5

votes

Waking up hungry every night...help?!

Answered on February 08, 2017
Created January 14, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Hello all, firstly thank you all for contributing to the brilliant resource that is Paleo Hacks.

While this is my first post, I am an avid lurker..

I've been living 80% Paleo for about 2 years now, but decided to make the full switch recently.

In the past few months I find I'm waking up every night without fail, about an hour or two after I've gone to sleep.. When I wake up I'm really hungry... like, I can't sleep again until I've eaten.

I eat what I consider to be a great diet, definately not undereating - getting plenty of fats from animal products/coconut oil, nuts and nut butters, eggs - I also eat plenty of vegetables, and occasionally fruit.

I train with weights regularly..

I find however tired I am when I get into bed and regardless of how much I've eaten in the day - I will ALWAYS wake up.

Could this be anything to do with eating too close to bedtime? I have my main meal around 7.30-8pm, usually the largest of the day and am in bed by 10-11. I eat so much I'm starting to think its more psycological than an actual physical hunger - like my body has gotten so used to me getting up to satisfy my hunger that it doesn't know anything else.

I really hope to get this problem resolved - its hurting my sleep, and I'm consuming calories I probably don't need!

Any advice would be greatly received.

Many thanks :)

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on August 25, 2012
at 03:19 PM

What dafuq did I just attempt to read?

1a565b8c403c81a272fb4c0a654e30c9

on July 17, 2011
at 03:52 PM

are u dignose sleep not breathing hey u know ? i awake 12+ times in hour try sleep imagine i asleep awake to yell mumble maybe sleep walk it draing when awake u partialy sleeping stumbling? does that make sense or i some sleep apnea? how can one be asleep and awake over dozen times to yell mumbles? it may be that is y my neck pinched so bad ? foot not work like psrained tummy ribs feel tight takes hour/s go away n for eat but u throw it up else light food maybe/.?was u suggest

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on June 25, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I don't think I have sleep apnea, but I do have crazy insomnia as of late. I've noticed myself waking up famished, and as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning, I'm shoving meat into my mouth. I think it's because half the night, I'm not actually asleep -- so my body is awake, ready for a meal, like you described.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on January 15, 2011
at 02:12 PM

You are welcome.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 14, 2011
at 04:53 PM

You're welcome! I also forgot to mention that fitday.com will give you a breakdown of the percentage of your daily intake from protein, fats, and carbs. You don't need the premium subscription for this, just the free one.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Thanks Travis, I'll plug a few days worth in and see what comes up!

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:34 PM

Hi Aaron, thanks for the tips - to be honest I'd rather eat later in the day - in fact, your window sounds good. I train in the evenings, so this would be better. IF is something I might consider.. :)

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:32 PM

thank you for the suggestion.. i'll see if i can pick some up.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:32 PM

thanks for the advice - the big meal is usually about 20-30g of protein from meat, along with extra fat from coconut oil and heaps of veg. I will try increasing fat and decreasing carbs from the veg.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 14, 2011
at 02:26 PM

One boiled egg or a few nuts isn't really curbing your appetite, it really sounds to me like a mental thing. I personally like a cup of tea + 2 squares of extra dark chocolate right before bed. It really is satisfying. If there are carbs in the late meal, you may want to reduce them.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:48 PM

Usually a few nuts or a boiled egg from the refrigerator..

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:47 PM

No more than usual Carly! I feel pretty good during the day - less hungry in the mornings. I do snack regularly between meals, and end my day with dinner - which does satisfy me at the time. I don't go to bed feeling hungry, but I wake up with hunger pangs a couple of hours into the night. Its starting to drive me mad!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:29 PM

What do you eat when you get up?

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:18 PM

I forgot to add - I've tried valerian tea and other herbal remedies such as 5HTP, with no avail. :(

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17 Answers

2
2953ea96d56dd2938d7a01040ed894c8

(20)

on June 25, 2011
at 09:51 PM

I used to wake up nightly hungry and couldnt go back to sleep until I ate something. I couldnt figure out why my body wasn' tusing my own fat... It was very annoying. But I started being treated for a form of sleep apnea, and I STOPPED WAKING UP HUNGRY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. The problem was I wasn't really sleeping. Part of my brain had to stay awake to keep me breathing, so my body was prompting me for food like I was awake, because my brain was awake.

THIS IS A SLEEPING THING, NOT AN EATING THING!! Please see a sleep doctor, and have a sleep study... It can't hurt. If it is a sleep disorder, your everything will improve when you start actually sleeping. Mine has! I posted comments because I had struggled with this for 15 years and have never met another person whose has this same problem!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on June 25, 2011
at 10:30 PM

I don't think I have sleep apnea, but I do have crazy insomnia as of late. I've noticed myself waking up famished, and as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning, I'm shoving meat into my mouth. I think it's because half the night, I'm not actually asleep -- so my body is awake, ready for a meal, like you described.

