzzy headed.

          I was heading for the next level of treatment which is Sulfasalazine. There was a delay before I could start this (you have to be monitored) so I did some reading and found the this drug was not water soluble so whatever effect it had was happening in the gut.

          My brother in law is big on triathlon’s and he has tried the Paleo diet (not using it now) so it got me thinking about what suited my body. I cut out gluten which helped a bit (but is a real pain to keep up) and then sugars (sweets/biscuits/cake/jam/fruit juice and most processed foods) which helped a huge amount. I also take a honey and organic apple cider vinegar drink a couple of times per day.

          I have been off the NSAID’s about 18 months now and doing much better. Still take the very occasional NSAID but this is normally when my diet has been less controlled (family holidays eating out in restaurants).

          I would say that there is a big link between PA and diet so figuring out what makes it worse can help. The cider thing is linked to some argument about the Krebs cycle and candida which I don;t necessarily buy into but taking it seems to work.for me.

          Good luck to your wife on trying to find a solution.

  10. I pretty sure beer isn’t paleo. But the craft brewing “industry” like many other “craft foods” avoid some of the ultra-processing of the commercial, mega-brewer conglomerates. For the most part, craft brewers and home brewers do not filter or pasteurize their beer and as a result it has live yeast present. Many craft beers will have a bit of sediment present on the bottom which is largely yeast that has settled out. Hefeweizen, in particular, is intended to be served cloudy with the yeast roused from the bottom of the bottle. If you want some brewers yeast and the thought of beer doesn’t offend you, find a nice unfiltered, unpasteurized beer and enjoy. Wine is similar, but even if it isn’t filtered, it is typically aged longer and racked more times producing a beverage with less yeast, particularly living yeast present.

    1. There’s actually a gluten-free beer out now called O-mission (or something close to that). I had it at one of our local restaurants a few weeks back. It was actually pretty good. Would have never known it was a gluten-free beer if I wasn’t told.

      Just giving some hope to us beer drinkers. 😉

  11. Nutritional yeast on steamed broccoli is one of the best things that’s ever happened to my life.

    1. I am a bit confused about the difference between nutritional yeast and brewers yeast. So I just looked it up. They are both produced from the same fungus but nutritional yeast is produced specifically as a supplement and tastes a bit like cheese while brewers yeast is a bi-product of the brewing industry and can taste bitter. They have slightly different nutritional profiles.

      As an aside…I have been using nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute in pesto since I can’t do dairy. Works great!

  12. I do get my 8 hours of sleep BUT I don’t go to bed until 1:00 AM. Will that be an issue health wise in the long run ?

    I tried to sleep a lot earlier than that however I always ended up waking around 2:00 or 3:00 AM and sometimes it takes me at least an hour to go back to sleep instead of getting 8 straight hours of deep sleep.

    1. I don’t know the answer to your question but I can relate to your sleeping problem. That happened to me all of the time when I tried going to bed early. That problem vanished immediately when I quit drinking wine every night. I sleep through the night now with no problem. If you consume alcohol, maybe experiment with abstaining. Hope that helps!

  13. This one’s awaiting moderation? Geeze. I have to figure out the red flag words. Or maybe it’s my email that’s flagged. I’m not trying to push unhealthy habits on anyone, for the record.
    I’ve had addiction / overuse issues largely stemming from unhappiness in my life and so when I speak of them and their effects and how I recover (at least these days – trying to be a little more of a responsible commenter) I’m really just talking about my personal physical and psychological health state/journey/struggle/habits/whatever you want to call it. I’m in too much of a hurry for carefully intricate phrasing.
    Just like someone who talks about how they struggle with eating too much grain or sugar or whatever and the effects it has on their life, I have said a lot about drugs and alcohol, because that’s pretty much been my 20% out of the 80/20.

    1. I think the waiting for moderation thing is pretty random. My comments get it occasionally, no reason that I can see.

    2. Then I write a reply to my comment here expressing how I think it was wrong for the comment that was supposed to precede it got deleted (since the above was originally a reply or P.S. to the first one) and how I feel like giving up on comment writing here, and IT gets deleted after being posted! It was acceptably mildly phrased in my opinion. Well, my decision sticks.The fact that the comment I typed expressing why I made that decision got deleted just reinforces it.
      I know I’ve helped and/or entertained some readers of this site with at least some comments (even entertained Mark, he’s said so!) but I’m no longer willing to put in the effort to do any of that.
      I think I’ve had a few insights lately that would have been good for this site, but I don’t have the motivation to share them now.
      I’m going to read the posts that I think I may enjoy or learn something useful from, but don’t expect any further contributions to come from me. Plenty of what I say either doesn’t get past or later gets deleted by “moderators” so I’m not going to waste my time typing any more comments, even if I’m sure they will stick.

