5

votes

Going Paleo seems to have increased my heart rate at night. Any suggestions?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 01, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I've looked through all the posts here and don't see anything that quit fits. I've been Paleo for six weeks -- very strict (no eggs or dairy or nighshades due to an autoimmune disorder).

Before I started, my resting pulse rate was in the 60's. Now, when I turn out the lights to go to sleep, I can feel my heart pounding fast in my chest. Twice I've turned on the light and taken my pulse and my heart rate is at 80. This never happened before Paleo and it makes it very hard to get to sleep.

My typical dinner is meat or fish and veggies. Sometimes I also have a sweet potato or yam. Then an hour or so before bed, I eat some coconut butter because I've read that it helps with sleep.

Does anyone have any ideas what could be causing my heart rate to be so high at night? (I know 80 isn't that high, but it's high for me; that plus the hard pounding is keeping me from getting to sleep.) By morning, it's back down to the 60's.

Thanks so much.

UPDATE: The culprit was eating coconut butter (or any coconut products) so close to bedtime. They give you immediate energy and that's what was raising my heart rate. Thanks everyone for your help.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 02, 2011
at 08:49 AM

Another night : no problems. I'm pretty sure I have a selenium deficiency because all my life I ate fish only once a day, always the same veggies and no brazil nuts (my mother made the same meal every day of the week, recipe for disaster huh).

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on November 02, 2011
at 12:47 AM

I love Paleo as well! Sure beats my old (albeit tough to shake) fat-free/low calorie mindset. I can't believe I used to toss the egg yolks out... it's like a crime against nature. Anyway, hope you solve your problem. Lemme know if you do.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Thanks Paleo_Wes. I take L-Theanine every night at bedtime so it didn't help with this unfortunately.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Thanks Korion. I'll be watching to see what happens. I'll keep this page bookmarked. Thanks so much.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:26 PM

Thanks so much, Annie. I look for magnesium chelate.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:25 PM

Thanks Paleo2.0. I may try increasing my carbs.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on November 01, 2011
at 08:29 PM

That's ok, just thought I'd mention in incase. Good luck.

7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on November 01, 2011
at 06:10 PM

I think it was Dr. Harris that said low carb diets can sometimes cause increased epinephrine output. When I tried VLC for a few months, my heart rate would get up to 120 at times.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 01, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Toni, Natural Calm has mag citrate, try something with mag chelate.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:54 PM

I bought some of the magnesium supplement (Calm something -- forget the name) that people have talked about here. It had the opposite effect (I've read that this can happen to a some people). It kept me up all night! I have the same thing happen with Benedryl. People use it as a sleeping pill. It keeps me up all night! Anyway, magnesium supps seem to be "out" for me. Thanks anyway everyone.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Thanks, Phazo. No, I'm not anxious about food. I love eating Paleo. No problems there!

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Thanks, Seaburgers. No, I'm not prone to anxiety so that's not the cause of the increased heart rate.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:37 PM

Are you prone to anxiety at all? I think because of the years of negativity surrounding sat fat, that can play on your mind at first if you're that way inclined. My anxiety 9 times out of ten will include rapid heart rate, especially at night.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:15 PM

JakeA, You'd have to eat a hell of a lot of spinach to make up for a deficiency. 1 cup raw spinach only has about 23mg of magnesium, whereas a supplement will generally give you 300+ mg. I agree--concentrate on whole foods sources of magnesium--but I'd start with the supplement to get levels back up first.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:58 PM

Very common, especially if carbs are low. I wouldn't mess around, supplement immediately with magnesium chelate, and then add in the mag rich foods.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:55 PM

alternatively, eat a bunch of spinach for magnesium.

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7 Answers

3
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:50 PM

Could be low on potassium. Also magnesium would be good as well.

1
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on November 01, 2011
at 03:53 PM

I had that problem--pounding heart with slightly elevated HR--and it started shortly after I went paleo. While I generally would check with a doc first (YMMV), I ended up with a magnesium deficiency. Supplementing magnesium about three hours before bed helped immensely.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:54 PM

I bought some of the magnesium supplement (Calm something -- forget the name) that people have talked about here. It had the opposite effect (I've read that this can happen to a some people). It kept me up all night! I have the same thing happen with Benedryl. People use it as a sleeping pill. It keeps me up all night! Anyway, magnesium supps seem to be "out" for me. Thanks anyway everyone.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:58 PM

Very common, especially if carbs are low. I wouldn't mess around, supplement immediately with magnesium chelate, and then add in the mag rich foods.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on November 01, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Toni, Natural Calm has mag citrate, try something with mag chelate.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:55 PM

alternatively, eat a bunch of spinach for magnesium.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:15 PM

JakeA, You'd have to eat a hell of a lot of spinach to make up for a deficiency. 1 cup raw spinach only has about 23mg of magnesium, whereas a supplement will generally give you 300+ mg. I agree--concentrate on whole foods sources of magnesium--but I'd start with the supplement to get levels back up first.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:26 PM

Thanks so much, Annie. I look for magnesium chelate.

0
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:30 PM

SKIP THE COCONUT BUTTER!

It's like drinking a coffee before bed!

0
8d842d49d4dc1d1dd6739cb3849cf657

on April 03, 2012
at 11:03 AM

my sister has the same problem and i think from my experience in medical studies it may caused by alow blood pressure

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 01, 2011
at 06:10 PM

I have this sometimes too, and magnesium did nothing. I've been testing with selenium and iodine (seaweed, fish and supplementation), and for the past 2 days I didn't have any problems. But we'll see, I'll keep you updated.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:27 PM

Thanks Korion. I'll be watching to see what happens. I'll keep this page bookmarked. Thanks so much.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 02, 2011
at 08:49 AM

Another night : no problems. I'm pretty sure I have a selenium deficiency because all my life I ate fish only once a day, always the same veggies and no brazil nuts (my mother made the same meal every day of the week, recipe for disaster huh).

0
Bf76cedd52060b1777ea7a8076e50866

on November 01, 2011
at 05:36 PM

I would try taking L - Theanine. It is an amino acid found in green tea that relaxes the nervous system. There is a lot of great research out there on L- Theanine.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16930802

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 09:28 PM

Thanks Paleo_Wes. I take L-Theanine every night at bedtime so it didn't help with this unfortunately.

0
D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on November 01, 2011
at 03:55 PM

I've had the exact same problem. It gets a lot worse on the night before my "cheat" day. I'll be lying in bed thinking about what I'll be eating and my heart rate starts going nuts! I think it's a combination of stress and anxiety concerned with food... it's getting more manageable as time goes on though.

Are you preoccupied with food thoughts?

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 01, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Thanks, Phazo. No, I'm not anxious about food. I love eating Paleo. No problems there!

D117467bf8e8472464ece2b81509606c

(2873)

on November 02, 2011
at 12:47 AM

I love Paleo as well! Sure beats my old (albeit tough to shake) fat-free/low calorie mindset. I can't believe I used to toss the egg yolks out... it's like a crime against nature. Anyway, hope you solve your problem. Lemme know if you do.

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