5

votes

Best food before bed

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 17, 2012 at 1:03 AM

Any ideas what food would be a good one to eat before bed? Been having issues with waking up at 3:30 AM, on a very consistent basis. Wake up with my heart pounding, wide awake, and quite anxious.

Seems like my blood sugar is bottoming out and my adrenals are kicking in to get my blood sugar back up. I eat a fairly low carb diet, 100% paleo. Thinking I need to get my carb intake up a bit more, but typically try to stop eating by 7 or 7:30 at the latest.

Handful of almonds? Greek yogurt? Tea with honey? Hunk of protein? I've had all these suggestions. Thought I'd open it up to the floor.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

you could give ice cream a try

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 10:56 PM

first you could try searching for a laboratory in your region which offers saliva (hormone) testing. & then see if they have a list of practitioners/providers who can request the test/s for you. here's a link http://healthscopepathology.com.au/html/functionalPathology/mp.shtml with some info on the test from a lab in my area (Australia)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 10:47 PM

"how do i do the midnight saliva test"...hi Renee, it depends where you are. best to search on-line. you may need an authorised person to fill out a request form (naturopath, doctor etc) & then order a kit over the phone (or on web). the cheapest test will be a single saliva test, the consensus (studies) seems to be that midnight is the best time to test. most labs also offer "sleep profile" or "stress profile" saliva kits which include more tests for collecting at multiple times & may test for other hormones such as cortisol

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 17, 2012
at 08:55 PM

problem is sometimes I get far less - i.e. sleep @10pm, wake up at 3am, hard to fall back to sleep for an hour, so I doubt I only need 5 hours of sleep.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 17, 2012
at 07:09 PM

How long have you been at the reset? Could your blood sugar still be balancing, especially if you are coming off of a pattern of eating right before bed. VLC can also cause electrolyte wasting, low magnesium especially can cause heart issues and panicked feelings, you might want to make sure your electrolytes are balanced and being taken in sufficient quantities.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 17, 2012
at 05:36 PM

how do i do the midnight saliva test - is it something i have to order through a doctor?

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Part of the puzzle is I'm trying to follow Kruse's Leptin Reset plan. VLC, and trying to eat dinner around 6 or 7 with no snacking. My appetite isn't an issue at all, even when I wake up. It's really more the wired feeling I have when I wake up at 3:30 with my heart pounding. Heart rate isn't really elevated, just very aware of my heart beating.

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:54 PM

Good suggestion. I already supplement with magnesium, but maybe I need to bump it up. VLC combined with IF is sort of what got me into my hormonal pickle to begin with. I'm eating a lot more sweet potato right now. Was experimenting with white rice, but it seemed to cause weight gain.

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:52 PM

I also have to be careful with melatonin...too much (more than 1 gm) causes me to have really crazy vivid nightmares that end up just waking me up anyway. 10 mg might push me into Freddie Krueger territory.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Maybe along this line, you could keep a coconut water by your bed, and sip it any time you wake up.

Bdc6244bdbd664d2168a8e326018ffbe

(431)

on February 17, 2012
at 06:50 AM

Raydawg, you probably realize this, but maybe you only need 7 hours of sleep. I do better on that than I do 8-9, myself.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:58 AM

from what i have read melatonin only seems to work for people who have low levels of night time melatonin. you can do a midnight saliva test to check. melatonin tends to have the opposite effect on me, ie. it disturbs my sleep esp in larger doses. best to start small if experimenting ie. sub-milligram doses. larger doses can also give you that "hung over" feeling in the morning

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:38 AM

from what i have read melatonin only seems to work for people who have low levels of night time melatonin. you can do a midnight saliva test to check. melatonin tends to have the opposite effect on me, ie. it disturbs my sleep esp in larger doses. best to start small if experimenting ie. microgram doses. larger doses can also give you that "hung over" feeling in the morning

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 01:40 AM

I have some hormone issues...low DHEA, adrenal fatigue, etc. I've been working on this with an integrative health practitioner, and my adrenals are looking good right now. DHEA-S was good on my last blood work. Tend to have low cortisol more so than high. Just this thing with sleep and heart palpitations. Was looking for something that might keep my blood sugar stable through the night. Just an experiment.

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on February 17, 2012
at 01:38 AM

How stressed are you? Normally it's not your adrenals that have to kick in to get blood sugar back up ... your liver should be able to do that. So you should figure out why your body is essentially in fight or flight in the middle of the night!

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 17, 2012
at 01:34 AM

mgood, i'm wondering what you're eating for dinner and if that might be waking you up? i know coconut oil can rev people up.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 17, 2012
at 01:33 AM

Potassium deficiency?

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 01:30 AM

I seem to be having this with remarkable consistency. Like, every single night. It's starting to drive me crazy.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 17, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Me too. I've had this occasionally, but not always, and sometimes eating carbs before sleep (sweet potato, berries, etc.) doesn't work. It's like I hit a wall and either wake up super early, or wake up after only 7 hours of sleep while I'm trying for 8-9.

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8 Answers

4
Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

on February 17, 2012
at 01:42 AM

Dont know about the heart pounding anxiety business, but:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/opinion/19ekirch.html?_r=2.

