1

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how many hrs of sleep pre-paleo and post paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2012 at 2:13 PM

so we are told to sleep 8-9 hrs a day to be healthy in the media but is it different for paleos?

did anyone notice they only needed to sleep less than 8-9 (7?) hrs and feel good post-paleo? or anyone started sleeping longer post-paleo?

i feel like i'm sleeping less hrs.

thx

63a390e394971bd87e12b706fdb8456e

(309)

on May 21, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Same thing here!

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 21, 2012
at 01:51 AM

Thank you pinkpants1, I will. It's so weird to remember my dreams, now, but I enjoy it.

1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

(234)

on May 20, 2012
at 10:31 PM

It's cool seeing other people do so well, I'm happy for you too! Enjoy your dreams and restful sleep tonight! :-D

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 20, 2012
at 05:41 PM

I'm so happy for you. I completely know what you mean about taking forever to get to sleep, too, it's so frustrating. I used to lay in bed for hours, as well. And ditto to the allergies and gums being better. Congrats for figuring out what supplements work best for you, as well.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 20, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Diletta; Thank you, too, and I know it does, but when I used to be manic, and depressed, all of the time I'd get this 'I can do ANYTHING, just by willing it, without changing' frame of mind, so that impeded me, for a while. Then I started making small changes, to the way I ate, and my general attitude, and it helped so much, I really feel like a new person. :D Yay!!!

Cca93695446513d42e376fd80e5bf5a4

(80)

on May 20, 2012
at 05:24 PM

Very inspiring, congrats! changes takes time and commitment :)

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 20, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Thank you, too.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:51 PM

People frequently underestimate the importance of good "sleep architecture" until things get totally out of whack. Good job in turning it around.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:47 PM

"Relaxed" sleep apnea? You mean "reduced"?

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:40 AM

Answered below, but I wake naturally after 6-7 hours of sleep and feel alert. I'm def. sleeping less (provided everything in my diet and exercise is dialed-in).

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 19, 2012
at 07:39 PM

thank you so much :)

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:21 PM

so in winter u go to bed around 5 or 6?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:20 PM

i hear ya on the allergies; for me it was fresh cut grass smell, made me want to puke

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:18 PM

congradulation!

  • 9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

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13 Answers

2
Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 19, 2012
at 03:15 PM

I had horrible sleep habits. I had a horrible lifestyle, that encouraged my horrible sleep habits, and made me think they were beyond the realm of my control.

I would NOT be able to sleep, for 24 hours to 5 days, and then I would grab 3-5 hours and be 'rested'. After a few weeks of that I would crash for a day or two, which did not convince me I needed regular sleep, only that I needed to set aside a few days to be dead to the world. That went on for a number of years.

It's worth noting that, then, I had no idea of the importance of sleep, and I was often manic, or in a mixed-state of bi-polar, where I would be depressed, but with excess energy, so sleep did seem impossible, and unnecessary. It's also worth noting that before embracing paleo, I was out-of-control bulimic, which messed up EVERYTHING.

Then, half a year ago, after I cut out sugar, grains, and the diet soda I used to guzzle (because it filled my stomach, so I wouldn't have to eat, because I've never trusted myself around food, which is something I can do now, eating real food!), I embraced the paleo lifestyle, regarding the reduction of stress, and the importance of sleep. I've been working harder to cultivate relationships with people, for my general mental well-being, and because I now have much less crippling social phobia. I've been moving around more, and sitting less, trying to expend energy so that my body can be ready for sleep.

I also used to sleep with the television on, because I would have a full-blown panic attack if I was alone, in the dark, and panicking made sleep impossible. Now I know that wasn't helping, and I needed to deal with my fear of the dark.

Sorry if that was long, and focused on other lifestyle aspects than simply sleep, but eliminating or modifying the deleterious aspects of my whole lifestyle, that were encouraging overall un-wellness, have made my sleep schedule go from insanely erratic, to a consistent 7 hours a night, from 11pm-6am.

Oh, and I dream now, and remember my dreams! That makes me very happy. This all makes me very happy, because I now feel like I have a choice in how my life works.

edit::: OOPS! I got so excited being able to talk about the difference that I feel, that I don't feel I properly answered your question! So... to sum up my ramble, and give the relevant point:

Before paleo: 3-5 hours every 1-5 days (most often every 3 day), then 24-28 hours every week or two.

