6

votes

So, apparently I don't sleep anymore ...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 28, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I am in Ketosis (checked with Ketostix). For the past two and a half weeks, I haven't really been sleeping. I probably REM cycle a whopping 5 hours every night, sometimes 4, and occasionally 6-7. When I wake up I still feel a bit tired, but I'm 'awake' if that makes sense ...

I have read that people on Ketosis sleep less but I'm a bit apprehensive about this dramatic change (I usually/use to sleep 8-9 hours a night).

Other info:

  • Not hungry. I don't eat nearly as much. For instance, yesterday I ate 2 eggs, 1/2 cup ground beef, 2 small round steaks (the thin tenderized kind, probably about .4 lb total ... maybe less), and 1/8 of an avocado.

  • 20 pounds to lose? Don't have a scale ... haven't checked in a year ...

  • I lift weights, moderately, 3-4 times a week.

  • I run-walk every other day. (Note: I am not giving up running. I do not care if cardio isn't all that great. I love to run. I will continue to do so.)

  • I drink Kombucha everyday (home brew).

  • Vitamin D supplement

  • Natural Calm supplement

  • 2 weeks sober from coffee ... :p

  • My job requires me to stand most of the day (M-F) and go up and down scaffolds, thus, quite active.

That's all I can think of to add ... So, my question: What the heck is going on? Should I be concerned with this lack of sleep (darn you Lights Out for raising my cortisol!)? What should I do differently, if anything?

EDIT: The cortisol I mentioned in respect to Lights Out was a joke ... as in ... reading it raised my cortisol levels because I'm not sleeping and that is a detriment according to the book ... just a clarification (I'm unsure if it's been taken the wrong way, if so, my bad.)

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 22, 2012
at 03:35 PM

neither grains nor extruded cereal grains nor grain bran is encouraged in a Paleo diet due to its antinutrient and gut-destroying abilities

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 12, 2011
at 02:22 AM

Ha, @Grok, get out of here. Stupid troll.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Hey! Thanks, brilliant idea! I will stop taking it for a while.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 29, 2011
at 12:47 PM

Ah, I see grenadine. Thank you for clarifying and for the comment. :)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on May 29, 2011
at 03:32 AM

@ Ali - from what i gather, Grok is ex-paleo, now a higher-carber, and maybe a vegetarian? he likes to do a bit of light trolling around here. sarcasm and such. yawn. ---- Anyhoo, my 2 cents is that your body is adjusting to the changes (it takes a while) and your sleep will normalize. but i'm no expert.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 28, 2011
at 11:44 PM

Um, could you expand on that Grok?

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on May 28, 2011
at 10:20 PM

Allie, I can sympathize. You'll get used to feeling this way (therefor making it better), you'll see improvement in some health markers (making it the "superior diet"). Do yourself a favor and get out while you still can. It's a survive diet, not a thrive diet.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Jack, which part suggests that he still had damage to correct, that he felt better with more starch, or the sleeping extra, or both? Why would that be? If he needs autophagy, but can't IF, that leaves only ketosis, right? Despite my love of ketogenic diets, I find it hard to advocate continuing if you still felt bad after over a year, and eating more starch fixed it.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 07:46 PM

I do take anecdotes seriously, Gazelle, so thanks for sharing that. I'm wondering if people who already have adrenal issues are having it exacerbated by ketosis in some way. I have definitely heard of short term insomnia during adaptation. Jack, that's interesting about adrenal involvement in circadian rhythms.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 28, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I am so tempted to do so ... but I can't afford it right now. I appreciate the recommendation though, The Quilt.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Ben that says you had a lot more damage to fix with autophagy. Strong rec if that is the case.....don't IF until sleep is 7.5 to 8.5 without a clock.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Ketosis is not an adrenal suppressant......but I will tell you this little known fact. When animals suprachiasmatic nucleus is destroyed (home of circadian rhythm) the adrenal gland defaults as the clock. Ketosis is ideal for human biochemistry long or short term. Your sleep issue was likely driven by another cortisol issue and a test would have uncovered it for your doc

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Don't jump the gun here. May not be correct without labs.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:46 PM

cORTISOL. Order yourself a salivary cortisol level from zrtlabs.com. They will send it to your house.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 28, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Er ... I noted that I was taking Natural Calm ... so, yes, I am taking magnesium.

6e4b38a97f74c32c4d12977acf7cba35

(0)

on May 28, 2011
at 03:25 PM

I agree add Magnesium, Natural Calm found at health food stores.

