loader image

The Ketogenic Diet & Insomnia

Do you find yourself lying wide awake in bed at night, struggling to get yourself to go to sleep? Or do you have trouble getting back to bed when you get woken up? You are NOT alone!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says just 1 In 3 Americans get seven hours of sleep regularly, and since most people need around eight hours of sleep each night, this means that 75% of folks are desperately sleep-deprived.

Not getting sufficient sleep has been correlated with an increased risk for:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension, or high vital sign 
  • Cardiovascular disease

And the less you sleep, the harder it becomes to lose those stubborn pounds studies show poor sleep can cause unplanned weight gain.

According to a study, when participants were restricted to only four hours of sleep, the subsequent day they experienced:

  • Increased hunger drive
  • 24% jump in calorie intake
  • Increased ghrelin levels (the hormone that triggers your appetite)
  • Decreased leptin levels (the hormone liable for appetite control)

With higher ghrelin levels, you’ll continuously feel hungry throughout the day. With lower leptin levels, you’ll tend to overeat since this hormone tells you when to place down your fork. This is where the weight gain comes in.

Researchers noticed the group sleeping fewer hours was:

  • Hungry more often
  • Likelier to store the fat they ate rather than use or burn it
  • 55% less likely to ascertain the fat loss
  • 60% more likely to reduce from lean body mass (aka muscle)

So, if you’re trucking along on your keto diet plan and exercising right, you’ll be losing muscle rather than pudgy fat if you’re not sleeping enough. Sleep Is SOO Important when it comes to weight loss.

6 Reasons You Are Suffering From Keto Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall or stay asleep. Let’s get a couple of other key terms out of the way while you’re here: Sleep-onset latency (SOL) is how long it takes you to nod off in the dark.

  • Sleep duration is how long you sleep per night.
  • Sleep efficiency is how well you slept supported your sleep quality.
  • Your sleep quality is often characterized by times of:
  • Slow-wave sleep (SWS), which is deep and restorative.
  • Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is when your brain works on storing and filing away memories.
  • Poor sleep is usually defined as low sleep efficiency and high SOL (anywhere from 30+ minutes).

There are several reasons for sleep problems which aren’t diet-related, including:

  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Alcohol and drug abuse 
  • Hormonal changes or conditions
  • Certain illnesses
  • Medications
  • Sleep apnea
  • Caffeine and other stimulants

#1: Affected by the Keto Flu

The most common reason people have trouble sleeping once they switch to a ketogenic diet is that dreaded keto flu. It happens once you give carbs the snub and turn to fat as your body’s primary energy source.

Keto flu symptoms include:

  • Stomach aches or pains
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Muscle cramping or soreness
  • Lack of concentration or focus
  • Sugar cravings
  • Heart palpitations

Just like the regular flu, keto flu may start and end within 24–72-hours.

#2: Your Body Is Adjusting to Your New Keto Macros

Recent studies find the higher amounts of protein and fat you eat a keto diet combined with your reduction of carbs can temporarily affect your sleep while your body adjusts to the present new way of eating. It turns out, your body has got to adapt to metabolizing the macros of a keto diet, and this adaptation can influence your sleep patterns. In one study, non-obese, good sleepers starting a keto diet had a reduced paradoxical sleep within the short-term, whereas another study found those on a keto diet were more active during the early sleep stage.

The reduced paradoxical sleep and sleep alterations you’ll experience once you start eating keto can contribute to your insomnia.

#3: You’re Bursting with Extra Energy from Fat

Since healthy fats like grass-fed butter, copra oil and therefore the energy booster MCT oil give your brain and body a lift, you’ll find yourself:

  • Wide awake at bedtime
  • Up to within the middle of the night and feeling refreshed.
  • Waking up before your alarm within the AM

While these scenarios may sound excellent for the first few days or maybe weeks of your high-fat diet, chronically missing an hour or 2 of sleep here and there still increases your chances of health problems and weight gain.

#4: Intermittent Fasting could also be Increasing Your Stress

When you practice intermittent fasting (IF), you’re pushing your body into glucose starvation mode. This assists you burn through your extra glycogen reserves and speed up ketone production, however; it can raise the strain hormone cortisol in women and people unusually sensitive to drastic dietary changes like someone who switches from the American Diet to a keto one.

Higher levels of cortisol mean you’ll be feeling extra anxious and jittery, which makes restful slumber pretty impossible. It’s also incredibly difficult to remain asleep if your diet causes numerous late-night pee breaks.

#5. Depleting Glycogen Stores and Releasing Water

While you’re making your way into nutritional ketosis, your body is going to be burning through your glycogen reserves. Each gram of glycogen has around 3-4 grams of water attached to it. Your body is going to be releasing that water via urination because it works through your glycogen stores.

Depending on how full your glycogen tanks are, you’ll be awakening to go to the toilet more often than usual, which will undoubtedly ruin your night’s sleep. Nocturia, the official name for having to pee within the middle of your beauty rest, maybe a common complaint from people during keto — and it gets worse as you grow old.

