Equinox

Insomnia - ketosis?

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Hello, I am on day 17 of the Whole30, which I started in an attempt to get my rosacea under control. I am also interested in weight loss. Anyway, I can say that my pants are fitting a little looser since I started and my rosacea is better than it has been in a long time. So far I have tried to be as compliant as possible and my only two slips were accidental. I ate a sausage that had red wine on the ingredient list (I forgot that wine isn't allowed as I don't drink alcohol at all so I didn't register that part of the book as applying to me and just skimmed over it!). I also accidentally grabbed my daughter's glass instead of mine and got a small sip of lime-ade before I could spit it out. Those were in the first week though. I didn't bother starting again on Day 1 with these as I plan to be on the Whole30 for more than 30 days and counting things annoys me.

 

On the other hand, my menstrual cycle (which arrived about 10 days in) was both heavier and longer than normal and I had terrible insomnia for a week beforehand. After my cycle began this eased off somewhat but I still have trouble falling asleep, staying a sleep and also with waking up too early. I feel like a zombie and I'm averaging about 5 hours of poor quality sleep a night. I've had to stop my regular exercise routine as I'm just too tired. I should mention that I'm usually a good sleeper, except when my daughter wakes me up in the night, which unfortunately happens a couple of times a week these days. And that happened more than the usual number of times in the past two weeks so my sudden insomnia has been all the worse. This is seriously the worst quality sleep I have ever gotten in my life that was not caused by some external factor (like having a newborn). I just toss and turn and feel really anxious over nothing at all.

 

It seems that some other people have experienced this with the Whole30 as well. I'm wondering if I've entered into ketosis, which I read was associated with insomnia in some people, especially women. I just weighed myself to see if I had any sort of profound weight loss that might explain it and it seems I've lost 4 lbs, which is more than usual for me but certainly not beyond the pale. So, assuming that I have not been eating enough starch (I've been trying to eat a starchy vegetable once a day and eating a banana once a day also), how long will it take to get out of ketosis if I start adding a starchy vegetable to each of my three meals? I should add that even though I maybe haven't been getting enough starch, I haven't been hungry at all and I didn't experience any cravings at all until the sleep deprivation started to kick in. Also, has anyone had success with melatonin?

 

I just really want to get a good night's sleep.

 

 

 

 

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I would not recommend melatonin as a long-term solution because it interferes with your bodies ability to produce melatonin on it's own. Magnesium is a great supplement that can help with sleep.

 

If you already have included starchy veggies and bananas every day, ketosis is very unlikely. Regardless, starchy veggies can certainly help with sleep and anxiety issues, especially when consumed at meal #3. How is your fat intake? Make sure you keep that at least to the minimum recommended 1-2 thumbs per meal (don't rely on cooking fat alone, since much of that stays in the pan).

 

Eating within an hour of waking and also getting sunlight right away in the morning (go outdoors for 15 minutes) can really help with getting cortisol in the right rhythm which will help with sleep. In the same vein, avoiding bright light and screens at night will also help keep circadian rhythms in proper order. Some people use amber glasses or software like f.lux to reduce blue light at night for a similar effect.

 

Good luck. I hope you get some better sleep soon!

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I am one of those people who needs starchy veggies every day to keep me sleeping good. I've also had a great experience with taking magnesium. I used to take Natural Calm, but it provoked diarrhea for me. I switched to magnesium aspartate supplements - 200 to 300 mgs per night. It is working very well. Actually, when I first saw a functional medicine doctor, she gave me an injection of magnesium and I enjoyed great sleep that night and for the next several nights. 

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Hmmn. Thanks for those suggestions. I already supplement with magnesium so I doubt that is suddenly the issue (also, the bananas that I'm still eating are a great source).

 

I wasn't aware that lack of fat could cause problems with sleep. I don't really know how much fat I've been getting as I've been relying mainly on nuts and sometimes avocados to top up the cooking oil.

 

I also have good sleep hygiene in general because it has been so critical in helping my daughter sleep though the night. I usually knit or read before I go to bed, rather than watch TV or mess around online. And I go to bed at the same time every night - although lately I've been trying to go to bed earlier to catch up on my sleep debt but it hasn't worked.

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... I've been relying mainly on nuts and sometimes avocados to top up the cooking oil....

