6

votes

This Fixed My Sleep.............But.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 04, 2011 at 3:09 PM

So I started this whole Paleo style eating about 2 months ago at 6ft 231 pounds I'm now around 193-194 lbs. Whats odd is once I got below 196 I started having sleep issues.

By sleep issues I mean I would go to bed fine at about 9-10pm but was waking up at 3-4AM EVERY! Night. Tried everything from P.Serine, 5 HTP, Melatonin, GABA, V. Root etc. Nothing seemed to work really. I tried a sweet potato after hard workout, eating massive Paleo meal before bed, and not eating 5 hours prior to bed. Nothing worked.

A few weeks ago I had about a half a cup of white chocolate chips in the eveneing and slept like a baby (9 hours solid). Tried it the next night with the same results. So every day for the last 4 weeks my sleeps has been amazing and Ive been ingesting 1/2 to 1 cup of white chocolate chips (made of sugar and Palm oil).

Was I in starvation mode? This definitely isnt Paleo, whats actually happening here? I work out about 3 times a week usually weights or sprinting. I play my sport for a living but I have become very aware of overtraining.

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 12, 2012
at 08:35 AM

All non Paleo though... Other than the Pavlova as it is eggs and sugar. Carb overload!

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 12, 2012
at 08:34 AM

That explains the desserts after supper at my Grandparents....

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on April 19, 2012
at 03:18 AM

Daz my sleep is better Im still eating sweet potatoes and taking MgT (just found out it staves off baldness Jackpot!!!!) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21034532

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 17, 2012
at 12:22 AM

Hi Cory, thanks for posting all this info. What food before bed is working for you these days; still the white chocolate or yam/sweet potato or both?...And how's the Magnesium L-Threonate going now, is it still working for you....Any other updates/info

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 17, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Hi Cory, thanks for posting all this info. What food before bed is working for you these days; still the white chocolate or yam/sweet potato or both?...And how's the Magnesium L-Threonate going now, is it still working for you....Any other updates/info

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 05, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Wow! If I sleep less 5 hours I don't feel refreshed at all :P

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 05, 2012
at 01:35 PM

I don't have sugar cravings, but : my sleep is not perfect, and I mistakingly put a plate in the trash can. The supplement just arrived in the mail, I will update very soon.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:43 PM

PrimalDanny, Yes I tried going to bed earlier and even later I would always wake up at 3-4am as though I had been scared awake. Korion, please post your results, do you get bad sugar cravings?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:30 PM

I looked at the supplement, and I might try it out myself. I'll notify people when it works.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Thanks for updating Cory!

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Did you ever try just going to bed earlier?

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:59 AM

good comment!!!

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:58 AM

for diabetics, if they have a log BG, glucose in the middle they may experience nightmares, waking or sweats... usually finding out why they go low (under eating, excessive low carb, no enough protein timed with carbs, too much diabetic drugs, more exercise, stress) is not a mystery.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:55 AM

carbs lower cortisol... you be spiking cortisol in the middle of the night from stress (physical, mental, physiologic/hypoglycemia)... have u tried yoga moves and breathing 20min prior to bed or in the pm?

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on December 29, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Right on this has been my saving grace, my solution thus far has been not to just have a yam or sweet potatoe twice a week after a hard workout, but eat them every night with my last meal of the day. If I skip a few days of this practice I awake at 3-4am and cannot go back to sleep.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on December 28, 2011
at 01:42 PM

At one point I took Zinc/Magnesium supplement, and I slept incredibly well, the only problem being is that I had an incredibly hard time waking up, even after 9hrs of sleep. I've noticed this from anytime I take a magnesium supplement prior to bedtime - difficulty waking up.

C7e3ba0ed51a6195ae022822a8f056ac

(673)

on December 01, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Cory151 - Any update on this? i find myself in a similar situation..

