Low carb diets and sleep problems- anyone have that problem and find a solution?

my sleep problems i believe are related both to dropping estrogen (52 year old female) and genetically caused low serotonin production which drops even further with low carb and decreased estrogen. i am playing around with timing when i eat my carbs so i can get a better sleep. melatonin does not work. 5 htp works maybe twice a week. i am controlling blood sugar through exercise and diet alone.

Hm… How about a small glass of red wine in the evening? Many say that’s good for you, there are few carbs, and it might help reset your sleep patterns a bit?

I’ve also read that for some, sleep patterns can be a matter of resetting circadian rhythms - which may be causing adrenal dysfunction, releasing cortisol at the wrong times, etc. Some say light therapy help (or just getting out in the sunshine first thing in the morning). There are all sorts of regimens out there for working on these issues.

Everyone in my family has trouble sleeping. I’m super high energy and the best solution that I have found is working manual labor jobs. That’s not always a practical option, but if I am physically active all day - I sleep. That’s just how my body wants to be. In the olden days, my family were ranchers. In the new world, I work on a computer. Its not a great physiological fit.

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I find the never-ending supply of yard-work to be very helpful. Beats Netflix.

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Yard work is a great one! They call me ‘The Badger,’ because I’m always out digging holes…and because I’m diabetic and I eat a lot and sometimes pass out. Gardening is the best for sleeping! LOL, The honey badger

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So, some recent research in the sports nutrition world (which is, thankfully, usually more sound in my opinion than that in the general nutritional literature) suggests that milk protein before bed can help promote repair and building of muscular tissue overnight. I started doing this in my quest to gain/not lose weight: taking about 29g of whey protein in some coconut milk (so ends up being about 25g protein, 4g fat, and <1g carb) before bed. The result has been that I’m sleeping like a baby for the first time since diagnosis. I’m not, however, gaining much muscle :wink:

Is it the manual labor or the manual labor plus getting sun?

David, but you don’t get fat on that. I think I would. I’m trying all kinds of different stuff and that will be in my list.

Hrmm, I don’t get fat, no haha. Definitely not my problem. And they may not be related (my protein before bed and sleep quality). I just noted the two were correlated: my sleep improved about the same time I started taking that whey protein before bed.

As for the actual fat/weight gain/weight loss: there is truth in the CICO equation, once you figure out how your body processes different macros. I.e., if I keep my carbohydrate and fat intake fixed, I can vary whether I gain or lose weight (slightly) by how much protein I eat. It directly corresponds to calories consumed and burned in the course of the day. Tracking it precisely is almost impossible, but estimating does work (at least for me and most athletes). It took me a while to realize, however, that I had to match my carb intake and insulin production, and that I don’t digest fats well over a certain amount per day. When I figured those two things out (that I don’t store or lose bodyfat if I’m in the 40-80g / day net carb window and that I can’t digest more than about 120g of fat per day), I figured out how to maintain weight by varying my protein intake and exercise routines.

Yesterday I played paint ball from 10am to 5pm and I slept like a baby. Like a baby. It was sooooo awesome! But, I now understand why you aren’t allowed to join the army after age 30. Can barley stand up today. It even hurts to type on the keyboard. Psychokiller

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were you in an indoor facility (they do exist for paint balling) or outdoors?

OMG, outdoors in the sunshine. Sunburn is extreme today. We have both indoor and outdoor by my house, but we only get the giant wars of 400 players outside. There was a game to raise money for the children’s hospital. Much fun, except for the foxholes. Challenge for Childrens

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having fun and doing good- super. it seems a good sleep is definitely helped by being active out in the sun. i can do that and still have a bad sleep if i go on the internet too much in the evening and into the night. i seem to be very sensitive to light.

My brother says that ‘blue light’ makes it impossible for him to sleep. He wont turn on fluorescent lights after a certain time. He got one of these great disco toilet lights…disco toilet light. He sets it to red light setting. He also darkens his computer screen, although the goal is to stay off it, completely, an hour before bed. Type of light bulbs to have in your bedroom

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But you can RE-JOIN if previously served and left on good terms.

I don’t turn on any lights if i have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (usually don’t need to) or turn up the AC (hot flash). even if half-asleep, i have a good habit of feeling my way around. if you looked at me during this time with night vision goggles (almost write ‘googles’), you would see i have my arms stretched out in both directions feeling around for familiar objects. i like the dark; my pitch-black bedroom immediately makes me feel relaxed.

David, what brand of whey protein do you use? my whey protein in muscle tech- they add a lot of bcca’s to it. supposedly those amino acids take precedence (getting into some pathway i forgot the name of) over tryptophan (precursor to melatonin/serotonin) so that taking a whey protein with lots of bcaa’s theoretically won’t help with sleep if your problem is insufficient serotonin/melatonin (which is my problem). what time do you drink your whey shake and what time do you go to sleep? did you have problems with sleep before? when did they start and what do you think caused your problems with sleep? ps just taking a melatonin or 5 htp (serotonin precursor) pill will only help about 25% of the time so that’s a 25% solution. i’m looking to plug up the 75% hole.

I use Isopure whey protein, since I want no carbs sneaking into my protein shakes. 29g of Isopure is 25g of protein. As for sleeping, I struggled with sleep in the year up to diagnosis (high blood sugars being my guess), and since going low-carb that’s mostly gone away. For me, stress is the big player: when I’m stressed out, I have a hard time getting to sleep and wake up early (or middle of the night). The protein does seem to help me a bit, but I mostly do that for exercise/nutritional reasons.

The only positive advice I can give (because it’s backed by science, not just personal experience), is that exercising earlier in the day (not within four hours of going to bed) can definitively help with sleep issues. I know on days I do HIIT or weightlifting in the early afternoon, I have zero issues going to sleep and sleeping well.

thanks, david. i only do heavy exercise in the morning as i will get hot flashes otherwise. also for this upcoming September, I will have my most stressful classes (as an ESL teacher) in the morning and my least stressful in the afternoon, so i’m hoping that helps with sleep.

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My wife kept waking up at the same time every nite… Doc said her cortisol levels were spiking at the wrong time… gave her a cortisol supplement and that reset her clock… sleeps now.

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