Weird things have been happening to me lately, and I'm not sure if they're good or bad...
It seems to have started when days started getting longer and warmer a couple of months ago. The most salient change has been in my sleep pattern. For the last year on paleo (during winter and autumn) I have generally had little trouble falling asleep. I used to get tired around 10-11pm, go to bed, and sleep OK until 9am without an alarm clock. Now I find myself going to bed slightly later (11pm-midnight), taking a while to fall asleep, and then waking as soon as the sun is up and the d**m birds start chirping outside, i.e. around 6.30 am. So I'm getting 6-7 hours a sleep, on a good night. It seems my sleep has become lighter too: I'm more easily awakened (also during the night). Strangely enough, I feel reasonably rested in the morning and even get out of bed in a springy, bouncy kind of way.
However, I then have a slightly subdued energy level for most of the day (sort of flu-ish). I've increased my coffee from 0-1 cups/day (previously) to 2 cups every day - one in the morning & one in the afternoon. My energy levels fluctuate uncharacteristically during the day, with moments of feeling very lethargic, and then high and just suddenly being gripped by the desire to go do some walking, dancing, skipping or hopping or whatever. Previously, I would have felt absolutely awful on 6-7 hours sleep a night. In fact I wouldn't have lasted through the day without a nap or two. Now, I still try to have naps (because I feel I need it) but it's really hard. Whenever I feel slightly sleepy, like after a meal, I go and lie down, but hardly manage to sleep 10-15 minutes, if at all.
Mood is a bit off as well, most of the time I feel great mentally but then I get episodes of utter apathy and disinterest.
Appetite-wise, I'm hungry less often, most notably I've started skipping breakfast on many days, and I get full slightly quicker than before. Haven't lost much, or any, weight though.
I'm also working out much less often (some light intervals or bodyweight circuits 2-3 days a week, instead of the 4-5 days a week I used to do), mainly because of the heat and because I get tired more quickly now.
I'm slightly worried I might lose some of my hard-earned muscle mass (having finally managed to visibly increase it in the last year) and put on more belly fat as a result of increased cortisol. Other than that, if it's just a temporary shift in patterns due to seasonality, I can cope with the increased waking hours (gives me more time to get things done... in theory!) and wacky moods, knowing it'll get back to normal in a few months.
Anything I can do in the meantime to minimise the damage? (like changes in diet?) I'd also love to know if anyone's been experiencing similar changes with the seasons, and whether they were more noticeable before or after going paleo.
asked byarchaea (2249)
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on June 08, 2010
at 01:46 PM
interesting to see your post, OP, because over the past two weeks i have been experiencing very similar things. I think its just the serious heat we've had here in NYC. Humidity, too. And, well, i have no air conditioner. I havent changed a thing, grok before all these temps and still grok.
on June 08, 2010
at 07:55 PM
could be the seasonal change but have you had your thyroid levels checked. That could affect everything that you are talking about. By the way unbalanced thyroid levels will cause muscle depletion over time if left untreated (according to what I have been told)
on June 08, 2010
at 01:41 PM
I had to force myself to go to bed earlier, actually resorted to settig myself a pre-alarm sleep alarm on my phone that said, time to Go to sleep, because like you, I was waking with the birds whether I wanted to or not