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:43 AM

I drink NO caffeine and I dislike coffee.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:42 AM

I was diagnosed with HYPOthyroid at one point but Paleo has since cleaned that up, and my free test levels are supposedly in the mid 700s (ng/dl) which Im told is very good for my age.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Ive not had dairy in a long time I guess I could give it a shot.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on August 05, 2011
at 01:12 AM

does dairy work this way with you like the sugar does?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 10:16 PM

I didn't think white chocolate had any actual chocolate in it, just sugar. Maybe high-quality stuff with actual cocoa solids in it, but it can't amount to very much.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Right, it's not that people were sleeping less in total, it's just that sleeping for 7 or 8 hours *straight* is probably not natural at all.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on August 04, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Extremely interesting! I'll have to experiment with this. Perhaps it explains how we can go to bed when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun comes up even though that's often way more than 8 hours or whatever would be enough sleep: Maybe it's normal to wake up for a bit. Does that make sense or did I misinterpret? I've always found it odd that going to bed shortly after the sun goes down and waking up when the sun comes back up could be as many as like 12+ hours in the winter, which seems like way to many. Waking up for a bit in the night would make this make more sense. Maybe?

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 04, 2011
at 07:54 PM

Thats part of why I posted this, so it may help somebody else out. The one thing that hasnt been addressed is the SUGAR aspect of this. Why is it that a little sweets before bed make me sleep like a baby the entire night. I personally think it may be a starvation response of some type.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Interesting! I just had my best sleep in weeks last night and I binged on some chocolate chips in the evening (first time in 6 months for real sugar, I usually stick with fruit only). We have way different issues, but you might be onto something. I hope someone can explain it.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:48 PM

At least for me my typical patten to to have a wakeful period around the time you mention and then I go back to sleep after a half hour to an hour. The historical evidence from before electric lights is better covered by the book, but basically boils down to the fact that in old resources there are different terms for each part of the cycle mentioned as if they are perfectly normal. At least for me this sleeping pattern, once I stopped worrying about waking up, actually works well and leaves me well rested and more emotionally stable.

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Since when? When on a SAD diet I got 7-8 hours per night and was sleeping fine on Paleo up until this point. After this point I was noticeably more tired from having slept only 4-5 hour. It should also be noted that according to Chris Kresser, reducation in sleep to just five hours per night was associated with a 15% reduction in testosterone. No what im looking for at my age, regardless of what my ancestors did. When I say I was waking up, I mean i could not go back to sleep almost like an adrenaline squirt woke me.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:30 PM

interesting i have tried the same remedies for sleep! ive never been able to sleep sound or well my whole life

  • 9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

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11 Answers

best answer

1
309a2af89d656604991b61283543c98c

on December 28, 2011
at 06:06 PM

If I have a protein/fat meal for dinner I sleep terribly. So I started eating carbs only for dinner and am sleeping very well now.

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on December 29, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Right on this has been my saving grace, my solution thus far has been not to just have a yam or sweet potatoe twice a week after a hard workout, but eat them every night with my last meal of the day. If I skip a few days of this practice I awake at 3-4am and cannot go back to sleep.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:58 AM

for diabetics, if they have a log BG, glucose in the middle they may experience nightmares, waking or sweats... usually finding out why they go low (under eating, excessive low carb, no enough protein timed with carbs, too much diabetic drugs, more exercise, stress) is not a mystery.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:55 AM

carbs lower cortisol... you be spiking cortisol in the middle of the night from stress (physical, mental, physiologic/hypoglycemia)... have u tried yoga moves and breathing 20min prior to bed or in the pm?

6
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:18 PM

There is historical evidence that waking up at night is the normal thing. It might be that your sleep patterns were healthy and normal, but you managed to time a sugar crash right when you would have started to wake up.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Right, it's not that people were sleeping less in total, it's just that sleeping for 7 or 8 hours *straight* is probably not natural at all.

