1

votes

Need help with sleep before my first Whole 30

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 16, 2012 at 4:44 PM

After doing Paleo for about a year, I'm about to start my very first Whole 30 this coming Monday.

Here's the problem: I have sleep issues. Sometimes I don't fall asleep until the early morning and then I'm exhausted. Sometimes I fall asleep right away and wake up around 3am and then feel exhausted (and no, this wasn't a case of waking up for a while and then falling back asleep again - I'd just be up and then feel like death at work).

Thanks to very helpful Paleohackers in other sleep questions here, I've learned that a teaspoon of honey and some vitamin D (one 5,000 mg pill for now) before going to bed works great.

However, I can't have honey during my Whole 30! I've so far tried substituting a banana (didn't work) and a few nights later tried a date (similar carbs/sugar to honey - didn't work).

I haven't experimented with Magnesium or Melatonin for various reasons. Mostly, I'm worried that my system would get use to one dose, then I'd have to increase the dose, I'd get used to that, increase the dose, etc., etc.

So what do I do now?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:15 AM

I use Herbpharm Ashwagandha tincture. I seem to have a much faster response to tinctures than to capsules.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:09 AM

i should add that in the past i have tried a single capsule (225mg) in the evening, which didn't seem to have any effect at the time. i might give it another go and try one tonight. its this one http://www.iherb.com/Jarrow-Formulas-Ashwagandha-120-Veggie-Caps/3302

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:39 AM

i should add that in the past i have tried a single capsule (225mg) in the evening, which didn't seem to have any effect at the time. i might give it another go and try one tonight

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:28 AM

hi Happy Now, which Ashwagandha tincture do you take before bed & what's the dose?

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Thanks, HA! I'll be trying the magnesium as of tonight. I exercise 3 days a week after work (not ideal, I know, but I just can't do it before work). Already have the pre-bedtime ritual down pat, don't do anything else in the bedroom besides sleep and sex and the bedroom is pretty cool and dark. So I think if the magnesium works I'll be in good shape. Thanks again!

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Daz, that's interesting. It was actually the combo of vit D and honey that's been working really well for me. But now I'm going to try moving the vit D to morning and taking magnesium at night, so we'll see how that goes! Thanks for the info.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:11 PM

Yeah, Shari, based on numerous recommendations, I'm going to try the magnesium. Thanks!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 17, 2012
at 07:49 AM

would try other stuff before this. Melatonin is a hormone and IMO it's better not to mess with it on a regular basis - use it for jetlag or other occasional issues.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on March 17, 2012
at 02:03 AM

Try the magnesium. I don't think you need to worry about dependence or developing a tolerance. Magnesium is so helpful to so many its definitely worth a try. (I wouldn't want to take the honey either unless I absolutely had to.)

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 17, 2012
at 12:36 AM

+1 -- I take my Carlson's vitamin D drops first thing on waking. Any time after noon and it seems to disturb my already precarious sleep habits.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:18 PM

lol....how can you down vote a question and an observation....without any feedback or comment?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:17 PM

lol....how can you down vote a question and an observation

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 16, 2012
at 10:52 PM

you could also try moving your Vitamin D supplement to the morning. A lot of people find that Vit D disturbs sleep when taking later in the day.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:31 PM

Interesting idea. Hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:26 PM

Sometimes you might need to tailor it... Consider it as a prescription from the doc, etc...

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:24 PM

That works for people who don't have restless legs... I would LOVE to be able to just lie there and meditate, but often the muscles in my legs are going bananas. Magnesium seems to have helped a lot with this, however. Now, if I wake in the middle of the night, usually I get up and do some yoga-type stretching and I fall back asleep fine.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:21 PM

I think if it helps you sleep you should eat a teaspoon of honey. The goal of the whole 30 is NOT to be ridiculously obsessive to the point of compromising your health. Not sleeping is definitely not healthy.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I heard about Natural Calm but didn't know much about it. Thanks so much!

