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Does Ketosis Cause Insomnia

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-carb Diets

Last week, my staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances. In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets. On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets. #1: Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our “default” nutritional state, as some have claimed. Some low-carb advocates have claimed that mo Continue reading >>

Sleep Nutrition

Sleep Nutrition

Carbohydrates and Sleep Growth hormone and insulin have antagonistic effects: Elevated growth hormone levels will reduce insulin’s effectiveness, and high insulin levels will suppress the secretion of growth hormone. Therefore, repeatedly eating carbohydrate-rich food immediately before going to sleep may impair growth hormone secretion during your deep-sleep phase. Additionally, your body is more resistant to the effects of insulin at night, meaning that you must produce more insulin to move a given amount of glucose to your body tissues. This may lead to even further suppression of growth hormone secretion. Growth hormone secretion is an important part of the process of SWS, therefore going to bed with elevated or rising insulin will reduce the effectiveness of SWS that night. It is important to go to bed with low blood sugar so that you can maximize your growth hormone secretion potential and Slow Wave Sleep quality. Originally, there was a number of papers showing insulin increasing deep sleep, for example here and here. The obvious statement, then, is that if carbohydrates increase insulin then naturally carbohydrates increase deep sleep. This is a prime example of an ‘affirming the consequent propositional fallacy’. While healthy metabolism will raise insulin in response to an increase in carbohydrates, a healthy metabolism will not raise carbohydrates in response to an increase in insulin (glucagon does that). It therefore stands that carbohydrates do not necessarily increase deep sleep, and in fact insulin will lower blood-glucose causing hypoglycaemia when increased alone… A simple increase in ketosis, or food restriction replicates this increase in SWS without decreasing Growth Hormone secretion. In fact both low carb, ketosis and food restriction incr Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet & Sleep Problems: How Are Carbohydrates And Ketosis Associated With Disturbed Sleep?

Ketogenic Diet & Sleep Problems: How Are Carbohydrates And Ketosis Associated With Disturbed Sleep?

A diet which is rich in fat and low in proteins and carbohydrates is called a ketogenic diet. Going on a ketogenic diet is one of the ways people revert to in order to achieve quick weight loss. While ketogenic diet can have adverse consequences to a person's well being, it can also lead to sleep deprivation or insomnia over a period of time. Consumption of carbohydrates is vital for the body that not only keeps the energy equilibrium maintained, but also plays a role in your quality of sleep. If you are planning to adopt ketogenic diet then beware my friend of the complications it can have in the long run over your sleep cycle! Maintaining a good body is essential, but it should not compromise with your sleep which is vital for your health and well being. Herein, we break down some valuable information on how ketogenic diet can be associated with sleep disturbances and how it can be managed. A diet which is rich in fat and low in proteins and carbohydrates is called a ketogenic diet. Carbohydrates are called storehouse of energy as their breakdown results in enormous energy released by the body needed for performing its functions. In absence of these dietary carbs, the glycogen and fat is broken down thereby causing enormous loss of weight. It is during fat breakdown that causes release of ketones in blood also known as ketosis. The weight loss of a person of a ketogenic diet can be sudden and high in intensity often causing euphoric feeling, but leading to sleep problems over a period of time. Known to cause a soothing effect on the body, carbohydrates are often referred to as "comfort foods" in dietary terms. These carbs are responsible for maintaining steady glucose supply, maintaining energy equilibrium and at the same time keeping the protein balance in the brain. Continue reading >>

Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar And Sleep Connection

In my last newsletter, I wrote about how most people with sleep trouble think they have too much energy and simply can’t settle down. I also discussed that one of the main causes of insomnia is actually a deep level of exhaustion. Odd as it may seem, the body needs energy to calm or sedate itself for sleep. Without energy, we stay awake, “wired and tired.” The second most common cause of insomnia is a silent blood sugar issue that affects one third of Americans. The worst part is, a shocking 90% of people are unaware of this problem until it is too late! (1) Could you or someone you know be suffering from blood-sugar-related insomnia? Keep reading to learn the facts about this troubling, little-known sleep issue. First Comes Stress, Then Come Cravings Sleep disorders affect an estimated 50-70 million Americans and, as I discussed in my last newsletter, much of this is caused by stress and exhaustion. When under stress, the adrenals go shopping for energy. Their favorite stop is the pancreas, where stress generates insatiable cravings for sweets to create the energy the adrenals can no longer provide. Before you know it, Americans are waking up to a sugar-laced cup of coffee or two. In an attempt to pick the healthy choice, we might sip green tea to keep us going through the morning. Lunch might be a salad and a diet soda. Then, as the blood sugar starts plummeting, bringing on the all-too-well-known afternoon crash, dark chocolate is passed around the office as if you had called room service. By the end of the workday, either a workout, latte or a nap is the only thing getting us home without falling asleep. The Band-aid Cure To remedy this, some of us have adopted a diet that was originally formulated for folks with severe hypoglycemia”the “six small meals a Continue reading >>