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:49 PM

The only evidence I have is anecdotal: my experience and the experiences of others. I had debilitating insomnia and severe, prolonged heart palpitations, and my cortisol levels were flat-lined. This was resolved by treating the "adrenal fatigue" and adding carbs back to my diet. Yes, a medical doctor was involved. Anecdotally, insomnia is a common side effect of ketosis, at least in the beginning. I'm not hating on ketosis though. I believe in its therapeutic effects and will be very happy when I can tolerate it again.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:38 PM

ben, I think your experience is important and valid, but it really bothers me that you make such generalizations about VLC. There are many people for whom being in ketosis feels dramatically better than not, and it's important not to discount that, too. Moreover, I think it is unhelpful to perpetuate the idea that ketosis adversely affects cortisol without any evidence. I think it's great for you to share what has happened to you -- surely lots of people are like you and can benefit, but I'd like to advocate a broader perspective when it comes to pronouncements about bodily harm.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:13 PM

There is no evidence that ketosis futzes with adrenals. If you have some, please share it.

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10 Answers

5
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on May 28, 2011
at 03:32 PM

I was already sleeping less at night because I have a baby but I found after going ketogenic it didn't bother me anymore. My baby wakes me up about 2-3 times a night to nurse and I don't wake up half dead wanting to sleep half the day anymore compared to when I was still WAPf and eating some prepared grains and legumes.

Do you feel worse sleeping less or are you just sleeping less? It seems like if you are still losing weight (or maintaining if that is your goal) and don't feel craptastic, which you didn't really complain about, it isn't a big issue is it? If you do start feeling crappy eat more carbs and see if that helps.

Oh one more thing. Are you drinking coffee or tea? I found after I went vlc caffiene effected me a LOT more. One cup Of black tea makes me zippy as heck now. I don't know if there is any biological reason for it but if you're still taking in your old dosage of caffiene maybe lower it or cut it out?

3
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on June 11, 2011
at 11:53 PM

The natural calm supplement has magnesium. While magnesium is generally thought to be calming, some people are "paradoxical responders" and magnesium tends to keep them awake. I urge you to stop taking the natural calm and see if that helps.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:52 AM

Hey! Thanks, brilliant idea! I will stop taking it for a while.

1
20c518f9d33b0d04c7a19b8bb7487695

(195)

on June 14, 2011
at 11:19 PM

I've done quite a bit of water-only fasting, which ketosis mimics, and it is normal to sleep a lot less. Nature probably evolved this to keep primitive humans on the alert for any potential food sources.

1
48dbd9f6094c1b1df248343c0015563f

(10)

on May 28, 2011
at 02:17 PM

I have experienced the same thing. It seems to me it is often hard to get enough calories everyday (tracking on Loseit.com) since going paleo. On the days I work at eating enough (2500 to 3000 calories) I sleep much better and straight through the night instead of waking up at 3-4 a.m. I'm not sure if it is a product of the calories or the fat since the only way I can hit the calorie number is to eat plenty of fat. Keep tweaking your food and you should be able to find the cause or at least a solution.

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:02 PM

Personally I'm always concerned with changes in my own sleep. I was VLC for over one year. During that time I, much different than you, slept longer every night than any other time in my 31 years: routinely 9-10 hours per night. Mornings, when i woke, I still felt not super-charged, etc. No punch, or pep through the day.

I think VLC for extended periods (maybe for over one month?) is entirely detrimental to our overall health. Like others have mentioned, I think there are definitely cortisol issues. Plus, even though I was entirely fat-adapted for prolly 9+ months I still would occasionally wake with amazingly strong desire to eat starch. Signals that the body wants a different form of fuel I'd say.

Now I am high carb, eating about 250 grams per day. I sleep only 8 hours per day on the nose, waking with no alarm. Seriously, its bizarre how on the nose my body awakes me. Impressive. Full energy, spark in the morning, everything just functions SO MUCH BETTER with routine, regular starch-consumption for me. I am very active, lift heavy, walk a ton, etc.

Do you supp with magnesium? I do a lot. I do three forms daily: natural calm as recommended on their label, ZMA tablets prior to bed, and transdermal magnesium "oil" in the morning 20 minutes before showering.