9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Since when? When on a SAD diet I got 7-8 hours per night and was sleeping fine on Paleo up until this point. After this point I was noticeably more tired from having slept only 4-5 hour. It should also be noted that according to Chris Kresser, reducation in sleep to just five hours per night was associated with a 15% reduction in testosterone. No what im looking for at my age, regardless of what my ancestors did. When I say I was waking up, I mean i could not go back to sleep almost like an adrenaline squirt woke me.

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on August 04, 2011
at 05:48 PM

At least for me my typical patten to to have a wakeful period around the time you mention and then I go back to sleep after a half hour to an hour. The historical evidence from before electric lights is better covered by the book, but basically boils down to the fact that in old resources there are different terms for each part of the cycle mentioned as if they are perfectly normal. At least for me this sleeping pattern, once I stopped worrying about waking up, actually works well and leaves me well rested and more emotionally stable.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on August 04, 2011
at 08:23 PM

Extremely interesting! I'll have to experiment with this. Perhaps it explains how we can go to bed when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun comes up even though that's often way more than 8 hours or whatever would be enough sleep: Maybe it's normal to wake up for a bit. Does that make sense or did I misinterpret? I've always found it odd that going to bed shortly after the sun goes down and waking up when the sun comes back up could be as many as like 12+ hours in the winter, which seems like way to many. Waking up for a bit in the night would make this make more sense. Maybe?

3
9c734a588e3b1e51fad8c8be8dacc407

on December 28, 2011
at 11:32 AM

This calming effect of carbs is opposed to the contrasting alertness-increasing (dopamine, not serotonin releasing) effect of protein consumption. Hence why low carb high protein snacks are recommended for those who get a big energy slump or dip mid-afternoon/ post lunch

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:59 AM

good comment!!!

3
669790861549f3c6d54d88a65296ed19

(452)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:27 PM

Chocolate is a source of magnesium,so that might be a reason? Maybe you could try experimenting with another magnesiumsource? If that doesn't help it's probably the sugar/carbs in the chocolate which can lead to better sleep if you're having adrenal issues.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 10:16 PM

I didn't think white chocolate had any actual chocolate in it, just sugar. Maybe high-quality stuff with actual cocoa solids in it, but it can't amount to very much.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on December 28, 2011
at 01:42 PM

At one point I took Zinc/Magnesium supplement, and I slept incredibly well, the only problem being is that I had an incredibly hard time waking up, even after 9hrs of sleep. I've noticed this from anytime I take a magnesium supplement prior to bedtime - difficulty waking up.

2
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:36 PM

My sleep patterns went from 10-hours/day and waking up feeling like crap (pre-Paleo), to 5-7 hours/day waking up fully refreshed and ready to go (I only need an alarm clock now to tell me when it's time to get ready for work, but not to wake up).

I woke up at 4:30 this morning, adjusted the thermostat, did the normal morning stuff (restroom, weigh-in, etc) then went back to bed for another hour "nap", then rode my bike to the store to buy bacon. I've been bouncing off the walls today. Oddly enough I went to bed later than usual last night (11:30pm or so).

My point is... don't use the amount of sleep as your barometer of health, use your mood and energy levels. Some people simply require less sleep than others.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 05, 2012
at 01:37 PM

Wow! If I sleep less 5 hours I don't feel refreshed at all :P

2
E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

on January 20, 2012
at 04:16 PM

Ok I wanted to post this up to try and help anybody with this same issue I recently started taking Magnesium L-Threonate (Life extension brand) and it has almost completely made my sugar craving go away!! WTF? I was just looking to improve my memory as the other day I mistakingly placed a piece of grass fed steak in one of my kitchen drawers. Idiot.

This is crazy to me because I was taking natural calm and and doing epsom salt baths 3x per week, religiously. Also I am more focussed and I definitely am a lot less sore after lifting and have ben able to bump my workout to 3x per week rather than the two days I had been doing.

Only side effect seemed to be going #2 much easier the first couple days. Also I am told that Im sleeping with my mouth wide open now instead of clenched teeth.

