9

votes

Carb Loading to Fall Asleep?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 31, 2012 at 4:10 AM

I've been strictly Primal (I love dairy mkay?) for 9 months now. It's been a great ride and a pretty easy one at that. My only issue is that I get a massive burst of energy after dinner and find myself snacking in order to drive my insulin levels out of whack and make me sleepy. This could be a bite of chocolate, handful of dark chocolate covered almonds, scoop of grassfed ice cream, handful of blackberries or other assorted fruits - sometimes with yummy nutbutters... you get the idea. It's like my body instinctively knows that the tiniest kick of sugar will make me crash and help me get to sleep at night.

Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions on how to "get tired" around 11pm? I suffer from "can't shut my brain off syndrome" and have tried meditating before (helpful but doesn't cure), turning off the lights (pitch black darkness), listening to soft music, taking a warm shower... I'm running out of ideas. Hack me Paleo friends.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 31, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Yup, straight up bio-chemical response to light exposure making your body think it is summer.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 31, 2012
at 09:29 PM

I get that way if I eat most of my food in the evening, especially if I skimped on animal protein and fat early in the day. It can even drive me to seek out things I wouldn't otherwise eat and don't even particularly like, such as cereal with milk (wtf?). I also do better if dinner has a good serving of something starchy and buttery.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:28 AM

I didn't know that different rice had different GI? Study stubjects got either Mahatma (low GI = 50) or Jasmine (high GI = 109) rice 4h before bedtime. interesting that the diff in GI is so huge

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10 Answers

3
63479974b34930b7bedb12afa19083d3

on January 31, 2012
at 03:25 PM

Carbs before bed shut down my body like crazy... I'm out COLD, yet my body is working hard to burn it and I'm overheating. It's such a weird feeling that I just don't like anymore. I've turned to calming and chamomile teas (check ingredients for crazy things like "soy lechiten" or whatever that junk is!) or, if needed, melatonin. I also get sensitive to light especially in ketosis... so, as PrimalDanny said, make sure your lights are out, eyes are closed, and you're not stressing. Really focus on your relaxation.

My mind is always racing; I'm a complete overthinker. That runs rampant at night. If you give your body carbs and sugar before bed every night, it's going to remember that every night and expect it. It almost becomes an addiction. Make sure your dinner is filling enough to tide you over to just a small snack or something. Staying away from sugar, I sometimes blend an avocado with a bit of 100% dark cacao powder, a touch of erythritol and/or stevia, a few drops of coconut oil, and cinnamon... either freeze or put it in the fridge for a bit, and there's a pudding or ice-cream like sweet treat without added sugar.

3
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on January 31, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Saw this study just today: High-glycemic-index carbohydrate meals shorten sleep onset http://www.ajcn.org/content/85/2/426.full

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 31, 2012
at 07:28 AM

I didn't know that different rice had different GI? Study stubjects got either Mahatma (low GI = 50) or Jasmine (high GI = 109) rice 4h before bedtime. interesting that the diff in GI is so huge

3
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 31, 2012
at 04:27 AM

My last intake around 9 p is 30-80 g almost pure carbs (minimal fructose, moderate sweet taste; trying not to go for max sweet reward). Sweet potato w cinnamon, whole milk yogurt, tapioca pudding made w glucose syrup all make weekly appearances.

Warm milk often does the trick for me, and if you're primal that might be a good fit for you. If all else fails or you know you won't be sleepy at the right time (like when travelling) melatonin is a god-send. I don't use it every night, as it is possible to downshift your natural melatonin production if you get too habituated, but for isolated troubles, it can work wonders.

2
0faecc3397025eab246241f4dcd81f5e

(2361)

on January 31, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Things that stop me going to sleep: 1. Not enough food, or feeling hungry 2. Too low carb - I find I don't need a lot of carbs, but I do have about 1/2 cup sweet potato with my dinner, which I eat about 8.00pm. I have a light dinner and not too much protein / meat. 3. Alcohol too late, makes me to sleep, but wake up wired and heart beating a couple of hours later. 4. Not having my regular magnesium. I have magnesium at dinner every day. 5. Taking supplements in the evening - fish oil and multivite can keep me from sleeping. 6. Working late, nuff said, brain wired. 7. Worries - writing a list of things that bother me before I go to bed and what I need to do about them the next day. 8. Overeating at dinner - body heats up too much, dont sleep well. 9. Dark chocolate - it's a stimulant and keeps me awake. 10. Any amount of caffeine affects sleep - some people are more sensitive than others. Cut out all caffeine if you cant sleep.

1
912ec069b5bd84af1b6ef7545b950908

on February 01, 2012
at 02:40 AM

I am a 'get in bed and freak out' person...um whatever you want to call that. Pasta knocks me out, but it makes me feel woozy the next day. I've had luck with no caffiene at all after noon, weight-lifting every other day, magnesium citrate at night, and Gaia's "Sound Sleep" herbal supplement.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 31, 2012
at 09:38 PM

I'm a terrible, terrible overthinking night owl, but I've found that Ashwagandha tincture taken at about 9pm and then getting into bed and turning everything off helps me pass out before that carb seeking second wind. If I take it later I've already kicked over into that mode and it doesn't do diddly though.

1
69f23639eff20502bf68758d4def29c9

on January 31, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Three eggs and a half-pound burger puts me out quicker than carbs, but jasmine rice is cheaper.

1
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on January 31, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Cold showers. And exercise obviously.

Also, I find if I don't eat much earlier in the day I can overeat like that in the evening. Binging earlier makes it easier to stick to better foods and limit the size of the binge. Not that it's an ideal way to approach food. And of course Lights Out! reminds us that staying awake under artificial lights makes the body expect and demand sugar. Have you tried going to bed earlier?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 31, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Yup, straight up bio-chemical response to light exposure making your body think it is summer.

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 31, 2012
at 09:17 AM

chocolate has caffeine. thats not very good for sleep. try melatonin it really helps me sleep.

0
3e7e7a6549f5b736feb331031805cf4b

on January 31, 2012
at 04:33 AM

I eat full fat Greek Yogurt to fall asleep, along with some whey protein thrown in for good measure. If I go without snacking I may lose some sleep initially, but after a night or so my body gets use to it and I sleep okay despite that nervous stomach feeling.

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