Paleo: 7 hours, every single night, at the same time, and I feel wonderful
So, overall, I'm probably getting more sleep, but it's regular, quality sleep. And surely everyone would agree that an increase in my previous amount of sleep is an improvement?

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:18 PM

congradulation!

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 19, 2012
at 07:39 PM

thank you so much :)

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:51 PM

People frequently underestimate the importance of good "sleep architecture" until things get totally out of whack. Good job in turning it around.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 20, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Thank you, too.

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 21, 2012
at 01:51 AM

Thank you pinkpants1, I will. It's so weird to remember my dreams, now, but I enjoy it.

Cca93695446513d42e376fd80e5bf5a4

(80)

on May 20, 2012
at 05:24 PM

Very inspiring, congrats! changes takes time and commitment :)

1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

(234)

on May 20, 2012
at 10:31 PM

It's cool seeing other people do so well, I'm happy for you too! Enjoy your dreams and restful sleep tonight! :-D

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 20, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Diletta; Thank you, too, and I know it does, but when I used to be manic, and depressed, all of the time I'd get this 'I can do ANYTHING, just by willing it, without changing' frame of mind, so that impeded me, for a while. Then I started making small changes, to the way I ate, and my general attitude, and it helped so much, I really feel like a new person. :D Yay!!!

1
Af2662fc82df87952abb3fdf16b20aa4

(410)

on July 12, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Pre-Paleo (and indeed whenever I eat high sugar/starch - whether from Paleo or cheat sources) I slept/sleep 10-12 hours, waking up after around 6 hours still feeling exhausted and then dozing for the final 4-6 hours.

Since going Paleo I need 7-8 hours and I wake feeling rested and alert. Starch and sugar (anything over 100g carbs per day) seems to make me groggy, but fortunately I have no problems with eating a high fat diet to compensate. :p

1
950efde057e2cc301543059b15f44374

(240)

on May 19, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Definitely. I haven't really changed anything else but my diet and now for the life of me I can't even sleep-in on weekends! Im up between 5-6 every am without alarm. Very nice side effect actually. I have tried to find out the physiological mechanism why paleo seems to have this effect. No luck. Has anyone else read about why this seems to happen?

63a390e394971bd87e12b706fdb8456e

(309)

on May 21, 2012
at 01:19 PM

Same thing here!

1
Medium avatar

(4878)

on May 19, 2012
at 03:04 PM

I was sleeping 10 hours/day when I was in school, including grad school. But it included naps and sleeping +14 hrs on the weekends. IMHO the exhaustion many face, requiring "catching up" on sleep on the weekends and the "ability" to sleep until 11am is a symptom of nutritional deficiencies. Once I removed gluten from my diet, I "suddenly" was awake at 7am, every morning. (I'm assuming this is a vit B issue as this occurred prior to me going Paleo.)

Now, when I get to bed at a decent time and get 8 hours of sleep in a darkened room, I awake at sunrise. This is still a strange thing for me as for +35 years I was the "gal who could sleep until noon". I believe getting +8 hours of sleep a day is an important health issue, as important as the food we eat.

1
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on May 19, 2012
at 02:44 PM

It's a tricky one. In part it comes down to your particular habits - how late you eat, what foods etc. Generally people sleep less if they don't have to spend that time digesting a big meal. On the other hand, many people make other changes to their lifestyle which are specifically geared towards improving sleep. Arguably better quality sleep means they'll sleep less, but in winter it means I'm in bed for 12+ hours quite comfortably. Last night it was 7 hours, because I can't really sleep once the sky starts getting light. So how much sleep do I need? I can't really remember the last time I was struggling to stay awake, but I've no real interest in staying awake after dark.

0
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on July 12, 2012
at 03:28 PM

About 12 hours of sleep pre-paleo, I would only wake up if you dumped a bucket of water over my head :P

Post-paleo... 7 or so.

0
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 02:04 PM

Well, not everyone needs 8-9 hours per night. There is variation from individual to individual, and there are outliers on both ends of the curve.

And someone whose sleep quality is not good may sleep more (compensating for quality with quantity). Intermittent sleep is less restful than consolidated sleep because you can't reach the later stages of sleep.

