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Rant: On Sleep, Carbs and Having to be Perfect

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 24, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Sorry, have to rant: so after 32 years of sleeping like crap, this year I FINALLY figured out how to cure my sleeping problems. One of the most helpful tips I got from someone on paleohacks was to make sure I was eating enough carbs at dinner after I work out. I tried adding root veggies to my dinners and - boom - totally worked.

Cut to last night where my boyfriend wanted to make dinner for me (a rare occurrence) since he had the day off. I knew I was going to workout after work but totally forgot to tell him about the post-workout carb thing. So he thoughtfully makes 2 paleo dishes from Primal Cravings (a really good cookbook, I highly recommend it) including porkchops stuffed with chorizo and sweet potatoes but overall it's very low carb compared to what I normally eat after a workout. Plus I had two cocktails instead of just drinking water like I normally do.

So of course I slept like shit. I woke up around 2:30am after 4 hours of so-so sleep and was awake for the rest of the night. I even snuck into the kitchen and finished off the rest of the sweet potatoes hoping that would help but nope. Didn't help at all.

And OF COURSE this happens the night before I have an audition and then have to babysit my nieces all day. So yay, they get a grumpy, spacey uncle all day!

So I'm just frustrated. ONE MEAL where I don't stick perfectly to my routine, ONE MEAL where I just relax and let someone else take care of me, ONE MEAL where I neglect to inform the bf about what I need and it has consequences for the rest of the weekend. Oh, and last weekend and I had 2 bites of gluten-y stuff at a really nice restaurant and I'm STILL dealing with IBS-ish symptoms.

I'm glad I found Paleo, I really am, but I hate how any deviation from perfection causes these kinds of results. I hate how sensitive my body is. I just HATE my body in general. I really do. I have to be perfect or it has all these problems, and who could possibly be perfect?

Sorry to dump all this negativity out into the universe, but I figured if there was a place for it, it would be here 'cause you guys are cool and get why this would be frustrating.

Thanks for listening.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on August 26, 2013
at 02:15 PM

THanks, Axial Gentleman! Your response helps a lot. And no, you're right, the sleep problem isn't a paleo side effect - going paleo has actually helped my sleep, which is why it's frustrating that I have to get my carbs exaaaactly right or I don't sleep. I've been doing paleo for two years and it's frustrating that I still have to figure out all the different angles and factors for every situation but your answer helps put things in perspective.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on August 26, 2013
at 02:12 PM

Nivanthe - good point Outriggercanoer - True, I still haven't figured out how or if alcohol affects my sleep since it's so inconsistent. I'm pretty tired of figuring out every little factor that could possibly affect me.

59b1fb3c808957039f9ddf6fb341c05c

on August 24, 2013
at 11:03 PM

Could be the booze that interrupted the sleep, gets me every time!

A6b7afacdb512b861716bca9e9226ad3

(333)

on August 24, 2013
at 01:37 PM

I love the above answer. Also, sending best wishes on the audition! My input on sleep is tweaking the magnesium/calcium ratio. Also epsom salt baths.

40b065644e95a090f6a41808303773ae

(450)

on August 24, 2013
at 01:35 PM

It's just as likely that it's simply from the stress or anticipation of the audition and long day ahead of you.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 24, 2013
at 01:27 PM

Maybe the meal and the sleep are totally unrelated.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on August 24, 2013
at 01:11 PM

So what is your question?

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1 Answers

1
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on August 24, 2013
at 01:18 PM

I sympathize with the food intolerances and unforgiving routines some people end up with on paleo and I think it's reasonable to make some health compromises in order to not have everything in the world make you sick. On the other hand, you said you've been having sleep problems for 32 years, so it doesn't sound like that one is a paleo side effect.

I'd encourage you to look at it this way: ONE MEAL where you don't get the nutrition you need = ONE NIGHT where you can't sleep well. You haven't lost your progress. You haven't undone the benefits to your health from all the other nights you slept well. You haven't erased the knowledge you gained about how your body works and what you need. When you're still learning this stuff, it's not uncommon to have setbacks like this, and it's not necessarily bad -- it means you're experimenting with your body's needs and learning how to best fulfill them.

Now you can tell your boyfriend that you need some carbs in the evening (you don't have to tell him the dinner he cooked for you messed you up, you can just tell him it's something you've figured out over time). You can also remember to keep some potatoes or fruit or instant rice around so that if you do eat a LC dinner, you can give yourself a quick carb supplement before bed.

You could also try a higher-carb diet in general and see if that gives you more flexibility.

A6b7afacdb512b861716bca9e9226ad3

(333)

on August 24, 2013
at 01:37 PM

I love the above answer. Also, sending best wishes on the audition! My input on sleep is tweaking the magnesium/calcium ratio. Also epsom salt baths.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on August 26, 2013
at 02:15 PM

THanks, Axial Gentleman! Your response helps a lot. And no, you're right, the sleep problem isn't a paleo side effect - going paleo has actually helped my sleep, which is why it's frustrating that I have to get my carbs exaaaactly right or I don't sleep. I've been doing paleo for two years and it's frustrating that I still have to figure out all the different angles and factors for every situation but your answer helps put things in perspective.

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