Releasing all that water from your body also has the potential to ruin your balance.

#6. An Electrolyte Imbalance

When you’re low on magnesium, a crucial mineral and electrolyte, you’ll be a touch more stressed and anxious than usual. This will also keep you from falling asleep fast. Plus, when you’re not getting enough magnesium, you’re susceptible to muscle cramps and Charley horses that wake you up mid-slumber. Ouch!

So How Long Does Keto Insomnia Last?

Before you talk to your doctor about sleeping pills, just know most sleep problems go away for the bulk of individuals on a ketogenic diet. And with the assistance of a couple of those sleep hacks, it’s going to go away sooner than later.

10 Keto Insomnia Cures

If you’ve always been a sound sleeper and quick to hit the hay, you’ll get there again soon if you only persevere there. You’ll start to sleep better than you probably did pre-keto life.

#1: Stop Eating So Late

Don’t eat anything four hours before bedtime. This provides you adequate time to figure off the energy from your last meal before bed, while also providing enough fuel that you simply don’t awaken starving within the middle of the night.

#2: Get Your Electrolytes Right

It’s mission-critical to observe your electrolytes before and through ketosis. Specifically, for better sleep, you’ll take a magnesium glycinate supplement to:

  • Reduce insomnia
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Act as a natural muscle relaxer to keep off leg cramps and Charley horses within the middle of the night

You’ll also find magnesium in Epsom salts, which may be absorbed in your skin during a soothing already dark bath soak. Add a couple of drops of calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile, and you’ll get to sleep in no time.

Bone broth is additionally liquid gold on keto because it contains a robust amino alkanoic acid called glycine which will enhance sleep quality. Moreover, drinking bone broth can help keep your electrolytes up. If you’re just starting the keto diet, likelihood is that your electrolytes need balance. Take a high-quality electrolyte supplement to scale back any side effects of low electrolytes, including insomnia.

#3: Dim the Lights and Control Blue Light Before Bedtime

Your body follows the natural circadian rhythms of sunrise and sunset to manage your sleepiness and wakefulness. Darkness increases melatonin and lowers cortisol levels, whereas bright lights do the other. So, to urge your body sleepy, try mimicking sunset by keeping the lights in your house dim switch and turning them down within the PM hours.

Close to bedtime, ditch the blue light emitted from your telephone, laptop, TV and other device screens. This light not only raises cortisol levels, but it also interferes with the way melatonin gets produced, so it takes you longer to feel tired and nod off.

#4: Confirm The space Is Cool But Your Hands and Feet Stay Warm

The room where you’ll be sleeping should be cold and dark, but your extremities must be warm. Researchers noticed when your feet and hands are warmer as compared to your core; your body begins the sleep process faster than if you were physically tired.

#5: Exercise Earlier In The Day

A hard and long workout after a stressful day is all good and well, but attempt to keep your exercise before 7 pm. Since exercise wakes up your entire body, you’re getting to have a harder time calming down for bed if you’re working out late.

With all of your boundless keto energy, you would like to burn off your excess by moving between 20–30 minutes a minimum of 3 times every week. Do that, and you’ll not only hit the hay faster and stay asleep longer because your body is going to be more tired, but you’ll also lose more weight.

#6: Practice Meditation or Yoga Before Bed

On the opposite hand, gentle and light exercises such as yoga can assist your body to unwind and clear your headspace for dreamland and ease into sleepiness.

There are even yoga poses, routines and stretches designed explicitly for bedtime that you can find all over youtube.

#7: Slowly Ease Into Your Carb Macros

Ladies and people who have trouble sleeping already might want to think about slowly decreasing their carbs rather than starting at the 25g limit on day one. You can trim your diet by 50g of carbs per day till you reach the 25g net carb average for ketosis, and your body would have a better time adjusting.

#8: Eat Your Carbs Later In The Day

Research suggests eating your carbs four hours before you attend sleep could also be better than having a lower carb meal within the same time frame. This provides you ample time to use that energy while also increasing serotonin production to assist you in nodding off sooner.

#9: Watch The Caffeine

Did you know caffeine can stay in your bloodstream for up to six hours after you consume it? Studies now confirm that consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bedtime can disrupt your sleep. Cap your caffeine consumption to morning & early afternoon hours only. You’ll switch to green or herbal teas later within the day.

#10: Try Adding More Carbs

Finally, as a final resort after trying all the different sleep recommendations on this list, adding a low amount of carbs (think: 5–10 grams per day) back in your diet could also be the key to more snooze time. This extra glucose might help in stabilizing your cortisol levels and also help with serotonin production. But always be cautious care when adding more carbs — otherwise, you’ll get kicked out of ketosis.

Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person. Our service is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and does not constitute medical advice.

DoKeto © All Rights Reserved 2021

My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.