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Does Ketosis Cause Insomnia

Eggs And Insomnia

Eggs And Insomnia

It isn’t well known that eggs (large amounts) can cause insomnia nor that caffeine — in special cases — can reduce insomnia. But a reader named BM recently made those discoveries: Back around July 2012, I was trying to improve my diet but I didn’t want to give up my vegetarianism, so I started to eat a LOT of eggs, usually in the range of 10 to 14 per day. Not long after, I started having awful insomnia. I could lie awake all night just unable to fall asleep. There were suddenly just too many thoughts buzzing through my head keeping me up. I assumed that it was a result of ketosis disturbing sleep. I tried reintroducing carbs, but when that didn’t work I gave up on dietary modifications. I started cycling through OTC sleep aids, but I developed tolerance to anticholinergics very quickly. By October 2013, I was going crazy. I couldn’t sleep well. It was making me depressed and seriously impairing my academic performance. I was exhausted constantly, but then I noticed something. I slept better when I consumed a lot of caffeine in the morning. I noticed there was a clear dose dependent relationship between how much caffeine I consumed and how well I slept. I had a hunch that the caffeine was depleting my acetylcholine levels, serving a similar function as OTC anticholinergics like diphenhydramine and kava. I wondered what would happen if I sharply reduced my intake of acetylcholine precursors. A lot of people advertise eggs as “choline packed”, so I cut back to less than 3 per day. Suddenly, I was sleeping much better. Now, it could be something else in the eggs (I’m not really attached to my choline hypothesis), but either way I feel confident blaming them for my sleep troubles. My insomnia returns whenever I start eating them again. I asked him why he h 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments

There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>

Sleep+intermittent Fasting

Sleep+intermittent Fasting

Well…today is the first day back in the gym training folks in almost 2 weeks. We took the past 11 days off due to the holidays and upwards of 50% of my time off was spent sleeping! Left to my own devices I will sleep for 9hrs per night and I think that creeps up closer to 10hrs during the winter, especially if I am training hard. Our normal schedule however allows for 7-8hrs of sleep most nights and the mere knowledge that I have an alarm set for 5 or 6 am the following day is enough to make that already too-short-sleep lower quality. This leads to a chronic sleep debt that I realize after some time off, really decreases my quality of life, productivity, happiness and health. Over the past 11 days I naturally followed an intermittent fasting schedule of 16-20 hrs and I felt GREAT. My training was solid, digestion good, mental outlook fantastic. On my normal sleep deprived schedule intermittent fasting tends to make me feel like ass. I drop it in on the weekends a bit but as I get more and more tired the duration of fasting I can TOLERATE tends to get shorter. The key point there is tolerate…once I am sleep deprived I’m not so sure that fasting is helping all that much if at all, whereas if I am rested I have no doubts that the episodic periods of fasting improve my health and well-being. If you are familiar with the book Lights Out! Sleep, Sugar and Survival you will likely understand the importance of not only adequate sleep but also periods of fasting (ketosis) and living in a accordance with our genetics if you want to avoid fun stuff like premature aging, cancer and insulin resistance. Some people like Lights Out, others hate it but the information Wiley and Formby presented continues to be validated and occasionally implemented. A quick google search of Sleep Continue reading >>

The Effects Of The Ketogenic Diet On Behavior And Cognition

The Effects Of The Ketogenic Diet On Behavior And Cognition

Go to: Experimental animal findings Ketogenic diet and seizure models Application of the KD to multiple animal epilepsy models has demonstrated therapeutic effects, e.g. KDs can increase induced-seizure threshold, delay seizure development, attenuate seizure risk and decrease the seizure severity (Maalouf et al., 2009; Todorova et al., 2000; Xu et al., 2006; Mantis et al., 2004). While careful attention has been paid to the effects of KD upon seizure activity, less is known about its effects upon cognition. Neuroprotective capacity of the ketogenic diet Data are available that suggest that the KD has neuroprotective effects that could be applied beyond its treatment for epileptic conditions. Several studies have demonstrated that KDs can enhance cognitive function in both pathophysiological and normal healthy experimental animal systems (Appelberg et al., 2009; Xu et al., 2010). For example, KDs were able to improve the motor coordination and cognition recovery in young rats suffering from traumatic brain injury (Appelberg et al., 2009). Pro-cognitive and memory enhancement effects of KDs have been demonstrated in normal, healthy, aged rats and to a lesser extent in young rats, suggesting that age may not be a confound for KD use (Xu et al., 2010). In a murine model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in which mice express a mutated human amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgene, KDs have been shown to attenuate the production and accumulation of the cytotoxic proteolytic products of APP, i.e. amyloid-β 40/42, that are thought to underlie the etiology of AD (Van dA et al., 2005). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease), like AD, is a neurodegenerative disorder often linked to oxidative stress of neurons. Murine models of ALS, in which transgenic mice pos 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 >>

What Could Cause Extreme Insomnia On A Low Carb Diet?