1a565b8c403c81a272fb4c0a654e30c9

on July 17, 2011
at 03:52 PM

are u dignose sleep not breathing hey u know ? i awake 12+ times in hour try sleep imagine i asleep awake to yell mumble maybe sleep walk it draing when awake u partialy sleeping stumbling? does that make sense or i some sleep apnea? how can one be asleep and awake over dozen times to yell mumbles? it may be that is y my neck pinched so bad ? foot not work like psrained tummy ribs feel tight takes hour/s go away n for eat but u throw it up else light food maybe/.?was u suggest

2
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 14, 2011
at 07:25 PM

What exactly are you eating for dinner? Some samples? How much are you eating? You say you're full, but are you full on vegetables or on protein?

1
1a565b8c403c81a272fb4c0a654e30c9

on July 17, 2011
at 04:05 PM

when try sleep for hour nap it make u think many times u wake up as nap in deep sleep monday i call doctor make sleep disord happen they slacked over month i had no reply i think deep hungry tight tummy is from sleep walking warings it can be draining to awake hour later know u awaoke mumble 12+ times may be u say u went bed with prob also like waking for chritmas idk but i go later sooon this time i make sure they call my neck hurts foot sprained may have to sdo with knee lock hard walk down stairs swolen but the person with sleep apnea i dont mind reply i even used ice pack nightly try all i think of pinched is from when sleep 8 hours or so many times u wake up?in nap u may notice awaking and hour later time passes or were u go sleep with probs on u mind? k i cant wait them take me seroiusly tommors after month as they think i got mental probs they can shove it over my health dif and dif stuff voer there opion mental

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on August 25, 2012
at 03:19 PM

What dafuq did I just attempt to read?

1
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on January 15, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I've been paleo for one year and for about 6 of those months I was VLC. I would eat my biggest meal at about 9:30pm and be in bed around 11 or 11:30pm, so I'm not far from your schedule. All the time I was VLC (eating big meat and green leafu salads and veg like cauliflower etc, all with high fat) I never felt hungry during the night.

Now, for the last month I've brought starch back into my eating. I'm trying and succeeding at gaining weight lifting heavy. Anyway, I will say that since I've brought starch back into my eating I do indeed wake up briefly during the night with a hunger pang. It is not as bad as it may be for you. I do not actually get out of bed and eat. But I do indeed wake up, feel hungry, and them just fall back asleep.

If anything, I'm taking in more calories with this starch so I don't think it's that my body is really calling out for more food. I think it's insulin related. Don't get me wrong, I don't needlessly hate on insulin as many in low carb and paleo communities do - it's just another hormone that has a job to do and does it. But i do think that once the body gets used to a major chunk of carbohydrate coming in it will stop relying on fat-burning like when it was highly adapted through lots of VLC life. That good fat-burning is what stops hunger pains. You can read endless accounts of VLC people having next to no feeling of hunger. Once you bring the carb back in I believe that your body gets quickly used to that easy-burning kindling and sends signals to your brain to get more easy-burning kindling (carb from starch), which might be that middle of the night "hunger."

Make any sense? Course, I don't know if you're eating starch.

1
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 15, 2011
at 12:58 AM

I had this issue at the beginning, but after a month or so it stopped. I think I became more fat efficient over time. I eat around 630-700 and go to bed at 10. My last meal is pretty big.

1
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 14, 2011
at 03:33 PM

Try tracking your caloric intake at a site such as fitday.com to make sure you're really getting enough food.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Thanks Travis, I'll plug a few days worth in and see what comes up!

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on January 14, 2011
at 04:53 PM

You're welcome! I also forgot to mention that fitday.com will give you a breakdown of the percentage of your daily intake from protein, fats, and carbs. You don't need the premium subscription for this, just the free one.

1
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on January 14, 2011
at 03:16 PM

You could change your eating window. Instead of eating so late, eat all your calories earlier in the day. You could IF from 6pm to 12pm (18 hours)....there are a lot of options to try. When is your current eating window? I usually eat from 5pm to 10pm, the rest of the day is a fast. I just started this not to long ago and I sleep like a baby! It took me a year to figure this out for myself. I also train in a fasted state before I break my fast. In conclusion, try messing with your eating window and see what happens.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:34 PM

Hi Aaron, thanks for the tips - to be honest I'd rather eat later in the day - in fact, your window sounds good. I train in the evenings, so this would be better. IF is something I might consider.. :)

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on January 15, 2011
at 02:12 PM

You are welcome.

1
Fd504de9b242f4cd7009db70af5e2121

(558)

on January 14, 2011
at 02:03 PM

potatoes and holy basil/Tulsi tea with dinner

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 03:32 PM

thank you for the suggestion.. i'll see if i can pick some up.

1
2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:32 PM

Do you have any stress in your life lately? Sometimes that can play a factor in appetite control.

D49a181c9c1b3632421c452200131df1

(68)

on January 14, 2011
at 01:47 PM

No more than usual Carly! I feel pretty good during the day - less hungry in the mornings. I do snack regularly between meals, and end my day with dinner - which does satisfy me at the time. I don't go to bed feeling hungry, but I wake up with hunger pangs a couple of hours into the night. Its starting to drive me mad!