  14. just found your blog today. As someone who frequently does not get enough sleep, your article was full of things I needed to hear!

  15. Mark – Minor correction. Grapes are not washed before winemaking. They are processed more or less straight from the field. They may be sorted to remove debris and poor quality grapes but are not cleaned or washed. Some winemakers add sulfur (potassium metabisulfate) after crushing the grapes to kill natural yeast and then add cultured yeast strains back in.

  16. How do new mothers mitigate the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation over months (and years?). Seems like there’s more we should be doing.

    I get MAYBE 4 hours of sleep per night with nursing, and I’m ravenous everyday (yes, mostly for carbs). It doesn’t matter how much protein or fat I eat. My body craves carbs, carbs, carbs. It’s hard to tell what’s related to lack of sleep or breastfeeding.

    1. It can be so hard! Try to find the balance for yourself with how many carbs you can eat. With nursing, you may find you need more than you would before nursing a baby!

      Try to get out for walks, eat clean, drink lots of water and nap if you can.

      Some of this is truly just weathering this season of life! 😉

  17. I work in the film business and lack of sleep is the absolute norm. Sleep when it comes is very disrupted. With a fairly strict primal diet ( the benefits of which are undeniable), I am still struggling with weight issues. I tend to choose the option NOT eat – I’m wondering if this is the wrong track. Thank you for the interesting options. The primal lifestyle is motivating me to change my work patterns in general.

  18. Hi Mark,

    Didn’t know that sleep deprivation has so many bad effects on our health. But you did mention some really good options to reduce these bad effects. I always try to get complete sleep at night but if somehow I wasn’t able to do then I’ll certainly follow your suggestions.

  19. A warning about melatonin-I relied on it for sleep for too long (a year?) and developed very reactive rosacea. I would eat a fruit like a banana and would instantly break out (not hives-pimples). I cut out everything I could think of one at a time until I realized the melatonin could be causing the problem. Cut it out and my rosacea improved probably 90%. Looking back, I realize I shouldn’t have taken it for so long-it is a hormone after all.

    1. Hmm… I took a low dose of melatonin every night for over 3 years when I had to be at work at 4 a.m. Melatonin was a godsend for me. It was the only way I could get any sleep at all. I never had a problem with it, but your comment is a worthwhile caveat for those contemplating usage.

  20. Try being a new mom! (for the 4th time!!) Eeeekkk….lack of sleep can be a real problem when trying to lose baby weight, get back on track with Primal eating, getting exercise and taking care of 4 kids!! Carb cravings can be a real pain in the butt!

    I find that as long as I limit my carbs (45-65g per day) I am then getting enough fat and protein to feel pretty good all day. Also now that I have been getting more time back in my day as baby girl is getting older, I have been able to exercise more and that helps a ton!! Lowers stress and gives me energy!

    Some day I will miss these earlier months with a new baby! But I sure will be happy for a full night of sleep!

  21. Oh, settle down. I like reading all your posts. It’s like taking a ride in your mind. So don’t stop writing about life because once it’s out there someone can benefit.
    Some of my posts await moderation too, who knows why, but it’s ok, it shows up later.

    1. Animanarchy that was for your post….. sorry I didn’t say your name.

  22. Just in case there’s any confusion – brewer’s yeast is not considered to be gluten free. Nor extracts from brewer’s yeast. Which explains the folks with DH.

  23. Sleep is as important to the human body as food and water, but many of us don’t get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep, inadequate quality of sleep or disruptions to the sleep-wake cycle (such as those that occur with shift work or travelling to a different time zone) have consequences for how we function in the daytime, causing sleepiness and fatigue. Sleep Deprivation happens when there is stress or tension . The brain doesn’t work normally in symptoms of stress and fatigue. That’s why most people don’t get sufficient sleep.However, going without adequate sleep carries with it both short- and long-term consequences.

    In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.