3

votes

Sleeping Beauty

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 22, 2012 at 6:35 AM

Ok so my worry is that I am not getting enough sleep. I am eating a VLC paleo diet, crossfitting 4-5 times a week, supplementing with magnesium, fish oil and D3 and am really good on my Paleo diet but I just cannot get a solid 8-9 hours sleep. It takes me a while to fall asleep in the first place, I always wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and I cannot seem to sleep past 5/5:30am. Even on the weekends! I want to try intermittent fasting but fear I will royally destroy my cortisol levels as my sleep isn't stable enough. I always believed Paleo would improve my sleep patterns. Does anyone have any advice?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 24, 2012
at 12:49 AM

300 mg Magnesium Citrate. Glycinate would be fine, too, if you don't want the laxative effect.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 23, 2012
at 11:21 PM

thx Dragonfly, another question if i may, what type of Magnesium are you taking before bed

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Korion~ Interesting about the calcium & fruit. I had 1/2 cup banana kefir smoothie at 5pm and some jello at 7:30 pm. Slept through the night!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:20 PM

daz~ You can mix it into a shake, for sure. Dissolving it in hot water and then cooling it allows it to "gel", but is not necessary for absorption.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:41 AM

neat! that's awesome

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 23, 2012
at 08:10 AM

Peatarianism has improved my sleep a lot (I wake up once every night for a very short while, which could be normal), but the coolest thing it has done is that I need less sleep : I wake up 1 or 2 hours earlier than usually. The gelatin helps, but I believe calcium and fruit help more.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:15 AM

can gelatin powder just be taken "raw" ie. in a shake, yogurt or mixed with cold water etc, or does it need to be "cooked" (by using hot water) to work, be effective/beneficial...?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 23, 2012
at 04:58 AM

Gelatin is "derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones"....sounds very paleo to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 22, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Home-made "jello"~ In a quart bowl, dissolve 2 rounded tablespoons of gelatin powder in a small amount of cold water, add 2 cups boiling water (or just very hot) and stir to mix. Sir in sweetener if desired and stir in 2 cups coconut water (or juice or plain water.) Put in fridge, should be ready in 2-3 hours. I use a wire whisk to make sure it is thoroughly mixed with no undissolved lumps.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Oh ya! Especially made from grass-fed cows! Most people like to be one step more natural and make real broth, but I had that stuff.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Recipe please!!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:11 PM

gained 5lbs?!? oh my!! i have been crossfitting and keeping VLC strict Paleo and am stilling waiting for the massive sheds to start happening..think i've probably gained too

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:10 PM

I usually crossfit after work, then come home and hang out with my housemates. I really do not watch much television at all. I hate just sitting in front of the tv

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 22, 2012
at 05:36 PM

What are you doing in the evening hours? If you are watching television or using a computer until shortly before bed, that may have some correlation.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 22, 2012
at 03:04 PM

Don't be afraid of teh naughty carbz! A little chocolate Hagen Dazs before bed also works wonders for restful zzz's.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 22, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Or crossfit less...

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:53 PM

I'm so scared of carbs now but I'll try!!!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:18 PM

I feel great in the morning but death by mid afternoon and yet can't fall asleep till well after midnight even if I'm in bed by 10...I feel like I need more sleep!!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:18 PM

I am great in the morning. Ready to rock and roll, but by afternoon I am so brain dead and then have to do crossfit and my workouts at the moment suck! I get into bed around 10 and don't fall asleep till after 12 most nights just because I can't ... I don't even have any worries!!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:01 PM

its not that i dont want to sleep i just cant stay asleep!!!

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 22, 2012
at 11:41 AM

I have a similar issue several nights each week. The first thing that I am doing about it is not worrying about it. I am doing my best. I probably average 7 hours per night. This has been enough for me to perform well in the weight room and lose weight. How do you feel?

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8 Answers

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3
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:34 PM

Agree with the carbs, but if you need extra help see below:

What works for me:

300 mg Magnesium before bed (NO other supplements after 4pm and I take D in the morning.)

1 cup of low sugar jello about 3 hours before bed (I make mine with coconut water, honey & Great Lakes gelatin.) Inspired by Ray Peat.<<< This one made all the difference!

Sleep mask to block out all extraneous light.

Keep the room on the cool side--around 60 degrees F.

F.lux on my computer.

I don't worry if I wake up, which I sometimes do when I go to pee. I just read for however long and I always go back to sleep, if I do the gelatin.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:15 AM

can gelatin powder just be taken "raw" ie. in a shake, yogurt or mixed with cold water etc, or does it need to be "cooked" (by using hot water) to work, be effective/beneficial...?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 22, 2012
at 10:51 PM

Home-made "jello"~ In a quart bowl, dissolve 2 rounded tablespoons of gelatin powder in a small amount of cold water, add 2 cups boiling water (or just very hot) and stir to mix. Sir in sweetener if desired and stir in 2 cups coconut water (or juice or plain water.) Put in fridge, should be ready in 2-3 hours. I use a wire whisk to make sure it is thoroughly mixed with no undissolved lumps.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 24, 2012
at 12:49 AM

300 mg Magnesium Citrate. Glycinate would be fine, too, if you don't want the laxative effect.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Recipe please!!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:20 PM

daz~ You can mix it into a shake, for sure. Dissolving it in hot water and then cooling it allows it to "gel", but is not necessary for absorption.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 23, 2012
at 11:21 PM

thx Dragonfly, another question if i may, what type of Magnesium are you taking before bed

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 23, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Korion~ Interesting about the calcium & fruit. I had 1/2 cup banana kefir smoothie at 5pm and some jello at 7:30 pm. Slept through the night!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 23, 2012
at 08:10 AM

Peatarianism has improved my sleep a lot (I wake up once every night for a very short while, which could be normal), but the coolest thing it has done is that I need less sleep : I wake up 1 or 2 hours earlier than usually. The gelatin helps, but I believe calcium and fruit help more.