6e4b38a97f74c32c4d12977acf7cba35

(0)

on May 28, 2011
at 03:25 PM

I agree add Magnesium, Natural Calm found at health food stores.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 28, 2011
at 03:32 PM

Er ... I noted that I was taking Natural Calm ... so, yes, I am taking magnesium.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Ben that says you had a lot more damage to fix with autophagy. Strong rec if that is the case.....don't IF until sleep is 7.5 to 8.5 without a clock.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:38 PM

ben, I think your experience is important and valid, but it really bothers me that you make such generalizations about VLC. There are many people for whom being in ketosis feels dramatically better than not, and it's important not to discount that, too. Moreover, I think it is unhelpful to perpetuate the idea that ketosis adversely affects cortisol without any evidence. I think it's great for you to share what has happened to you -- surely lots of people are like you and can benefit, but I'd like to advocate a broader perspective when it comes to pronouncements about bodily harm.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 07:52 PM

Jack, which part suggests that he still had damage to correct, that he felt better with more starch, or the sleeping extra, or both? Why would that be? If he needs autophagy, but can't IF, that leaves only ketosis, right? Despite my love of ketogenic diets, I find it hard to advocate continuing if you still felt bad after over a year, and eating more starch fixed it.

0
152cc0f3feb066598dbd53ce178f3dbc

(10)

on October 22, 2012
at 02:05 PM

I've experienced the same thing especially after eating high sugar fruits [grapes] at night for dessert. I usually don't fight it and just get up and read. No TV..it just stimulates your brain. But a carb fest [read bowl of bran flakes with whole milk] will probably calm your caveman/cavewoman.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 22, 2012
at 03:35 PM

neither grains nor extruded cereal grains nor grain bran is encouraged in a Paleo diet due to its antinutrient and gut-destroying abilities

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 02, 2012
at 07:52 PM

"Hypocretin neurons have the ability to incite energetic wakefulness, and to prevent a person from falling asleep, should his body detect a “starved” state. Hypocretin neurons are one way in which intermittent fasting may dysregulate a woman’s system."

from--http://www.paleoforwomen.com/shattering-the-myth-of-fasting-for-women-a-review-of-female-specific-responses-to-fasting-in-the-literature/

VLC can also be perceived as a starved state by the body, and it sounds like you are experiencing a common phenomenon, the body becomes more energized (i.e. sleeping less) during times of food scarcity so that you will be more able gather and hunt should some tasty calories wander by your camp or be way up a tree. This phenomenon also seems to be more exaggerated in women than it is in men.

0
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on May 28, 2011
at 10:43 AM

Ketosis can do this. Long-term it can futz with your adrenals and cause chronic insomnia, in my experience.

Carbs will probably help you sleep, but it might take more than one sweet potato in the evening. You may need an extended "refeed".

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 07:46 PM

I do take anecdotes seriously, Gazelle, so thanks for sharing that. I'm wondering if people who already have adrenal issues are having it exacerbated by ketosis in some way. I have definitely heard of short term insomnia during adaptation. Jack, that's interesting about adrenal involvement in circadian rhythms.

E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:49 PM

The only evidence I have is anecdotal: my experience and the experiences of others. I had debilitating insomnia and severe, prolonged heart palpitations, and my cortisol levels were flat-lined. This was resolved by treating the "adrenal fatigue" and adding carbs back to my diet. Yes, a medical doctor was involved. Anecdotally, insomnia is a common side effect of ketosis, at least in the beginning. I'm not hating on ketosis though. I believe in its therapeutic effects and will be very happy when I can tolerate it again.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on May 28, 2011
at 01:13 PM

There is no evidence that ketosis futzes with adrenals. If you have some, please share it.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:49 PM

Ketosis is not an adrenal suppressant......but I will tell you this little known fact. When animals suprachiasmatic nucleus is destroyed (home of circadian rhythm) the adrenal gland defaults as the clock. Ketosis is ideal for human biochemistry long or short term. Your sleep issue was likely driven by another cortisol issue and a test would have uncovered it for your doc

0
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 28, 2011
at 10:36 AM

You'll probably sleep better with a few more carbs. But ketosis is better for faster weight loss. I guess it depends on how fast you want to lose. Of course, cortisol may make it harder to lose. You might try a bit of sweet potato (or fruit) in the evening - the carbs would probably help you to eat a bit more as well.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on May 28, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Don't jump the gun here. May not be correct without labs.

0
C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on May 28, 2011
at 10:27 AM

I have read about this and I had one client who experienced this. Never really found under lying cause of it. Very interested in seeing what some replies are.

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