I'd try alternative (& superior) fat sources - fatty cuts of meat like brisket, olives, home-made mayo etc. Nuts can be hard on the digestive system which could in turn effect your sleep. In fact any problems with your digestive system from your mouth right down to your colon can effect your sleep quality.

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I actually just made some homemade mayo yesterday and I was planning to add it to something for lunch today - haven't decided what yet. It's so hot here I've mainly been grilling all my meat and have been relying on eggs, chicken and pork with occasional beef. I don't like fatty cuts of meat (unless the fat is well incorporated). If I eat a piece of fat from meat I actually feel like throwing up - unless it's bacon! The universal exception - everyone loves bacon, don't they? My protein intake has increased dramatically on the Whole 30 and I'm wondering if that has something to do with it as well. I can't always get the best cuts of meat or prepare them in an optimal way because I'm a single mother on a limited income. I can afford free range eggs but not organic, grass-fed meat. I have to do the best I can with what I have.

 

I've always eaten a lot of nuts and have never noticed any impact on my digestion, but I'm not sure how I could get enough fat without them because I don't like to just pour oil on everything. I don't really like fat at all unless it comes in the form of cheese or bacon!

 

I actually just looked up all the carb amounts on what I would eat in a typical day since I started this diet and it looks like I'm well under 100. I think that's just not enough for me. I will attempt to eat more carbs and also pay attention to how much fat I'm getting. Maybe this will help.

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Well, I ate starchy carbs at every meal yesterday and it's just not working. I don't know what to do. I went to bed at 9:30, fell asleep by 10:00 and woke up at 1:20. It's 4:00 now and I have to get up in a few hours to take my daughter to day care and go to work. I'm barely functional. I've never had insomnia before this. It feels like my cortisol has completely reversed - it's peaking in the middle of the night and falling by morning - when I want to go to bed finally. WTH? I can actually feel waves of drowsiness pass over me in the bed as I try to sleep but then instead of drifting off something pulls me into hyper-alert mode. Even medication is not working. I took a Tylenol Sinus one night and it was as if I had done nothing. Tonight, in desperation, I took a muscle relaxant. Nada. I don't even feel relaxed. It's actually worse than yesterday, when at least I slept until 4:30 AM and got about 5 and a half hours of sleep. This time I didn't even get four hours.

 

What has this diet done to me? I am already coming off a four year sleep debt because DD is such a terrible sleeper, and now this on top of it!

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Are you sure you are eating enough?  I have what sounds like the same problem when I'm eating too few carbs OR too few calories (my first W30 I don't think I slept more than 4-5 hrs for 2 weeks - it was pretty bad).  I just feel "wired" at night and I suspect its a stress response to a "threat" of too little food.  At this point you are also so worked up over not sleeping that I'm sure that isn't helping.  

 

Diet wise, I'd listen to the advice of others already and just try switching things up a bit within the W30 framework - have more (non-nut) fat - try 2-3 tbsp of mayo per meal with slightly smaller amounts of protein and higher amounts of starchy carbs.  Lately I've been a huge fan of ghee and have a heaping tablespoon of that with my lower quality, lower fat ground turkey.  I know I've seen some talk of increased cortisol to low carb in some people.  The essence of the W30 - eat real food - does not have to mean low carb.

 

Have you tried an Epsom salt bath?  Its just transdermal magnesium but I swear those make me practically comatose :)

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Well, I'm going to stick with it for a few more days but I feel crippled. I've never noticed that Epsom salt baths make me feel sleepy but I'll give it a whirl tonight. And I do know that my stress over not sleeping is making it worse. And it's a knock-on effect because the not sleeping is raising my stress levels which is making it harder to stick to the Whole30 and make responsible meal choices, and making the Whole30 less likely to be effective anyway. I'll try a couple more days of less protein and more carbs. I'll try to eat more as well but I'm seriously not very hungry and I don't find my food very appetizing when I'm too exhausted to make any effort with cooking it.. Today I'm going to go out and buy a bottle of extra strength sleeping pills. I know they're not a good solution, but I think I just need a couple of days of rest so that I can regain my sanity. Getting actual sleep would lower my stress immeasurably. Three hours of sleep is just not enough and just as I felt sleepy and ready to go back to bed at 5 AM, DD woke up from a nightmare and is now up for the day. It's like I'm cursed. It's going to be LONG day - all the way from 1:20 AM to 9:30 PM the next day.