Has anybody else experienced this from MgT? Was I simply suffering from a raging Mg deficiency, in spite of the Mg citrate and baths I was taking?

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:43 PM

PrimalDanny, Yes I tried going to bed earlier and even later I would always wake up at 3-4am as though I had been scared awake. Korion, please post your results, do you get bad sugar cravings?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:30 PM

I looked at the supplement, and I might try it out myself. I'll notify people when it works.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Did you ever try just going to bed earlier?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Thanks for updating Cory!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 05, 2012
at 01:35 PM

I don't have sugar cravings, but : my sleep is not perfect, and I mistakingly put a plate in the trash can. The supplement just arrived in the mail, I will update very soon.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on April 17, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Hi Cory, thanks for posting all this info. What food before bed is working for you these days; still the white chocolate or yam/sweet potato or both?...And how's the Magnesium L-Threonate going now, is it still working for you....Any other updates/info

2
9c734a588e3b1e51fad8c8be8dacc407

on December 28, 2011
at 11:29 AM

Carbs will prompt a serotonin release that calms the body into sleep. Hence why you relax into drowsy town after some high carb White chocolate.

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 12, 2012
at 08:35 AM

All non Paleo though... Other than the Pavlova as it is eggs and sugar. Carb overload!

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 12, 2012
at 08:34 AM

That explains the desserts after supper at my Grandparents....

1
Af005ec9a8e028f2b04bf5367b64e0d6

on December 28, 2011
at 05:40 PM

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.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:55 PM

I've noticed the same thing in the past with white chocolate. I figured it was a well timed sugar crash, along with a good dose of fat to feel satiated, calm, and sleepy.

Have you had a hormone panel done lately? Might want to make sure you haven't somehow found yourself hyperthyroid or with some cortisol issues.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:42 AM

I was diagnosed with HYPOthyroid at one point but Paleo has since cleaned that up, and my free test levels are supposedly in the mid 700s (ng/dl) which Im told is very good for my age.

1
0a2dd50f2d3951bf3fb83fc4638c9512

(1960)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:03 PM

+1 for dropping caffeine after 4 pm, and noting that your body is more sensitive in general to whatever you consume.

Cory -- maybe a post-sugar-high bonk?

1
8f46223d193b81942a064982d5fd5477

on August 04, 2011
at 05:43 PM

I'm having the same problem. I've had inconsistent success with Melatonin. What works best is controlling my environment and what I eat late in the day. This means dimming the lights and cutting off all electronics at least an hour before bed. Having a few more Carbs at dinner than I have at breakfast and lunch seems to help some too. For me, this usually comes in the form of a sweet potato or Greek yogurt with fresh berries. Also, I cannot have caffiene after around 4pm each day.

I have found that, since changing my eating habits (Paleo + goats milk dairy and Greek yogurt) and exercise habits (CrossFit + running), my body is MUCH more sensitive to what I consume. I no longer over eat unhealthy foods and sit around all day. Caffiene was not formerly a big issue...same thing for relaxing and turning off electronics before bed. My body has changed and is still changing (been at this 4 months today). I have to be patient as my body continues to adjust.

It seems I'm having to watch everything I consume and do in the evening to give myself the best chance possible of getting a good night's sleep. It seems like a fairly tedious process. I'm still figuring out this sleep element.

Please do let me know if you find a sure fire sleep solution.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 04, 2011
at 07:54 PM

Thats part of why I posted this, so it may help somebody else out. The one thing that hasnt been addressed is the SUGAR aspect of this. Why is it that a little sweets before bed make me sleep like a baby the entire night. I personally think it may be a starvation response of some type.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Ive not had dairy in a long time I guess I could give it a shot.

E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

(608)

on August 05, 2011
at 02:43 AM

I drink NO caffeine and I dislike coffee.

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on August 05, 2011
at 01:12 AM

does dairy work this way with you like the sugar does?

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