There's some pretty good research to the effect that people who think they have "trained" themselves to live on less sleep (which you are not claiming here, of course) are simply unaware of the cognitive deficits they are experiencing from chronic sleep deprivation--i.e. part of the impairment is an inability to perceive impairment. http://web2.med.upenn.edu/uep/user_documents/VanDongen_etal_Sleep_26_2_2003.pdf

My personal experience is of limited usefulness here because I wandered into paleo-land already in possession of a (well-treated) sleep disorder. The changes that helped fix my sleep further were largely non-dietary. The dietary change I made that had any effect on my sleep (which I monitor quite closely) was giving up caffeine in all its forms. However, there's some really interesting new thinking about low vitamin D3 levels and impaired sleep quality that I addressed in another thread here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/119398/stasha-gominak-on-sleep-and-vitamin-d3#axzz1vKI87KA6 I'm in the process of getting my D3 levels checked to see if I'm in the recommended range.

0
C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on May 20, 2012
at 01:47 PM

Been paleo for about 3 yrs. I only get about 5-6hrs. I used to wake up feeling like crap (while paleo) & rushing to get ready for work. Now I feel oh so awesome. The only difference I done was made my room colder (fan & thinner blanket). So weird because a simple change I'm getting deep restful sleep while sleeping the same amount as before.

0
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 20, 2012
at 11:55 AM

I wouldn't say I get less or more sleep, mainly because I work wonky hours (I'll only get about 5 or 6 hours if I'm lucky the night before my first day of work, but I can easily sleep in 10 hours on my off days).

I can definitely say I get better quality sleep though, and I fall asleep far more quickly than I used to!

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on May 20, 2012
at 11:39 AM

I used to sleep upwards of 10 hours nightly and still never feel rested.

I sleep 6-7 hours now, and am awake/aware throughout the day.

I chalk this up to getting much more restful sleep, the fact that I can breathe through my nose when sleeping now (allergies), the considerable weightloss which has relaxed sleep apnea, and considerably less caffeine in my daily routine (about 2 cups, pre-noon, of coffee).

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on May 20, 2012
at 01:47 PM

"Relaxed" sleep apnea? You mean "reduced"?

0
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on May 19, 2012
at 08:35 PM

Totally, I actual find I feel better with less sleep. Go to bed at 10-11, get up at 4.45-5.00 and feel I have so much energy.Its incredible. If I push myself to sleep in, or just lay there longer I feel lethargic.

0
A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I function best going to bed shortly after sunset, and getting up at sunrise. Which means 5-6 hrs in summer, and 10-12 hrs midwinter.

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:21 PM

so in winter u go to bed around 5 or 6?

0
1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

on May 19, 2012
at 03:49 PM

I sleep less! I used to need about 9hours+ to feel rested pre-paleo and I would wake up more frequently. I have had terrible trouble falling asleep, even as a little girl, so much so that I went to a sleep specialist when little. Even a year ago, I would dread going to bed because I could lay there for hours before falling asleep! I've felt that way about going to bed almost my whole life.

Now, I swear I can get up and feel good on 6-7hours! I just naturally wake up and am ready to go almost every morning. Also, I fall asleep so much faster, it absolutely amazes me! Seriously, I used to take probably an average of an hour or so to fall asleep and now it is probably less than 5-10 minutes.

I noticed this change when I started strict paleo but I'm pretty sure it is from the supplements. I take 1-2TBS fish oil, probiotics, vitamins B/C/D/K, magnesium, digestive enzymes, and seaweed. I am planning on playing around with some of the supplement levels after a while.

Also, I think it is supplement related because my boyfriend eats everything I do but doesn't supplement and he is still in bed sleeping right now-2 hours later. His sleep quality has improved some but he still needs to sleep longer hours.

I can't say how excited I am for my improvements in sleep. Have also noticed major improvement in my pretty severe allergies (grass, animals, dust, pretty much everything), gum sensitivity (my gums aren't angry after flossing anymore), and of course I love the paleo poops. :-)

9dd4d453f7ebd7fd2a82814d08fc8f17

(581)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:20 PM

i hear ya on the allergies; for me it was fresh cut grass smell, made me want to puke

Cdc21bedc8c5ff5c90a9dc0ea117208b

on May 20, 2012
at 05:41 PM

I'm so happy for you. I completely know what you mean about taking forever to get to sleep, too, it's so frustrating. I used to lay in bed for hours, as well. And ditto to the allergies and gums being better. Congrats for figuring out what supplements work best for you, as well.

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