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Insomnia is the worst-i have had it chronically perimenopausal and still have issue poetmenopausal. i know it is different with you. I can't offer any help food wise. Please look up "sleep hygiene". Environmentally-no overhead lights after 6 pm-lamps only. No TV or computer in the bedroom, no light from the clock radio either. Keep it cool, use darkening shades. No caffiene after 12pm if not earlier. These suggestions will de-activated your brain and slow it down for rest. Use relaxation CDs at night to slow brain waves.

I get it-the insomnia is a killer. That is why they use sleep deprivation as a torture technique.

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Well, I'm going to stick with it for a few more days but I feel crippled. I've never noticed that Epsom salt baths make me feel sleepy but I'll give it a whirl tonight. And I do know that my stress over not sleeping is making it worse. And it's a knock-on effect because the not sleeping is raising my stress levels which is making it harder to stick to the Whole30 and make responsible meal choices, and making the Whole30 less likely to be effective anyway. I'll try a couple more days of less protein and more carbs. I'll try to eat more as well but I'm seriously not very hungry and I don't find my food very appetizing when I'm too exhausted to make any effort with cooking it.. Today I'm going to go out and buy a bottle of extra strength sleeping pills. I know they're not a good solution, but I think I just need a couple of days of rest so that I can regain my sanity. Getting actual sleep would lower my stress immeasurably. Three hours of sleep is just not enough and just as I felt sleepy and ready to go back to bed at 5 AM, DD woke up from a nightmare and is now up for the day. It's like I'm cursed. It's going to be LONG day - all the way from 1:20 AM to 9:30 PM the next day.

So sorry you are struggling! I don't have any advice to help, but I wanted to say I pray it gets better for you soon!!

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Well, after reading everyone's advice, I decided to put away the supplements I was already taking and go to the health food store and buy expensive bioavailable ones. I bought a women's multivitamin that you have to take multiple times a day, as well as an iron supplement in case my iron was low after my period. I bought the Nature Calm magnesium thing that I have read about on other threads too. Since introducing these changes I sleep slightly better. I fall asleep easier most nights and sleep for four or five hours before I wake up and then only sleep lightly for the rest of the night.

 

However, two other possibilities have since been suggested to me. I actually started this diet on the advice of my brother, who was also suffering from rosacea. He lost quite a bit of weight and his rosacea cleared up dramatically, although not totally. He has been tracking his food and now thinks the connection may be high FODMAPs. I had a look into this and sure enough, whenever I had a small breakout on Whole30 it corresponded with eating lots of high FODMAP foods. So I have attempted to reduce those. My rosacea is steadily improving, but the insomnia is not going away. A Paleo friend of mine asked me what I was eating most days and when I talked about it with him, he flagged that my consumption of nightshades has gone waaaaaaaaaaaay up since starting this diet. He suggested that I might want to give them a break for a while in case I have a little sensitivity there.

 

So right now I'm trying to juggle all these considerations and this has turned into an extreme elimination diet, which was never my intention. I'm having trouble getting enough calories, especially fat as cheese and nuts are totally off the table and avocados are severely limited because of the FODMAPs. So I'm limited to oils and mayonnaise and there's only so much I can use! Also, it's hard to up my starch component when potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin and all grains are off the table. I'm kind of down to turnips, rutabagas and spaghetti squash.

 

I'm happy that I only have nine days left of the Whole 30 because I think I need to reintroduce a few things in order to be able to eat an adequate diet. I'll have to stay off the nigthshades a few more days to see if they're the culprit here. The FODMAPs I'll have to stay off of for a month to see if there's a connection.

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So right now I'm trying to juggle all these considerations and this has turned into an extreme elimination diet, which was never my intention. I'm having trouble getting enough calories, especially fat as cheese and nuts are totally off the table and avocados are severely limited because of the FODMAPs. So I'm limited to oils and mayonnaise and there's only so much I can use! Also, it's hard to up my starch component when potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pumpkin and all grains are off the table. I'm kind of down to turnips, rutabagas and spaghetti squash.

 

On the fats, what about duck fat, ghee, lard, tallow, nuts, olives, fatty fish and fatty meats?

On the starchy veggies, what about carrots, jicama, and plantains? (spaghetti squash is not a carb-dense vegetable)

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Not sure if you are not eating sweet potatoes because of a dislike, but sweet potatoes are not nightshades -- they are part of the morning glory family. So if you are avoiding them, thinking they are part of the nightshade family, you are ok to have them. 