Ketogenic + Restless Legs = Insomnia ... Um, No!

Ketogenic + Restless Legs = Insomnia ... Um, No!

Okay, I have been eating ketogenic for five days now. I have gotten through the carb detox headaches and have settled into a macro plan of 5% carbs (no grains), 20% protein, 75% fat. The upside is that I like the idea of limiting my body of all of the glucose which will help my minor health conditions. But there are definitely downsides! The first is that I am having a hard time getting in enough fats under the strictures of the diet. Who knew it would be hard to eat fats? The real problem is that the fats I want to eat then include a consumption of protein and/or carbs and then throws off my percentages. Still working on that one. The bigger issue is that for the past couple of nights I have had trouble sleeping, and I have had restless legs. Sleeping is one of those things that I do well. I go to bed at the same time every night (for the most part) and get up at the same time each morning. I can fit in a 15-30 minute power nap in the afternoon and have no trouble going to sleep at night. But I have noticed a direct correlation between this new eating plan and my sleeping. And that is just something I cannot accept. I mentioned in my last post on this topic that I am not one to jump on a diet bandwagon. I am a pretty firm believer in moderation. I also know that I need to get my carbs under control and know that grains are the major culprit. It has not settled very well with me on this ketogenic diet that you have to limit your fruits so much. To me that is not balance. But I was willing to go with it if I was reaching my desired results of having a healthy body to host healthy cells. Last night, after a good hour of being wide-awake and very restless, I got up and ate a couple small spoonfuls of almond butter and a swallow of real milk and went back to bed. And I fell Continue reading >>

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips

10 Critical Ketogenic Diet Tips A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan. A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies. This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism (1, 2). I personally recommend a cyclic ketogenic diet for most of my clients where you go low-carb for 3 days and then have a slightly higher carbohydrate day, followed by 3 lower carb days. This cycles the body in and out of a state of ketosis and is beneficial for hormone balance while keeping inflammatory levels very low. The biggest challenge with this nutrition plan is to get into and maintain the state of fat adaption. Here are several advanced tips to get into and maintain ketosis. 1. Stay Hydrated: This is considered a no-brainer, but is not easy to follow. We often get so busy in our day-day lives that we forget to hydrate effectively. I recommend super hydrating your system by drinking 32 oz of filtered water within the first hour of waking and another 32-48 oz of water before noon. I have most of my clients do a water fast or eat light in the morning doing smoothies or keto coffee or tea. So hydration around these dishes should be well tolerated by the digestive system. In general, aiming to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water and closer to your full body weight in ounces of water daily will help you immensely. I weigh 160 lbs and easily drink 140-180 ounces of water each day. Sometimes more in the summer time. As you begin super Continue reading >>

The Atkins Diet May Cause Insomnia

The Atkins Diet May Cause Insomnia

We already know there's a link between body weight and insomnia; now we're finding yet another potential link between your diet and the quality of your sleep. The culprit this time is the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet (officially called the Atkins Nutritional Approach) is a low-carbohydrate diet and this reduced carbohydrate intake is a potential insomnia cause. Although refined carbohydrates reduce the body's supply of vitamin B (used to produce serotonin) and are therefore best avoided, the Atkins diet drastically cuts your intake of all carbohydrates. Unrefined carbohydrates, such as pasta, porridge, brown rice, brown bread and sweet potatoes can actually help stimulate the body's production of serotonin - so by following this diet you're eliminating a major source of tryptophan and serotonin, which are the building blocks of sleep. Therefore if you're an insomniac currently on the Atkins diet, you may want to reassess your dieting options. Source: Mirror Improve your sleep in two weeks: Over 5,000 insomniacs have completed my free insomnia sleep training course and 97% of graduates say they would recommend it to a friend. Learn more here. Last updated: October 6, 2011 Continue reading >>