"We now also know that pre-industrial families commonly experienced a "broken" pattern of sleep, though few contemporaries regarded it in a pejorative light. Until the modern age, most households had two distinct intervals of slumber, known as "first" and "second" sleep, bridged by an hour or more of quiet wakefulness. Usually, people would retire between 9 and 10 o'clock only to stir past midnight to smoke a pipe, brew a tub of ale or even converse with a neighbor."

It's a natural sleep pattern. People used to wake up in the middle of hte night, hang out or have sex, and then go back to sleep. When it happens to you, just own it - get up and do something for a little while and go back to sleep. Maybe you're feeling anxious because you're worried about being up during the middle of the night.

4
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on February 17, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Bananas and/or gelatin put me right to sleep. Your could try and experiment with those.

3
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:34 AM

I would say magnesium and potasium. And higher carb (white potatoes will be helpful to get some minerals and some more carbs.) This seems to be a common theme with some of the VLC folks. (Not all of course).

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Maybe along this line, you could keep a coconut water by your bed, and sip it any time you wake up.

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:54 PM

Good suggestion. I already supplement with magnesium, but maybe I need to bump it up. VLC combined with IF is sort of what got me into my hormonal pickle to begin with. I'm eating a lot more sweet potato right now. Was experimenting with white rice, but it seemed to cause weight gain.

3
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:24 AM

This isn't a food suggestion, and may not be Paleo, but I find 10 mg of melatonin really helps me.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 17, 2012
at 05:36 PM

how do i do the midnight saliva test - is it something i have to order through a doctor?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 10:47 PM

"how do i do the midnight saliva test"...hi Renee, it depends where you are. best to search on-line. you may need an authorised person to fill out a request form (naturopath, doctor etc) & then order a kit over the phone (or on web). the cheapest test will be a single saliva test, the consensus (studies) seems to be that midnight is the best time to test. most labs also offer "sleep profile" or "stress profile" saliva kits which include more tests for collecting at multiple times & may test for other hormones such as cortisol

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:52 PM

I also have to be careful with melatonin...too much (more than 1 gm) causes me to have really crazy vivid nightmares that end up just waking me up anyway. 10 mg might push me into Freddie Krueger territory.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:38 AM

from what i have read melatonin only seems to work for people who have low levels of night time melatonin. you can do a midnight saliva test to check. melatonin tends to have the opposite effect on me, ie. it disturbs my sleep esp in larger doses. best to start small if experimenting ie. microgram doses. larger doses can also give you that "hung over" feeling in the morning

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:58 AM

from what i have read melatonin only seems to work for people who have low levels of night time melatonin. you can do a midnight saliva test to check. melatonin tends to have the opposite effect on me, ie. it disturbs my sleep esp in larger doses. best to start small if experimenting ie. sub-milligram doses. larger doses can also give you that "hung over" feeling in the morning

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 17, 2012
at 10:56 PM

first you could try searching for a laboratory in your region which offers saliva (hormone) testing. & then see if they have a list of practitioners/providers who can request the test/s for you. here's a link http://healthscopepathology.com.au/html/functionalPathology/mp.shtml with some info on the test from a lab in my area (Australia)

1
Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:35 AM

I have this problem when I'm pregnant and then during the first six months after the baby is born when they are exclusively nursing - I just suddenly NEED food between 3 and 5 AM. I keep a banana next to my bed. A date or two always helps, and I find that Greek yogurt with a touch of honey right before I go to sleep really helps, too.

0
A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

on February 17, 2012
at 07:47 AM

Had the same issue once. My heart was racing so hard, I felt like my chest was going to explode. Turned out I was extremely deficient in magnesium (heart racing is a common issue). My doctor prescribed supplements and bone broth. Good man.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 17, 2012
at 05:32 AM

Half a pizza, and a couple of beers? Um, not that I would know ;)

Breakfast for dinner, sometimes helps me with this. Bacon, eggs, and rice flour pancakes (if you are into the safe starch idea) made with banana, and coconut milk. The pancakes are like little round angels singing to me from the pan as they bubble away in Kerrygold. I try to make enough extra to have snacks if I need them right before bed.

I don't wake up with the heart palpitations so we might be experiencing completely different things, but I will often wake up crazy hungry and have to stuff my face for a few minutes if my nursing baby is about to go through a growth spurt.

6b1b839cf2b0335717a8a1b33674e248

(144)

on February 17, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Part of the puzzle is I'm trying to follow Kruse's Leptin Reset plan. VLC, and trying to eat dinner around 6 or 7 with no snacking. My appetite isn't an issue at all, even when I wake up. It's really more the wired feeling I have when I wake up at 3:30 with my heart pounding. Heart rate isn't really elevated, just very aware of my heart beating.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 17, 2012
at 07:09 PM

How long have you been at the reset? Could your blood sugar still be balancing, especially if you are coming off of a pattern of eating right before bed. VLC can also cause electrolyte wasting, low magnesium especially can cause heart issues and panicked feelings, you might want to make sure your electrolytes are balanced and being taken in sufficient quantities.

0
Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:19 AM

I like some berries with cottage cheese and a splash of whipping cream as a last meal (I make some kind of "Icecream" from that) You can throw in some protein powder aswell if you´re into that. I´m not hungry until late lunch then.

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