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dimech

Bad sleep on paleo

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I've been trying out the paleo diet since Monday (woot!) and so far it's going well, apart from my sleep.

 

I tend to go to sleep fine (I know that if I go to bed hungry I just caaaant sleep, so I have always had a snack before going to sleep - recently fruit and seeds or nuts), but if I wake up to pee or just randomly wake up I find it really difficult to get back to sleep, or have a really fitful sleep, because of hunger. In my zoned out state I can never be bothered (and dont want to) eat a snack. 

 

I was just wondering if anyone else had this problem and if they had any solutions?

 

Also, if eating in the middle of the night really is the only way (boo) then does anyone have any snack suggestions?

 

Thanks in advance guys!

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If it's caused by hunger, maybe eating more during the day might help?  It's quite easy to undereat on Paleo for the first while, because you're not used to portion sizes without grains (at least, for those who ate grains at every meal), and because it just feels kind of weird to be eating the amount of fat the diet requires.  Maybe check the amount of food you're eating (calorie counting or otherwise) and see if you're getting enough food.

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My sleeping habits did change when I started Paleo in January. I have always been someone who takes a long while to go to sleep, but I found myself staying awake later (maybe some unnoticed extra energy? I didn't feel more alert, I just didn't go to sleep as early.) However, I am normally a VERY light sleeper, waking up to pee, because the cat moves, my husband's alarm goes off, bad dreams, whatever - and once I am awake I'll be up for an hour at least. After my first week of Paleo I was sleeping like a rock. Not only did my husband's alarm stop waking me up, I didn't even remember him kissing me goodbye in the mornings. I was back asleep in a flash!

 

My suggestion to you is maybe reevaluate your bedtime snack. The stuff you have listed there is on the higher-sugar/carb side of the Paleo diet (fruit and nuts), meaning you may be waking up hungry because of a blood sugar drop. Maybe try something high in protein before bed - cook up some chicken or beef once a week and have a small portion before bed instead? That might stop your body from thinking you are hungry in the middle of the night. Definitely Vella has also given great advice, track your food for awhile and make sure you aren't low on calories or have some specific nutrient.

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If it's caused by hunger, maybe eating more during the day might help?  It's quite easy to undereat on Paleo for the first while, because you're not used to portion sizes without grains (at least, for those who ate grains at every meal), and because it just feels kind of weird to be eating the amount of fat the diet requires.  Maybe check the amount of food you're eating (calorie counting or otherwise) and see if you're getting enough food.

 

You were spot on, I've kept track of calories the last few days and it looks like im getting around 1200-1400 a day! So I'm going to try and eat more during the day and see how this goes.

 

 After my first week of Paleo I was sleeping like a rock. Not only did my husband's alarm stop waking me up, I didn't even remember him kissing me goodbye in the mornings. I was back asleep in a flash!

 

My suggestion to you is maybe reevaluate your bedtime snack. The stuff you have listed there is on the higher-sugar/carb side of the Paleo diet (fruit and nuts), meaning you may be waking up hungry because of a blood sugar drop. Maybe try something high in protein before bed - cook up some chicken or beef once a week and have a small portion before bed instead? That might stop your body from thinking you are hungry in the middle of the night. Definitely Vella has also given great advice, track your food for awhile and make sure you aren't low on calories or have some specific nutrient.

 

I'm jealous of your heavy sleep! Although mine has been getting better (maybe I'm getting used to it?). I'm not sure if it's blood sugar because I used to eat cake and chocolate just before sleeping (healthy!) and I'd sleep fine. But I am going to try eating protein before bed like you suggest - this might keep me fuller for longer.

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It looks like you are low on calories, but if you get to the point where you are eating enough and are still waking up hungry, try keeping a glass of water next to your bed. I've read a few things that say when we're tired, our bodies have a hard time telling the difference between hunger and thirst - I find a glass of water is usually enough to help me fall back asleep until morning. 

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It may also have something to do with your body detoxifying. If you haven't been on paleo long, not only do you have to adjust in the ways mentioned above, but if your body has finally decided to get the "bad" out of your system, it could be working a little harder temporarily. I found it wasn't until about a month into paleo that I found I slept better.

Also, eating fat right before bed is less ideal than eating carbs. Your body works harder to convert fat than carbs.

Bananas are a great before - bed snack. They are carbalicious, and they also contain melatonin, seratonin, and magnesium (a muscle relaxant).

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