 

**went back and re read that you are avoiding sweet potatoes, butternut squash and pumpkin-- please ignore my comment if it doesn't apply**

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Hi Equinox..... I can totally relate with what you are going through.

 

I have issues with both FODMAPs and I have multiple AI symptoms - including rosacea.

 

There are a few ways you can approach this.

 

Eliminate the culprits you know that bother you and keep the ones in that are OK:

 

For example: I found out pretty early on that nuts and I don't get along all that well - painful digestive issues

And raw tomatoes have never agreed with me.  So those 2 things were totally out.

Only recently did I realize that I am sensitive to eggs as I had some pretty bad nagging inflammation that just wouldn't go away.  I still do eat mayo though.  I just can't go overboard with it.

I also found out recently that raw tomatoes give me a psoriasis flare (never had psoriasis before - only wicked eczema) but cooked are fine - just don't eat it everyday.  Peppers are the same thing - raw is a no go, but cooked are okay.  Eat maybe once a week max.

Potatoes I eat fairly regularly - I tolerate them well enough without the peel.

 

I never did a full AIP Whole 30.  I just figured things out over time.

 

Low FODMAP I did a relaxed whole 30 low FODMAP earlier this year because stress had exacerbated underlying IBS issues.  Basically everything I ate left me bloated and uncomfortable.   I went by the whole 30 low FODMAP shopping list http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-shopping-list-FODMAP.pdf

The items in blue are optimal choices, the ones in grey you should eliminate or minimize to the best of your ability.

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Ok, thanks for that link. I'm going to check it out. And GFChris, I have to limit sweet potato consumption because of FODMAPs, not because of nightshades. There's kind of a lot going on right now. And yes, I'm eating lots of carrots and bananas (can't find plantains in my local store). The nuts are also out because of FODMAPs, not because I get digestive issues with them. And I can use oils, lard, tallow etc. as cooking fats but people keep saying that most of that stays in the pan. There's only so much fat on a pork chop, steak or piece of chicken.

 

And suddenly today I'm so hungry I want to chew my own arm off. Odd, as I've been totally not hungry for the entirety of this diet until now. It's probably because I cut out the potatoes and sweet potatoes. I'm actually so hungry that had two lunches today and I can't really think right now so I'm going to have to have a snack before dinner as well.

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. And GFChris, I have to limit sweet potato consumption because of FODMAPs, not because of nightshades. There's kind of a lot going on right now. And yes, I'm eating lots of carrots and bananas (can't find plantains in my local store). The nuts are also out because of FODMAPs, not because I get digestive issues with them. And I can use oils, lard, tallow etc. as cooking fats but people keep saying that most of that stays in the pan. There's only so much fat on a pork chop, steak or piece of chicken.

 

I didn't say anything about sweet potato: I believe that was another poster.  :) 

Nuts are allowed on the Whole30 Low-FODMAP list

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Yeah, there seems to be conflicting information about sweet potatoes on all the FODMAP sites. They're one of those ones you're supposed to limit to 1/2 cup or something like that. That's not a very big serving so I didn't bother buying any. Nuts seem to be like that too. You can have them but only ten of them or whatever (but again, I have found conflicting information). And some squashes seem to be High FODMAPs and some don't. I didn't have the list at the grocery store with me so I was having a hard time remembering so I just bought a spaghetti squash because I didn't remember seeing that anywhere. Just found out acorn squash are ok though so I will get one of those later.

 

And GFChris, you're right! Whoops, it was SpinSpin who asked about the sweet potatoes.

 

Thanks for all the help, guys. I will print off the Whole30 FODMAP list and take it with me next time I go shopping.

 

I think as far as the nighshades go I will need to get rid of all of them for a least a few days and then see which ones I can add back. Part of my problem might have been that I was not peeling my potatoes because I heard the skin was where all the nutrients are. Unfortunately, also where all the bad stuff is for people with a nightshade thing. Not that I even know whether I have this sensitivity yet or not. I'm just going to keep on going with it and see if I can start getting a good night's sleep. If I can then it was probably the nightshades.

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I guess it's not the nightshades. I've been nightshade free for two days now.

 

I feel like I have literally forgotten how to sleep.