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Yeah, I've considered that, too. But I feel like if I'm going to do the Whole 30, I should really commit, you know? But if nothing else works, I might have to allow this one cheat.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Thanks. I use very similar meditations in bed quite frequently, and it occasionally used to lead to falling asleep but not so much anymore. Plus, there's only so long I can lay there peacefully. When we're talking up to 5 hours before I fall asleep, I get bored! Not to mention physically antsy (a purely physical sensation, as if my body has to jump out of bed even if my mind is calm). ON the other hand, I don't actually get upset or anxious anymore when I lay in bed awake, so I guess that's progress.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 04:49 PM

I guess I should add: I cut off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, bedroom is pretty black, no major stress, no caffeine after 2pm or so (even then I only have 1-2 cups a day).

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9 Answers

4
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 16, 2012
at 04:56 PM

I would just take the teaspoon of honey...

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Yeah, I've considered that, too. But I feel like if I'm going to do the Whole 30, I should really commit, you know? But if nothing else works, I might have to allow this one cheat.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:26 PM

Sometimes you might need to tailor it... Consider it as a prescription from the doc, etc...

2
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Have you tried just the honey without the Vitamin D?
I mention this because some people report that taking Vitamin D later in the day or before-bed disturbs their sleep. Vit D seems to make some people more alert (may also be dose related), not a good thing if you want to sleep.

So, you could try moving your Vitamin D supplement to the morning.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on March 17, 2012
at 12:36 AM

+1 -- I take my Carlson's vitamin D drops first thing on waking. Any time after noon and it seems to disturb my already precarious sleep habits.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:18 PM

lol....how can you down vote a question and an observation....without any feedback or comment?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:17 PM

lol....how can you down vote a question and an observation

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Daz, that's interesting. It was actually the combo of vit D and honey that's been working really well for me. But now I'm going to try moving the vit D to morning and taking magnesium at night, so we'll see how that goes! Thanks for the info.

1
8f0e3f03495fee7dec5ebb3827d280c6

on March 16, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Get a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm. I buy mine from Amazon.com. There is a version with no added sweeteners that is Whole30 compliant. The magnesium has a sedative effect that does NOT wear off over time. At least it hasn't quit working for me over a two year period.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I heard about Natural Calm but didn't know much about it. Thanks so much!

1
Medium avatar

on March 16, 2012
at 05:04 PM

When sleep eludes us, we naturally want to find a fix. We can end up working really hard to get sleep to happen. Rather like approaching an athletic event: attempting to get all the main variables dialed in (diet, supplements, hydration, equipment) to increase chances of optimal performance. My sense is sleep doesn't fit a "training model." Especially attempts to get enough sleep to be rested for a particular occasion. Even with aids like Magnesium or Melatonin, an individual's mental factors (anxiety, overthinking, worry) tend to get the upper hand.

So, speaking from experience: I would recommend doing all the obvious stuff (avoiding both caffeine and alcohol prior to the desired sleep bout; no TV, computer, lights, or reading in bed), and then, relax. I can't cite any particular study to prove the following, but I know it to be true first hand: Lying in bed awake but with a quiet, calm, unperturbed mind, is way more restful than lying in a frantic state of mind. The old saw about counting sleep is actually wise. If not sheep, simply note the rising and falling of your breath, at the abdomen. Or do some simple guided imagery and auto suggestion: "I am resting deeply, I am relaxed and calm..." Keep these statements in the present tense, not "I will be rested tomorrow." When I follow this strategy, I not only spend more restful time even though I am awake ??? I actually tend to fall asleep. Not necessarily continuous sleep, but short periods of sleep are better than frantic wakefulness.