Keto Talk (episode 28): Cardiomyopathy, Nusi Hall Study, Diet Soda, Insomnia, High Blood Pressure On Keto

Keto Talk (episode 28): Cardiomyopathy, Nusi Hall Study, Diet Soda, Insomnia, High Blood Pressure On Keto

THE KETOGENIC COOKBOOK NOW IN U.S. COSTCO STORES If you are interested in the low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat, ketogenic diet, then this is the podcast for you. We zero in exclusively on all the questions people have about how being in a state of nutritional ketosis and the effects it has on your health. There are a lot of myths about keto floating around out there and our two amazing cohosts are shooting them down one at a time. Keto Talk is cohosted by 10-year veteran health podcaster and international bestselling author Jimmy Moore from “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” and Arizona osteopath and certified bariatric physician Dr. Adam Nally from “Doc Muscles” who thoroughly share from their wealth of experience on the ketogenic lifestyle each and every Thursday. We love hearing from our fabulous Ketonian listeners with new questions–send an email to Jimmy at [email protected] And if you’re not already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes and listened to the past episodes, then you can do that and leave a review HERE. Listen in today as Jimmy and Adam deliver some thorough answers to the most pressing ketogenic questions in Episode 28! KEY QUOTE: “If you suddenly turn down the glucose drive (by lowering the carbohydrates consumed) but you leave the protein high enough to stimulate glucagon, you’re gonna stop fat loss but still lose body weight (as water).” — Dr. Adam Nally Here’s what Jimmy and Adam talked about in Episode 28: – Does a ketogenic diet lead to cardiomyopathy? I came across this reference that suggested that a ketogenic diet had been associated with cardiomyopathy: I wonder if you and the Doc have any thoughts on this. Thank you for your great podcast. Barry in the UK – NuSI-funded Study Serves Up Disappointment for the Continue reading >>

How To: Avoid Insomnia On The Keto Diet

How To: Avoid Insomnia On The Keto Diet

Are you following a keto diet, and having trouble falling asleep? At night, do you feel tired, but wired at the same time? You are not alone. And it can be the push that causes you to throw away all of your hard work of achieving ketosis. But before you throw in the towel, let's see if there is something we can do to help you beat this keto diet insomnia. Here are a few tips that may help with your ketogenic diet insomnia. Give them a try! It is possible that your circadian rhythm may be disrupted. Circadian rhythm is a natural, internal system, that signals the release of either cortisol (upon waking), and melatonin (at night). It can be thrown off if you are a night shift worker, or you are indoors most of the time. One way to get your circadian rhythm back on track is to get some sunlight on your face and eyes, right when you wake up. This helps elevate serotonin and cortisol, to wake the body up. Spend as much time as you can outside, weather permitting. And dimming the lights at night time to help lower cortisol, and raise melatonin. It's also important to limit exposure to electronics after sunset. Electronic devices put out a light that signals the release of cortisol, much like the sun would. If you have to work at night, there are programs you can download that will change the lighting on your electronics to mimic the sun at sunset. I use f.lux for my laptop, and Night Mode for my phone. Take a magnesium supplement at night. It is a natural muscle relaxer, which may help relieve stress, or help with nighttime muscle cramps that are waking you up. Try taking a hot shower or bath right before bed. Add a couple cups of epsom salt, which contains magnesium, to help relax your muscles and add a couple drops of lavender oil to further your relaxation experience. Avoi Continue reading >>

Insomnia, Meditation, Cannabis, Polyphasic Sleep, And A Sleep Protocol To Help You Sleep Better.

Insomnia, Meditation, Cannabis, Polyphasic Sleep, And A Sleep Protocol To Help You Sleep Better.