What Could Cause Extreme Insomnia On A Low Carb Diet?

it happens each time i attempt a ketogenic diet. i eat high-quality foods and that doesn't seem to matter. i also experience tingling arms and legs when trying to sleep on a low carb diet. anyone know what the problem could be? 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 >>

Sleepless Nights In The Cave: Insomnia And A Paleo Diet

Sleepless Nights In The Cave: Insomnia And A Paleo Diet

It’s one thing to dutifully block out 8-9 solid hours of downtime every night. If you make it a priority, it’s usually possible to clear that time from your schedule and find a dark room to lie down in. But whether you actually sleep or not isn’t always a matter of conscious control: sometimes you just can’t seem to drop off, no matter how much you know you need the shut-eye. While it’s easy to conclude that if you’re tired but can’t sleep, you must be the crazy one, difficulty getting to sleep or staying to sleep is actually not an uncommon problem, affecting around 15% of the population. Insomnia is clinically divided into two categories: secondary insomnia (which is caused by some other disease or condition) and primary insomnia (which isn’t). While there isn’t any safe and effective medication for either form of insomnia in the long term, eating a healthy diet is one step in the right direction, and several natural remedies are available and effective. Sleep and Biology To understand how insomnia works, it’s very helpful to first have a basic knowledge of how the body regulates sleeping and waking – since we obviously didn’t have alarm clocks for most of human existence, the body must have some kind of natural system for controlling when we fall asleep and how long we stay that way. A natural hormonal cycle keeps healthy people awake and alert during the day, and sleepy at night. Cortisol, the “stress hormone” peaks in the morning to wake you up, while melatonin peaks in the evening to calm you down. This balance of hormones is regulated by two types of neurotransmitters (chemicals that communicate with your brain), inhibitory and excitatory. The main inhibitory neurotransmitters are serotonin and GABA: these are the chemicals that signal 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 >>

How Does Ketosis Cause Insomnia

How Does Ketosis Cause Insomnia

The first thing you might ask with this topic is what ketosis is. This term refers to our bodies using fat for energy. This means that your energy consumption is larger than your intake of carbohydrates in your food. Therefore, you have elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood. If you are on a low carbohydrate diet you are likely to enter a state of ketosis. Then your body uses the carbohydrates from your body fat for energy. Epilepsy is sometimes treated with ketonic diet but low carbohydrate diets for weight loss are not usually recommended because they have negative effects on the health of the dieter. Diagnosis of Ketosis You can test if your body is in a state of ketosis from urine with the aid of Ketostix test strips. You also are likely to have a fruity breath if you are in a state of ketosis. Ketosis Insomnia Many people who have undergone ketosis because of dieting or other treatment have noted that there is an elevated risk of suffering from insomnia during ketosis. The insomnia is caused at least for some people by the low carbohydrate diet. What we eat has often an effect on how we sleep and, therefore, what we take away from our diet is also something that can affect sleep. Carbohydrates have a sleep inducing effect on some people. This is why taking away foods rich in carbohydrates can make it more difficult for you to sleep. If you have gotten used to eating sleep inducing food at bedtime it is easy to see why insomnia might be the result of dietary shifts. What to do with Ketosis Insomnia Ketosis is not a recommendable option for weight loss. If it causes insomnia too, it might be time to reconsider the diet. Talk it over with a qualified doctor in order to know if ketosis is a preferable option for you. 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 >>

Chasing Away Insomnia With A Bowl Of Oatmeal

Chasing Away Insomnia With A Bowl Of Oatmeal

Mike, the guy behind the desk at the gym, was yawning so much he could barely say good morning. “Late night?” I asked him. “No,” he yawned in reply. “I haven’t been sleeping well for days.” “How long have you been on the high-protein diet?” I asked, knowing nothing about what he had been eating, but guessing he had fallen prey to the fitness hype about the benefits of avoiding carbohydrates. I was right. Mike’s sleep problems started two weeks earlier because he had cut all starches and sugars from his diet. Now his sleep was like a yo-yo: asleep/awake/asleep/awake all night long. “I go to sleep at midnight, and I wake up at 2 or 2:30. I then fall back asleep, and I’m up again in another hour. My mind is racing, and I feel agitated and simply can’t relax,” he told me. If Mike had searched the Internet during those wakeful early morning hours, he would have read countless anecdotes from others describing similar sleepless nights. Whether the problem was failing to fall asleep easily, or get through the night without multiple awakenings, all the insomniacs had one thing in common: they were on high-protein, low or no-carbohydrate diets. This is not to say that there are not many other causes of sleep disturbances from taking too long to fall asleep, trouble staying asleep, or waking up too early. Anxiety, age, sleep apnea (which awakens the sleeper many times during the night), drug side effects, some degenerative diseases, and even shift work are but a few of the obstacles preventing this most natural and wanted behavior. But if someone stops sleeping normally at the same time as he or she stops eating carbohydrates, it does not take a sleep disorder expert to figure why…too little serotonin is the cause. Serotonin, the multi-functional brai Continue reading >>

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