1
Ac44930a62044d038e16f027629b9206

on March 22, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Eat some starches!!!! Have a potato with your dinner - works wonders

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 22, 2012
at 03:04 PM

Don't be afraid of teh naughty carbz! A little chocolate Hagen Dazs before bed also works wonders for restful zzz's.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:53 PM

I'm so scared of carbs now but I'll try!!!

1
7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:42 PM

I have similar problems. I still wake up at night but have improved the quality of my sleep and how fast I fall asleep.

What has helped me:

  1. Dark curtains on windows - My window faces right onto the street and all the light from street lights shines directly into my room. I never realized how full of light my room was until I put up the curtains.
  2. Air Filter - The quality of the air in your home is usually pretty bad. There is dust floating around and it at least for me it affected my sleep. After putting in an air filter I found I could get to sleep a lot faster. It also provides the secondary benefit of some white noise that blocks out random sounds.
  3. Covering up or removing any artificial light.

Hope this helps you.

1
273729a18d2f18903815d2644a4d64de

(1683)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:35 PM

I would suggest eating more carbs. If youre Crossfitting 4-5 days a week you NEED carbs. I Crossfit between 4 and 6 days a week and doing VLC hurt more than it helped...I tracked everything I ate, and gained 5 lbs while Wodding regularly. Kind of defeats the purpose of VLC right?

I used to be a terrible sleeper, and now I sleep from about 9/10 PM and wake up around 7 almost every night. Don't IF and do VLC because that will stress your body out even more and raise cortisol. Try adding some carbs back in, keeping protein high, and lower your fat a bit (as Id assume its quite high on VLC). You say youre ususally dead by the afternoons in your comment to Frugal Jen...VLC does not support high intensity workout. Its great if you are into a lot of walking and just heavy lifting. Crossfit is not that whatsoever...you NEED to feed your body for your activity. I swear you will feel better by adding in lots of veggies, fruits, and some starches PWO. You will have more energy and strength within the week. I feel like once you get your body fed your sleep will improve.

Check out leangains.com if youre interested in IF. Berkhan is all about cycling your carbs and fats on workout and rest days.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:11 PM

gained 5lbs?!? oh my!! i have been crossfitting and keeping VLC strict Paleo and am stilling waiting for the massive sheds to start happening..think i've probably gained too

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 22, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Or crossfit less...

1
76d70438d2442d21206b8e5528d23d23

on March 22, 2012
at 01:07 PM

This could be normal. I haven't checked their sources yet, but La Leche's newest version of their breastfeeding book claims that sleeping for 8 hrs straight is more a cultural adaptation than a biological norm. They say it's more normal to sleep for a few hours, wake up for a few late at night, then go back to bed. (They make this claim mainly about adults, as part of their attempt to encourage parents to do those night feedings instead of try to train the infant to sleep through them.)

On top of that, it's well documented that different people have different sleep needs, and diet and age can affect it. For example, my father could usually function well on 4 - 6 hours of sleep several days in a row. I have a friend who, since she hit middle age, gets up at two or three a.m. because she simply can't sleep any longer. And I'm functioning on less sleep, and am more clear-headed in the mornings, since I dropped the grains and sugar.

So I'm with Ralph; how do you feel? Does it feel like you're getting enough sleep? Or are you struggling to make it through the day? If the latter, having some tryptophan foods or a bite of sugar-free chocolate near bedtime might help!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:18 PM

I am great in the morning. Ready to rock and roll, but by afternoon I am so brain dead and then have to do crossfit and my workouts at the moment suck! I get into bed around 10 and don't fall asleep till after 12 most nights just because I can't ... I don't even have any worries!!

1
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on March 22, 2012
at 07:02 AM

How is your sleep environment? marksdailyapple.com has some good suggestions for creating an optimal sleep experience (blackout shades, no artificial lights, no tv/computer beforehand). There may be some other issues, but optimizing your environment is a good start.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 22, 2012
at 06:59 AM

Shoot for 7.5 - 8 hours. If you make it that far and you wake up a few minutes before your alarm goes off you should be fine.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 01:01 PM

its not that i dont want to sleep i just cant stay asleep!!!

0
3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Is gelatin paleo?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 23, 2012
at 04:58 AM

Gelatin is "derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones"....sounds very paleo to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on March 22, 2012
at 09:27 PM

Oh ya! Especially made from grass-fed cows! Most people like to be one step more natural and make real broth, but I had that stuff.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:41 AM

neat! that's awesome

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