jrdva

Waking up at 4am every night?

27 posts in this topic

Before I started my Whole30 I had been waking up regularly between 3 and 4 am, sometimes unable to get back to sleep. It seemed connected to digestive issues. This issue was alluded to in the book, but not explained. I would love to know what causes this. I am on Day 17 and I am still waking up on some nights.

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I have the same problem with middle of the night insomnia and it has not stopped. I too am on Day 17 and still wake up EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at least once. And I'm barely having any caffeine since I started as well. Maybe I need a Whole 45 or Whole 60. I'll be interested in some insight to this as well.

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I wake up at about 1:30 AM and again at 4 AM every night, but I am waking up to go to the bathroom... my over sized prostate makes me. However, I have been able to get back to sleep without much trouble ever since I adopted the Whole30 approach to eating. If I don't eat enough the day before, I may be hungry when I wake at 4 and I usually have to eat something to get back to sleep. Sometimes I eat a can of sardines. Sometimes I eat a baked sweet potato with nuts and dried cranberries. I can usually get back to sleep quickly after a snack.

Before the Whole30, my sleep was worse. I think the reason I got stronger and lost weight after going Whole30 was that my sleep improved. Hang in there. It helps.

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My female-ness rules out the prostate issues :) . I did read a teaser somewhere on a promo for ISWF that read "Do you wake up every morning at 4am?" - or words to that effect. Yet I don't think that was discussed in the book. So, I was just hoping for some more clarification.

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I edited the book, but don't recall any discussion of why unhealthy foods mess with sleep (or why healthy foods make things better). And I would remember since I am such a light sleeper.

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Middle of the night wake-ups aren't tied to digestion - it's either cortisol dysfunction (cortisol rising too early, and/or being chronically elevated) or blood sugar regulation issues (blood sugar drops in the middle of the night, due to hormonal imbalances). These things will both get better with a Whole30, but don't fix themselves overnight - especially long-term cortisol issues.

Make sure you're giving yourself a few hours between your last meal and bedtime, and absolutely avoid carb-dense bedtime snacks. Eat a good breakfast within an hour of waking, whether you are hungry or not, and don't lean too heavy on fruit for Meal 1. And be patient, yes?

Best,

Melissa

Bob Guere, Adagio and Cheryl J. like this

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There is a list of things you can do to help improve your sleep outside of dietary changes (though I believe you have to change your diet to create optimal conditions). I was having problems falling asleep and problems with waking up too early (like 4 a.m.) and not being able to fall back asleep - or at least not for hours.

I completely blacked out the windows in my bedroom, moved my husband out of the bed (we discovered we were truly messing each other's sleep up and are MUCH happier sleepers now in separate beds), and in the morning, I go outside immediately for just a couple minutes and delay breakfast for an hour or so, this is to help set my body's clock. This has been a multi-month project to fix my insomnia and I found eating perfectly clean was not enough - I've had to adopt all these behaviors to be able to sleep through the night. Now, I sleep from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and it is rare I wake up.

Some people do well breaking their sleep up. As in, go to bed allowing for 9 hours or more, then actually getting out of bed at that 3 or 4 a.m. wake up and doing very relaxing things (read by candle light, meditate, light yoga or walking) until they feel tired again. That's usually only about an hour or less. Then go back to bed and finish your sleep. I've done this in the past and it worked very well to keep me from getting too stressed out about sleeping, but since having a kid I find this doesn't work for me anymore. I get stressed out anyway. ;)

Just some thoughts that might prove useful.

kayell, Robin D and Emily like this

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Thank you all for the input and ideas! Melissa - thanks for the science-y explanation! I'm in this for the long haul!

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I have had trouble with getting to sleep and waking up feeling rested for years, and I'm hoping The W30 will help with those issues. It sounds like there are factors other than diet involved, and that I may need to work on those other factors and just be patient. Last night I ate some sardines, hoping that would send some blood from my brain down into my digestive system and make me feel drowsy, and it did, a little, but not enough to get me to sleep. I also have black-out curtains put up. In any case, I'll wait it out and see how things are after a month.

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I completely blacked out my bedroom and use f.lux for my computer monitor. http://stereopsis.com/flux/

(BTW, I rarely sleep through the night. Chelated Magnesium before bed helps, as does sub-lingual Melatonin. I am hoping that getting on track with my eating will help, but Melissa is correct, it's probably a Cortisol issue and I have to have that tested. My adrenals burned out long ago, lol.)

If you use a computer before bed, the f.lux helps, as do the blackout drapes.

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I took the advice I've seen on here to have some Natural Calm before going to sleep and it's nearly put an end to my 4 a.m. wakies.

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Can anyone suggest a W30-approved substance that will put one out like a light at bedtime and leave one feeling refreshed and ready for the day come morning? This has been my problem for a long time: I can't get to sleep and after I finally do get to sleep, I wake up feeling like garbage. Currently, I drink a lot of "sleepytime" herbal teas and take anti-histamine capsules. If there is a W30-approved magic potion out there, I'd be very happy to know what it is.

Befabdaily, could it be Natural Calm?

Thanks!