0
6ce7dad5916403a7b44195da4ca3af76

on February 08, 2017
at 05:52 PM

I am 68. Started Paleo about 2 1/2 years ago after a cardiac incident. I went from obese to just a couple % overwight. Down 60+ lbs and about 6 inches off gut.  For years I have not slept well and have been on a CPAP as well as zopiclone.  I work out a bit every day and try to move as much as I can. I feel I have managed my health very well. except for sleep. I do not use CPAP anymore because it annoyed me and besides my wife says I no longer snore. I still take zopiclone but I really do not sleep well, but without it I do not sleep at all.

For some time now I wake up usually about an hour after dozing off. I feel I am hungry? I avoid sweets and refined carb. What puts me back in not hungry mode is a couple oz of hard cheese, a handful of nuts and about a tablespoon of pure butter. That usually keeps be under the cover for most of the night except a pee break.

No problem with extreme hunger during the day and I am not urgent if I miss a feeding, but I sure would like to fast during the night. I have read similar stuff on line but really have not seen any thing that I thought would help.

Thanks

Ed

0
325c8c6009bf702deff9776f820bc75a

on August 01, 2013
at 12:11 PM

Wow, you have described my problem to a t. I have been dealing with this for about 2-years. I eat a few eggs for breakfast, 250 cal snack at 10:30, Maybe 400-500 lunch of protein and veggies, snack at 3, maybe 600-700 cals for dinner. Every night I start getting hungry at about 9PM. I may go for sandwich meat, almond butter, nuts, leftover salmon. It doesn't matter. Every single freaking night I wake up with hunger for something sweet. Sometimes I tough it out. Most often I get up and eat about 300 calories to kill the pain so I can sleep. The problem is that I can never lean out like I want to. I'm a healthy weight of 178 lbs, but I'd just like to be a little leaner. I've done sleep studies, etc. Still no closer to understanding why my body wants these calories at this time of the night.

0
1165dfdb5b933cf0b557d138fb102436

on August 25, 2012
at 03:12 PM

Seems you have cortisol levels problem. Maybe your cortisol gets high after you fall sleep. Seqrch for this on google. I have the same problem here, and i trying this cortisol way to search a cure for me.

0
1a565b8c403c81a272fb4c0a654e30c9

on July 17, 2011
at 03:47 PM

i usaly go for brunch but try manage mid nigt eating weird u say valerian i took valerin root with some other stuff it sleep aid with melotionin etc today in so long i most hungry awake my tummy feeels tense i feel if eating t o vmist i do have ongoing prob wake up 12+ times to yell in sleep takes 1-2 hours at n nap how can u be sleeping but awake or awake but partialy sleeping a good riddle my neck pinched i wake up more so ribs tummy hurts i geting mother faibeluanaju or something with join knee pain shifst all over so i took some blood work b ut there may be 1-few thing cause it i awake yell mumbles in confusion dreams skip cycles?now hunger make me want to throw up else maybe soft foods banna and creme wheat something but as some bread etc bloats me bad and i did have 4 totast my eyes burn many wrong with them when i money to see eye exams i hope it not dibeatites but takes 1-4 hours slightly adjust look at ground when suns out my eyes turn real red wish i have money till then if it dibeaties or so so much pain i think i also get fiberlunagu and stuff a crush disease age31 i bet it has alot u bee asleep and sleep walking yell mumbling rage over dozen times if u try u kow u awake as reverse

0
461312f31b933638202e0308ab4011b4

(258)

on January 16, 2011
at 01:01 AM

hmmm.. if I wake up in the night, I'm usually hungry. Just this morning I awoke at 6:30am and was STARVING... fell asleep eventually, but really thought about visiting the fridge, except I knew there was no meat available. I'm now trying to have a bite or two of meat before bed and then again, first thing in the morning. I might start keeping meat next to my bed, does that make we weird?! Kinda cavemanm, right?!

Cara http://primroseandpaleo.wordpress.com

0
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on January 15, 2011
at 10:10 PM

Gelatin. If I can't sleep, I get something that has a thick and soft consistency, like soup or hummus, put a tablespoon of gelatin and some kind of fat, like butter or flax seed oil, in it, mix it up with something spicy like hot sauce or salsa, then eat it. The result it not delicious, but its pretty tasty, and its only about 3 to 5 big bites. Trust me, it'll make you sleep like a baby. I don't understand the science behind the gelatin-sleep relationship (I forget it), but I got the idea from a link from Seth Roberts' blog. Try it, trust me, it works every time. You can buy large cans of powdered gelatin from Amazon for cheap.

0
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 15, 2011
at 03:42 PM

What worked for me to fix a similar problem:

Don't eat past 6pm Get a better ("mother of comfortable") pillow.

Good luck!

0
Medium avatar

on January 14, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Eat meat before bed if you're remotely hungry. I can't sleep if I have the slightest pang of hunger, so most nights I have some amount of meat right before bed.

Edit: Also, eat your carbs earlier in the day and have your last meal(s) be carb-free.

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