Day 30 -lack of sleep and arthritis diagnosis


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I started off with an incredible whole 30 experience. I never wanted to kill anything, didn't have any cravings, felt tiger blood right on target. Then I had a friend get sick and eventually pass away so sleep for about 10 days was not the best. I am a week past that and my sleep is still terrible. I go to sleep just fine but then wake up at 12 then 3 then 4. (If I am even really going back to sleep) I end up getting out of bed at 5. I would guess I am getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night. I take natural calm each night. My energy has still been ok but I know this lack of sleep has hurt my results. I haven't lost any weight (I know this isn't guaranteed) and about 2 weeks ago my toe started hurting really bad during my morning workout. I went to the Dr. yesterday and he says I have arthritis and has given me anti-inflammatory medicine. What?? Shouldn't the inflammation in my body be better. I do have ulcerative proctitis so I am wondering if all the eggs I have been eating has caused this (along with nightshades and I do eat nuts from time to time). In regards to my sleep I drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning and usually nothing but water after that because I am sensitive to caffeine. I am also hypothyroid just so you have all of the background information. I am really disappointed especially with the thought of taking anti-inflammatory medicine but not sure what else to do. I would really appreciate some advice. I still would say this has been a success for me and there have been many great things that have happened during these 30 days even with these set backs. I just want to figure all this out so I can have even better results.

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First I'm so sorry about your friend and about the troubles you are having. :(


Your sleep could certainly be the root of your issues. I would focus some energy on resolving that. Are you waking up because of stress from the loss of your friend or could there be other factors? Was it better before your friend passed away? Are you sleeping in a dark, cool room? Are you turning off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime? 


For help with food could you post a few samples of what would be typical days for you? Cutting nightshades as an experiment might help though we generally recommend finishing a regular Whole30 and then trying AIP if you still are having the kinds of symptoms you are describing. 

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My sleep had always been up and down. I regularly used Tylenol pm or Advil pm at night but gave those up when I started whole 30. I feel my stress from losing my friend has passed so I don't know if I am just expecting to wake up now or what is going on. I go to sleep pretty quick but even last night I woke up at 3 different times before I finally just got up. My room is completely dark, cool temp and very quiet.

Here is a typical day of food for me.

Hard boiled egg and small cup of coffee before workout

Chicken breast after workout

Meal 1- 2 prosciutto egg muffins and mashed sweet potatoes along with bulletproof coffee (this morning I went with decaf coffee to give that a try but again I am falling to sleep quickly so that doesn't make sense that it work be caffeine

Meal 2 - chuck roast, mashed cauliflower, green beans

Or salad with chicken, tomatoes, tessamae dressing, maybe avocado and egg

Meal 3 - spaghetti squash casserole, broccoli with ghee

Or well fed plantain nachos with a green veggie

I have kept a food log. I have tried all sorts of foods: seafood, pork, steak, ground beef, chocolate chili. I always add a few veggies cooked in ghee or olive oil or coconut oil and have some sort of extra fat with each meal.

I try not to snack by if I need to it is usually cashews or macadamia nuts or possibly fruit like watermelon.

I take a probiotic each morning and a digestive enzyme with each meal because of acid reflux. I take natural calm around 8 each night.

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I'm someone that struggles with waking up a lot at night too so I feel your pain. Your food looks good overall though 2 egg muffins may not be enough protein, hard to say though. How many eggs do you use for the entire recipe?


One thing I've been finding is that I generally sleep more soundly when I have my starchy vegetables in the evening. You could experiment with a different side vegetable in the morning and adding your sweet potato to your evening meal. Do you see a difference in sleep when you have the plantain for meal 3 vs the spaghetti squash dish?


Usually when I wake up at night a lot it is for bathroom reasons...I'm still trying to work that out. What is your water intake like during the day?


When you do need that snack I would advice making it a mini meal instead of just nuts or fruit. Not sure if that is contributing to the sleep issue or not but it is a general recommendation around here. 


You addressed the environment issues of your room, what about screens? Are you looking at a computer, ipad, phone, tv, etc within an hour of your bedtime?


One other thing I just thought of. I stopped letting myself look at the time when I wake up at night. Sometimes I find that makes me more anxious and disrupts my sleep even more. 

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I think there is 8 eggs in the recipe and it makes 12. Each muffin is wrapped with prosciutto. I do drink tons of water. At the beginning I was waking up to go to the bathroom but now I wake up and don't have to go but sometimes will just in case the urge hits later. I have tried to reduce my water intake after dinner. I do take an antihistamine each night and have for years so I find myself needing fluids. I am bad about looking at the tv or looking at the internet at night. Again the puzzling thing for me is I would expect that would keep me from going to sleep not waking up??

I have to take my thyroid medicine in the morning 30 minutes before I can eat and I workout at 6am so it could be I am stressing about taking that and I just don't realize it has bothered me. Your suggestion is good to not look at the clock. I will start doing that and try to not stress about taking that pill early enough so I can eat something before I workout. Also, I haven't noticed any difference in my sleep in regards to what I eat but I will try starchy foods at meal 3. One question I do have is if eggs will cause inflammation such as the arthritis. I have definitely increased my egg consumption. I am trying to figure out if I should try the autoimmune plan.

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Eggs are something that gets cut when you do the AIP plan and they can contribute to inflammation for some people. I'm not really an expert on that particular subject. 2 eggs muffins is about 1.33 eggs which is probably about 1/3 of a palm sized serving (it would be for me anyway) so unless you are getting 2/3's of a palm sized serving of prosciutto (also hard as it is so thin) you might want to try eating a third egg. Or if you want to see if eggs are a problem for you try a different protein source for your first meal. 


My understanding of the light exposure is that it disrupts melatonin which helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle. So though you are falling asleep quickly that could be more from the natural calm but your melatonin may still be off affecting how long you stay asleep. This is something I've been having trouble with myself and I'm trying to get better about getting rid of screens an hour before I want to go to sleep. I've even considered getting an old fashioned alarm clock so I can turn off my phone. 

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I second the motion to increase your consumption for your meal 1.  What you start off the day on will set the tone for the rest of the day - including your sleep.  I started sleeping better when my meal 1 was larger.  I figured this out on day 22 of my first whole 30.


I would advise you to avoid any nuts and fruit (especially at night).  I find nuts (even just a couple) will disrupt my sleep terribly.  Dried fruit also does the same.  I can get away with 1 or 2 dried dates/figs but not more than that.


I also find drinking mint tea or sleepy time tea just before bed helps too!  I usually alternate between Natural Calm and tea.  It seems to calm me down and relax me. 

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