If you find yourself lying awake even so, thinking and worrying about "tomorrow," don't judge or scold yourself. Smile and go back to just being there. Since rest correlates with warm extremities, say to yourself: "My hands are heavy and warm. My feet are heavy and warm." Repeat this and your hands and feet will eventually begin to follow the suggestion.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:24 PM

That works for people who don't have restless legs... I would LOVE to be able to just lie there and meditate, but often the muscles in my legs are going bananas. Magnesium seems to have helped a lot with this, however. Now, if I wake in the middle of the night, usually I get up and do some yoga-type stretching and I fall back asleep fine.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Thanks. I use very similar meditations in bed quite frequently, and it occasionally used to lead to falling asleep but not so much anymore. Plus, there's only so long I can lay there peacefully. When we're talking up to 5 hours before I fall asleep, I get bored! Not to mention physically antsy (a purely physical sensation, as if my body has to jump out of bed even if my mind is calm). ON the other hand, I don't actually get upset or anxious anymore when I lay in bed awake, so I guess that's progress.

0
18c50285011cd53a9b3e9bfb3118212c

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

Natural Calm with Dorado Galores advice should work for you.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 13, 2012
at 08:05 AM

Ashwagandha has become my go-to thing when I need to get to sleep. I take a dose of the tincture, and within 1/2 hour light and sound starts to get annoying, so I turn off all the lights and TV, crawl into bed and pass out pretty fast after that. It seems to work best when taken by 9pm for me, and then I'm asleep by 10, for some reason if I let myself stay awake until I get a second wind at 11ish it doesn't work nearly as well.

It is an adaptogen, so you can take it in the morning also to help establish your internal clock even more.

I saw an article posted a few days ago about a NY times author going without sugar for a year, and he said the first thing he noticed was that within a few days he didn't wake up too early anymore. The fact that honey is helping makes me think it might be a blood sugar thing.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:28 AM

hi Happy Now, which Ashwagandha tincture do you take before bed & what's the dose?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:39 AM

i should add that in the past i have tried a single capsule (225mg) in the evening, which didn't seem to have any effect at the time. i might give it another go and try one tonight

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:15 AM

I use Herbpharm Ashwagandha tincture. I seem to have a much faster response to tinctures than to capsules.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 22, 2012
at 06:09 AM

i should add that in the past i have tried a single capsule (225mg) in the evening, which didn't seem to have any effect at the time. i might give it another go and try one tonight. its this one http://www.iherb.com/Jarrow-Formulas-Ashwagandha-120-Veggie-Caps/3302

0
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on March 17, 2012
at 04:06 AM

Another up vote for magnesium and/or melatonin. Also, are you exercising regularly? Good vigorous exercise in the early part of the day is strongly correlated with better quality of sleep later. Also, having a consistent bedtime ritual can help--ie, 10pm take your magnesium, brush your teeth, change to jammies, 10:15, read for 15 minutes and then get into bed, 10:30 turn off lights. If you have a standard protocol/routine at the same time each night, your body starts getting the message that it's time to get ready to go to sleep. Go to sleep at the same time, and wake up at the same time each day. No napping. No using your bed for anything besides sleeping and sex. Keep bedroom quite cool, and use blankets if you need warmth. Hope that helps!

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:15 PM

Thanks, HA! I'll be trying the magnesium as of tonight. I exercise 3 days a week after work (not ideal, I know, but I just can't do it before work). Already have the pre-bedtime ritual down pat, don't do anything else in the bedroom besides sleep and sex and the bedroom is pretty cool and dark. So I think if the magnesium works I'll be in good shape. Thanks again!

0
2f6369abde3db516547dfab9dc8092b8

(48)

on March 17, 2012
at 02:45 AM

Try some Melatonin, it works.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on March 17, 2012
at 07:49 AM

would try other stuff before this. Melatonin is a hormone and IMO it's better not to mess with it on a regular basis - use it for jetlag or other occasional issues.

0
F80aaa96354eb749a8a5efdda3feba7d

on March 16, 2012
at 07:45 PM

Take the honey if it helps. Then after the whole 30 if you feel great and are sleeping well cut the honey and see if the habits are engraved in you now.

E3575e92da86cbf4d7803d3aa09f962a

(35)

on March 16, 2012
at 08:31 PM

Interesting idea. Hadn't thought of that. Thanks!

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