 

I lie in bed and actually drift off and then the stairs will creak and I will wake up like someone just fired a gun or something, with my  heart pounding. And then after that every time I start to drift off I will feel a wave of anxiety. The thing is, I'm not even thinking about anything. It's just anxiety over nothing. I've never experienced anything like this before. Physically I'm totally relaxed, my limbs are heavy and my eyes are glued closed. My sleep hygiene is impeccable. I don't watch TV before bed, I don't have overhead lights on, I knit and read boring books that I've read before, my room is dark and I can't see the clock... I'm so tired that when I get up to go to the bathroom after lying in bed for a half an hour doing a relaxation exercise, I stagger like you do in the middle of the night when you're not totally awake. And yet I'm not asleep.

 

I had a snack right before bed, in case that was it (because not ever having a snack before bedtime was clearly not helping). After two hours of trying to sleep I had another snack and the fork was literally dropping out of my hands because I was so sleepy. But still, sleep won't come.

 

I have to say that while I'm appreciating the weight loss I really hate what the Whole30 has done to me. None of the promised improved sleep quality and increased energy here. I feel terrible and it's going to take me a while to sort this problem out now because I'm now so focused on the fact that I can't sleep that it's a big psychological block and even when the diet is over I'll still have work to do to overcome this. I feel like I'm going to have to go on anti-anxiety meds for a period of time just to get over this.

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So I finally fell asleep last night at 1:30 and then my daughter woke me up with a nightmare at 2:30. She was awake for the next two hours and made sure that I was awake for that time too. So I'm a total wreck now.

 

I was mulling things over in the middle of the night. Clearly it's not the nightshades because I've cut them out and, if anything, things have gotten worse. Now I'm hungry on top of everything else. I was going over the list of foods that Carlaccini said might be issues and I suddenly remembered something. It's true that I've cut nuts out almost altogether because many of them are high FODMAP or can only be consumed in small amounts. But when I started this diet I introduced something else. When I was shopping for avocado oil in the grocery store I found a bottle of macadamia nut oil on sale. I also bought some macadamia nuts as well. I never eat these normally because they're expensive and I don't really like them that much. I've never had macadamia nut oil before but I really liked it for cooking with. So I've been pretty much dousing all my food in macadamia nut oil (if I'm cooking at higher temps) for three weeks now. Perhaps I have a problem with these nuts that I never noticed before because I literally never eat them?

 

I think this is kind of my last angle to try. If this doesn't work I think I'm off the Whole30.

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I slept last night! I made two further modifications. After thinking about for a long time in my sleep deprived haze, I remembered feeling similarly anxious and sleepless (although not as bad) once when I was in Africa conducting some research. It turned out I had parasites and had a deficiency in B vitamins and iron. I already have a bit of iron in my multivitamin so I wasn't worried about that. Of course there are Bs in my multi but I don't know how well absorbed they are because it's only a once a day thing. So I looked up the Bs and realized that they had a lot to do with mood and anxiety, as well as sleep because some of them are a precursor to melatonin. So I bought a liquid B supplement and took it yesterday. I noted that I felt calmer within a few hours. I followed it up with a melatonin before bed because if I'm low on Bs then I'm probably not making much.

 

Something worked. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 and was asleep in 20 minutes. I did wake up a couple of times but I got back to sleep again without much difficulty. I woke up at 7:30 in the morning but only because I had to - I could have slept longer.

 

So something I did worked. Let's hope it works again!

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Guest Andria

Good job! I came to this thread late, read all the way through and I am very happy to see that it looks like you found a solution. Fingers crossed! :)

 

When I was severely B12 deficient I had all kinds of symptoms, insomnia included.

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Well, I'm sleeping normally again now. I've been able to cut out the melatonin and the Nature Calm and go back to my normal multivitamin with an extra Cal-Mag supplement like I usually take. I just take a dose of the liquid B and I seem to be fine. I have no idea which B it was that was giving me problems, but I doubt it was B12 because I'm eating more meat than I used to on this diet and I think meat is a major source. I'm actually wondering if it wasn't folate because my biggest sources of those would have been beans and fortified grains. It's true that I eat a lot of leafy vegetables too, but maybe it just wasn't quite enough without these other things?

 

The odd thing though is that as I enter the last day of my Whole30 I have more cravings than I did when I started. I wonder if that's because I had to restrict a lot of things due to the FODMAP on top of the Whole30?

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