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Befabdaily, could it be Natural Calm?

yup, if you tolerate citric acid, Natural Calm is a great relaxer before bed. Just make sure you get the plain kind, not the kind with sweeteners/flavoring.

Epsom salt baths before bed are another option (epsom salts deliver magnesium transdermally. natural calm is an oral version, so just keep that in mind--I might not do both on the same night to avoid getting too much magnesium all at once).

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@ Cheryl- You may "wake up feeling like garbage" secondary to the prolonged effects of the anti-histamine, depending on which one you are taking. Diphenhydramine (AKA benadryl) can make some poeple feel as though they have been thrown under a bus. If you get a "benadryl hangover" I would try cutting the anti-histamine out and see how you feel. Unfortunately, like most drugs, they do more than one thing. So, while it makes you sleepy we have several histamine receptors in our central nervous system and it acts on those receptors too which leads to unpleasant side effects for some. Just a thought try eliminating it and see if you feel better the next day.

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Thanks for the suggestion, Juju. In fact, I took a double dosage last night and woke feeling not so great -- not as bad as I would off the program, but still a little "off." I think I'll go with Missmary's advice and try Natural Calm next.

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I've been taking Natural Calm, and have found that it works, but only up to a certain point, I guess because my body eventually adjusts to it. It seems the only thing to do is to try multiple possible solutions, such as those mentioned above. I need to keep working on this. Thanks, everyone, for all the advice.

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Strangely enough, I've had the opposite experience.

I've never had problems with sleeping- I used to conk out as soon as my head the pillow, and sleep uninterrupted for 8-9 hours. But since starting my Whole30 on 1 August, I've been finding it harder to fall asleep and waking up around 4am most nights. When I do wake up in the morning though, I am much more alert than I used to be (even though I've been sleeping less).

Mind you, pre-Whole30 I was constantly exhausted and I'm thinking that I was hardcore sugar crashing (hence the being able to sleep immediately and not waking up).

Other than the sleeping, though, everything else (i.e energy, headaches, cravings, skin etc) has improved so I'm not really complaining. Just finding it odd! :huh:

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I have had trouble falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night as well. I found (and still do sometimes) falling asleep especially brutal when I had something stressful (or exciting) happening the next day, I.e. a job interview. Although I don't struggle with this as much anymore (reading before going to sleep is like magic for me), I discovered Calms Forte tablets and they were amazing. They are completely natural and rather than putting your system to sleep like others do, it relaxes you and helps you to fall asleep on your own. I found them at my local health food store as well as Save On Foods. They are super helpful!!

Here is the link:

http://www.calmsforte.com/home/

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I was curious about Calms Forte, so I looked it up. It has a few ingedients which make it a "no" during the W30, but since magnesium seems to be one of the main active ingredients, you might find Natural Calm or some other magnesium supplement works as well for you.

Active Ingredients: Passiflora (Passion Flower) 1X triple strength HPUS, Avena Sativa (Oat) 1X double strength HPUS, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) 1X double strength HPUS, Chamomilla (Chamomile) 2X HPUS, Calcarea Phosphorica (Calcium Phosphate) 3X HPUS, Ferrum Phosphorica (Iron Phosphate) 3X HPUS, Kali Phosphoricum (Potassium Phosphate) 3X HPUS, Natrum Phosphoricum (Sodium Phosphate) 3X HPUS, Magnesia Phosphoricum (Magnesium Phosphate) 3X HPUS.

Inactive Ingredients: Lactose, N.F., Calcium Sulfate, Starch (Corn and Tapiocal), Magnesium Stearate.

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Oh My God, greenpapaya, me too! My boyfriend actually considers my sleeping abilities my superpower. I put my head down, pull the covers up, snuggle up against his back and in 3..2...1..zzzzzzzz and I don't wake up until my alarm goes off. And then I hit snooze 2 or 3 times.

Or at least, that's how it was pre-Whole30. Solid, uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep, zombie-face in the morning.

Now, on day 6, and I've been tossing and turning until 2am, having INSANE nightmares, but waking up feeling ready to take on the world. What gives, body?!

This tossing and turning has only happened the last 3 nights, but for someone who has always taken sleep for granted, it's alarming and frustrating. So THIS is what all those people tweeting "ugh, can't sleep, damn you insomnia" at 3am feel like! It's balls, I tell you.

If it's just my hormones and whatnot re-aligning, cool. I'm here for the long haul. Will working out more/more intensely make me more tired? Or should I just sit down and shut up and wait?

Sharkey.

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Oh Sharkey! I feel your pain!

Crazy thing is, I just completed my Whole30 on the 30th, and last night I fell asleep quickly and slept uninterrupted... yeah, go figure! :rolleyes:

It was my first day of Reintroduction (Dairy), which definitely didn't agree with me in terms of my skin, but my sleep was back to normal. Although I did wake up feeling groggy as I used to Pre-Whole30 as well... :ph34r:

I'm thinking that maybe I was more stressed out about tripping up on my Whole30 than I realised, hence the insomnia and waking up in the middle of the night...

Hope it settles for you during your program. Good luck! :)

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