How Does Ketosis Affect The Body?

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What Is Ketosis?

"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For health Continue reading >>

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  1. W. Prins

    My experience pretty much mirrors Aarons and I also agree with Teymur. By and large I can get by with less sleep than before and when I do sleep I seem to benefit more from it, which is to say I seem to recover more quickly. In the very early days I had stints where I had some sleep disruptions of various kinds (not being able to get to sleep when I wanted to and so on) but resolved itself in time.

  2. Aaron Goold

    I agree with Jbs. This is just an n=1 answer, but I need less sleep after being in ketosis for at least a week. I used to need 9 hours of sleep. Now I can get 6-7 and feel fine. However, sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and cannot fall back asleep. I've heard from Dave Asprey (Bulletproof guy) that this is common with ketosis. He suggests having some quality carbs before bed. I tried, but haven't noticed a difference. The weird part is, some weeks I'll get only 5-6 hours a night due to work/stress/etc. I'll be tired the first 10-15 minutes, then feel fine all the way until bed. I still prefer to get 7-8 hrs, but now I'm not dying when I don't get it.
    Update: Wanted to add, I also practice intermittent fasting. Not sure how much that also affects sleep/ketosis, but something to consider in my response.

  3. Teymur Mammadov

    Not sure what you mean by sleep “architecture” - I’m going to assume you mean sleep patters (possibly?). Some people who go extremely low-carb (ketosis may have different degrees, you can be considered to be in ketosis with both 0.7 mMol and 4 mMol, but they are, obviously, very different levels of ketones) or no-carb often report sleep pattern disruptions - but individual reactions may vary. If that is an issue, it is recommended to consume low amount of healthy carbs at night before sleep (that’s one of the reasons I personally prefer consuming my carbs - however low - at night) - not so much as to take you out of ketosis, but enough to not interfere with your sleep.

    If you really meant to ask how ketosis affects sleep requirements - I would tend to agree with other writers: typically you might see a reduction in the need to sleep as you get more into ketosis and the associated lifestyle. I do personally consider that moderate ketosis is healthier than the so-called “balanced diet” - and healthier bodies need lees sleep. This effect, however, is not something that happens immediately. It requires you to become generally keto-adapted and make this a lifestyle. In other words - do not expect that by slipping into ketosis first time you would suddenly wake up refreshed after 5 hours of sleep :)

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