I've been following a Paleo diet for going on about 4 years, and while its tremendously improved my health in many ways, one area that still needs work is my sleep. Sleep has always been an issue with me as long as I can remember, and I've recently come to better see how nutrition, caffeine intake, stress, and good sleep hygiene/practices are all important factors. I'm in the process of getting a lot of that sorted out, but one thing that I haven't been able to completely resolve is what appears to be frequent nighttime urination.
For at least the last couple of years, I've been waking up anywhere from 1-4 times a night to urinate. If its before 3am, then I will usually fall back to sleep after about 5 or ten minutes. However if it is after 3am, it is more difficult to get back to sleep, and if its closer to 4 to 5am I may not go back to sleep at all. Since I'm usually falling asleep around 11pm, this is obviously a problem. I don't think it's a prostate issue as the volume in each urination is significant and I do not have any of the other indications of prostate issues. It really seems that my body is working to flush something out. It also doesn't seem to be a sleep apnea issue.
I've been talking with various healthcare practitioners and researching the issue online, and I recently came across a couple of posts/comments which I think provide some insight into what is probably going on.
First, I've been taking magnesium at bedtime for years now and it seemed to really be helping with getting to sleep, relaxation, nerves, and muscle cramping. However, I recently began to suspect that it could be contributing factor. Three days ago, I stopped the supplementation and I've gradually noticed a decline in the number of times I'm waking, and the amount of urine released. I'm still able to fall asleep fairly well, but interestingly I've also started experiencing some post-workout muscle spasms and twitching.
Just this morning, I found the following comment on a thread saying that the magnesium may be causing the body to release excess calcium, and that vitamin D supplementation may also be a factor. I think there could be something to this as I eat a fair amount of protein and calcium containing veggies (but not much dairy) and supplement with 4000iu of Vitamin D3 a day. At the same time, I feel that my body probably needs some magnesium supplementation, but perhaps it would be better to take it during the day so the flushing isn't all happening at night.
I also came across another comment on a thread which suggest that the issue with going back to sleep after waking could be a result of too low a carb intake and my body releasing cortisol/adrenaline to convert protein to glucose for the brain during the night. This seems to fit and makes sense as I tend to eat fairly low carb for dinner, usually just meat and veggies.
After almost four years of Paleo I'm pretty sure I'm fat adapted, but I've nonetheless been decreasing my protein intake and increasing my carb intake (during the day) with sweet potatoes and a little fruit, but maybe adding some good carbs at night would help. Note: I also know that my morning/waking cortisol levels are consistently very low, and this could at least partly explain why.
My sodium and chloride levels are also low (most likely connected with adrenal stress that I'm working out), so I've been taking 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt with water first thing in the morning. Maybe I should do it at night as well (or instead of the morning) to help manage the adrenaline output in the evening.
Does anyone have similar experiences or insight?
asked byfuture_man (10)
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on September 09, 2013
at 12:19 PM
Thanks for the recent comments.
I seem to have made some progress with the issue as I'm no longer waking up through the night. On most evenings, I'll get up once to urinate in the middle of the night then go right back to bed. I've made a lot of changes over the last two months, so I'm not sure exactly what the cause/solution was.
That said, here are the things that I think were a factor:
- Reducing fluid intake in the evenings.
- Healing/resolving adrenal dysfunction and getting on thyroid support.
- I also think that my body could have been flushing toxins out as a result of a methylation protocol I started around that time.
Milfy - I have also slightly increased my carb intake over the last two months - so that may have been a factor as well.
Bushmeat - thanks for the oxalate info. I'll check that out.
In any case, I'm now sleeping better and more naturally than I have in years and only waking up once a night depending on how much fluid I drank before in the evening.
on September 06, 2013
at 11:59 PM
SLEEP APNEA. Frequent nighttime urination is just as much of an indicator of sleep apnea as loud snoring is. Get a test - you may need a CPAP machine to help your airflow while you sleep.
on September 06, 2013
at 11:35 PM
I would definitely try eating more carbs with dinner. Some starches. I would be surprised if this didn't help. I had sleep trouble when my dinners were low carb, and I know other people that have had the same issue.
on June 28, 2013
at 02:15 PM
Ok, the dumb question first. Have you tried reducing the amount you drink during the day? And have you tried to stop drinking 4 hours before you go to sleep?
The other primary reason for this is a UTI. I would suggest working with a urologist and getting tested. Low-level UTIs can be fostered in men for months with few other symptoms. For women they tend to incubate much faster and so they are more noticeable.