When I was a child, I slept… well, like a baby. I remember waking up at 6:00 AM bright and refreshed all the way up until puberty. As I grew, so did my mind and all the exciting things in life to think about. It would run, and run and run. I struggle with insomnia like so many others, but I think I’m getting a handle on it. I sleep from 10 or 11 PM until 7:15 AM, usually at least 5 nights out of the week, uninterrupted, waking up feeling refreshed. How do I do it? I’ll share my journey of how I got here and the stupid things I’ve done along the way that I would like to warn against. From puberty through high school, it wasn’t a big issue, being an insomniac. You have a lot of energy and very low stress load. If I didn’t get a full night of sleep, it didn’t really matter. By college, it did. It’s frustrating that I couldn’t get real information on improving sleep beyond “set a bedtime and make sure to get 8 hours”. Well, that doesn’t work if you lay in bed for 2 hours before falling asleep, wake up every hour that you sleep, and then wake up 52 minutes before the alarm goes off. I got frustrated. I tried polyphasic sleep. I did variations of this for about a year, 9x20min naps per day, 3x30min + 1x3hour per day, the best one was 45 min long naps with 90-180 min at night. It was my own mind telling me “FINE! If you CAN”T sleep then DON”T sleep!” This is important because I now realize that was part of my failure to get to sleep. The way I approached sleep became important. I am thankful for that experience however, because after about 3 months of only 20 min naps with crashes, I learned how to fall asleep in 60 seconds. The result was amplified due to sleep deprivation, but I realized that I needed a protocol to succeed. I needed a plan whe Continue reading >>

Getting Better Sleep — Cool, Dark, And Lots Of B6, Carbs, Calories, And Fat

Getting Better Sleep — Cool, Dark, And Lots Of B6, Carbs, Calories, And Fat

recently posted some sleeping tips. A lot of other great bloggers write about sleep too, like Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, and Stephan Guyenet. I think sleep is really important, and I’ve had a lot of sleeping problems in the past, some of which I still occasionally struggle with, so I’m going to follow suit and post the things that have helped me most. Over a number of years, I’ve found that many things impact my ability to sleep, but from among these I can distill a handful of things I’ve found most critical: A cool, dark room. Light and phsyical activity upon waking. Lots of carbs, calories, and fat. Sufficient B6-rich foods. I need to have close to total darkness in the room when I fall asleep, and a sleep mask helps to prevent any residual light from reaching my eyes. A sleep mask does almost nothing if there’s lots of light in the room, as light on the skin seems to have a lesser effect than light on the eyes, but a nevertheless very meaningful impact. As my sleep has improved over the last two years, I’ve become less sensitive to light, perhaps because better sleep itself has begun normalizing my metabolic disturbances. But by “less sensitive” I mean that I can tolerate residual light sneaking in around the edges of curtains. I don’t mean I can tolerate no curtains or a light being on in the hallway, either of which would keep me up all night. I hope in the future my light tolerance continues to improve, as it makes no sense to me that humans are not designed to be able to tolerate at least the equivalent of moonlight and starlight. In addition to being dark, the room also has to be cool. I need a fan if the temperature gets much higher than 65F, and below 60F is ideal. I have also found that waking up at a regular time and immediately exposing mysel Continue reading >>

Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained

Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained

What does Ketosis mean exactly, and what are Ketosis symptoms? There are a lot of questions about the Low Carb Flu, also known as “Induction Flu” (based on the Atkins Induction Phase). If you’ve just started eating low carb and you feel miserable, you’re experiencing the low carb flu. Ketosis symptoms include: Headaches, bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth, irritability (like PMS on steroids! lol), leg cramps, insomnia, nausea, etc. It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a nasty flu. Symptoms vary from person to person. The good news is, it means you’re doing it right! The even better news is… it only lasts a few days. What Is Ketosis? It is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs/sugar. A keto state means you are fueling your body on healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. So that saying that “You need carbs for energy!” is untrue. But you DO need either carbohydrates OR healthy fats for energy, which is why you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat “low carb, low fat”. See Low Carb, High Fat Diet Explained Your body and your brain actually operate much better on healthy fats. A ketogenic diet is known to reduce seizures, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and chronic pain issues (fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc) and remedy many other common health issues. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pas Continue reading >>

Video: Insomnia On Keto

Video: Insomnia On Keto

Insomnia is the worst. And, when you’ve gone keto and start to feel better overall but your sleep quality starts to suck, it’s an even worse place to be in. You feel great on low-carb keto, but when you eat low-carb keto, your sleep suffers. Perhaps you know that eating carbohydrates fixes your sleep quality problem. Maybe when you ‘fall off the wagon’ and eat all of the carbohydrates, you have the best sleep that night but wake up feeling less than awesome because carbohydrates don’t feel good in your body. Girl, I’ve been there. And it SUCKED. No amount of extra magnesium, or melatonin sprays, liquids or capsules fixed the problem. If you’re experiencing insonia on low-carb/keto diet and you’re looking for solutions that allow you to feel good on your ketogenic diet while also getting the best sleep of your life, you need to watch today’s keto video. For video transcript PDF, scroll down. Your Mini Guide & Transcript A 5-10 page PDF with the transcript for this keto video, resources, and exclusive steps to taking your keto fat burning to the next level. Download to your device and access anytime. Simply click the button above, enter your details, and the guide will be delivered to your inbox! Get the keto mini guide & transcript now. Highlights… Signs that keto is affecting sleep Steps to end insomnia on keto The ultimate reason why you’re experiencing insomnia on keto Resources… Supplement: magnesium glycinate Does your sleep suck since going low-carb, keto? Which of the steps that I shared are you going to try first? My team and I work on finding the best products that not only have quality ingredients, but care about their customers. It has taken us years to find products with ingredients and integrity that I can stand behind. These brands w Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet And Insomnia

The Ketogenic Diet And Insomnia

Ketogenic diets like the popular Atkins diet cause rapid weight loss by sending the body into a condition known as ketosis. Unfortunately, they may also lead to health problems, including insomnia or poor quality sleep. The relationship between ketosis and insomnia is not fully understood, since much of the evidence for the link is anecdotal, but a better understanding of ketogenic diets and healthy sleep may help you make the right decisions about your weight-loss plan. Speak with your doctor if your insomnia is chronic, and before starting any weight-loss regimen. Video of the Day A ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and protein. A healthy body burns carbohydrates for energy, so if no dietary carbohydrates are present, it turns to the energy stores glycogen and fat, leading to rapid weight loss. When fat tissues break down, carbon fragments called ketones are released into the blood, causing ketosis. Weight loss can be rapid in the beginning, which may cause the often-reported sense of euphoria and unusually high energy. This may contribute to sleep problems. Insomnia is a difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or a pattern of chronically poor sleep. The condition can be caused by mental states like anxiety or depression, substance abuse, hormonal or lifestyle changes and some medications or illnesses. Dietary factors like caffeine or other stimulants, or changes in diet, can also play a part. Insomnia can often be treated with lifestyle changes like stress reduction, exercise, and quitting caffeine, tobacco and alcohol consumption. Alternative treatments like acupuncture and massage may be helpful. If you suffer from insomnia, see your doctor to rule out any underlying issues. Carbohydrates, Ketosis and Sleep Carbohydrates are often known as Continue reading >>

"keto-flu" And Sufficient Intake Of Electrolytes

People often ask me about potassium deficiency (or any other mineral deficiency) on a low-carb, ketogenic diet. I decided to summarise which minerals you should be aware of and what the adequate intake is... To pin or bookmark an easy to follow guide to keto-flu remedies, have a look at this post! What is "Keto-Flu"? Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) are often underestimated on low-carb diets. As low-carb expert and scientific researcher Dr. Volek suggests, mineral and electrolyte management is the key to avoiding side effects typically associated with low carb dieting. When entering the induction phase of a Ketogenic Diet (50 grams or less of total carbs - about 20-30 grams of net carbs), most people experience "keto-flu”. This often scares them off and they start to think that low-carb is not right for their body. The "flu" is nothing else than a result of starving your body of carbohydrates. Stay strong! You can easily counteract these effects by replenishing electrolytes. Make sure you include foods rich in electrolytes in your everyday diet and take food supplements (if needed). Firstly, I would like to share my own experience with electrolyte deficiency. I have been really tired recently. It was actually so bad that I couldn't open my eyes and could barely get up even after 7-9 hours of sleep. Also, my energy levels at gym were very low. I woke up in the middle of the night and experienced heart palpitations (weird feeling that could be described as "heart beating too fast"). I knew what was going on: I was magnesium / potassium deficient. I have been on a low-carb diet for more than a year and always made sure I include food rich in these minerals in my diet. The truth is, I have been so busy recently that I didn't pay enough attention to my diet. Continue reading >>

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