Jump to content

Awake in middle of the night

Recommended Posts

Hello.  I am on Day #21 of my first Whole30.  The first 2 weeks were a little rough (I am a runner and struggled with not having enough energy for runs or was totally wiped out afterward) but I feel like I am now in the swing of things (and have, thankfully, figured out pre-run meals and compliant running fuels that seems to work for me).  


Prior to the Whole30 I had no known sleep issues; I would get 7-9 hours of sleep a night and would occasionally wake up to use the restroom but could usually correlate that to drinking something too late in the day (usually after 9pm).  


Since the first week of my Whole30 I have had an issue staying asleep every night, despite my best efforts to diagnose and improve the issue.  I fall asleep without issue and the sleep I get is restful but I have woken up between 1-3am every night since Day #3 to use the restroom and am unable to get back to sleep afterwards.  This means I typically get 3-5 hours of sleep each night.  


I have noticed that I have consistent energy during the day (not quite "tiger blood," but no energy crashes) and, unfortunately, this energy level is the same when I awake in the middle of the night - I am wide awake!  I've tried reading or meditating to get back to sleep but end up staying awake until my alarm each day.  I am not particularly stressed or anxious and my mind is calm but I feel like I could start my day right then.  


Initially I thought this was due to increased water intake but even on days when I drink less water the issue still occurs.  I have gone so far as to stop drinking as early as 6pm (sometimes going to bed thirsty) and it still happens.  I will not be doing that again, but that has shown me it's not drinking too late that is causing my issue.


I have tried magnesium supplements and melatonin (not together) and have fallen asleep more quickly on both but still do not stay asleep.  Since the issues I had with running the first few weeks I've learned all about how great sweet potatoes are and eat them or squash almost every day (as part of breakfast before a run or as a side at dinner).  I also eat a lot of carrots, apples, and the occasional banana.  I have one cup of tea in the morning (~6:30am) and do not drink any other caffeinated beverages throughout the day. 


I'm at a loss.  My energy levels are still consistent but I can feel this really wearing on me and my energy levels are getting lower.  Sleep deprivation of this sort would have completely wrecked me pre-Whole30 so I can tell I am handling this better now than I would before, but I know my body needs more than 3-5 hours of sleep!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Are you cold when you do wake up? Being a bit chilly while sleeping can cause you to come out of deep sleep and then have to use the bathroom and might make it harder to fall back asleep.  You don't look at your phone or have a green or blue nightlight in the bathroom? Is your room completely dark and quiet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the quick replies!  Here are my past few days of meals:



Breakfast (~7am):  3 eggs with peppers and onions, 2-3 strips of bacon, black tea

Lunch(~11:30am):  Chocolate chili (from Well Fed) leftovers

Snack (~4pm, not every day):  Apple and almond butter

Dinner (~7pm):  Chicken tikka masala with cauliflower rice



Breakfast):  Sweet potato hash browns, 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, black tea

Lunch:  Chicken tikka masala with cauliflower rice, water

Dinner:  Chicken salad lettuce wraps (chicken, mayo, raisins, grapes, walnuts, celery), water

After dinner: Sleepytime tea (at ~7:30pm)



Breakfast:  3 eggs with peppers and onions, banana and almond butter, black tea

Lunch:  Chicken salad lettuce wrap leftovers, water

Snack:  Apple with cinnamon

Dinner:  Beef and broccoli stir fry (with carrots and spinach), decaffeinated iced tea 


Thursday (today):

Breakfast (~7am):  Sweet potato hash browns, 2-3 eggs with spinach, small side of banana and raspberries, black tea

Lunch(~11:30am):  Chicken salad lettuce wrap leftovers, water

Snack (~3pm): Banana

Dinner (planned):  Bun-less burger (with lettuce, veggie fixins and mayo) with carrot fries, water


I sleep under a down comforter and am comfortable (if not a little warm) but our house gets down to 60-degrees F overnight.  I don't think I feel cold when I wake up or leave the bed but it's possible.  My room is next to the bathroom so I'm only out from the covers for ~1 minute.  I walk around in the dark and the only light is the little green light on the GFCI outlet in the bathroom.  I have occasionally turned on my phone to see what time it is (maybe twice in the last 2 weeks) but typically don't use my phone between dinner time and the next morning.  My room is very dark and pretty quiet - just a small humidifier and one other person (who is also on the Whole30 and eating the same meals) sleeping soundly through the night.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay nothing really and truly screams at me - however I do have some thoughts that may help.


Is your veg in the morning at least 1 - 3 cups worth?  You might not be eating enough in meal 1 and that could be possibly setting you up for not sleeping believe it our not.  


I also don't see additional fat portions listed much.  Keep in mind that cooking fat very often gets left behind unless you make it a point of scraping it out onto your dish. Do not fear fat.  In fact I have noticed that if I have skimped on fat at all at any part during the day - my sleep suffers a bit.


Also the fact that you need to have a snack in the afternoon points to the fact that you might not be eating enough.  Also if you need a snack make sure it is 2 out of the 3 macros - protein and veg or veg and fat or fat and protein.... you get the idea.  Try to stay away from fruit as a snack.


You also might want to consider dropping the morning fruit and adding more veg.  Fruit in the morning has the ability to throw off your day.  Usually setting yourself up for sugar cravings and the like. Fruit should never push vegetables off of your plate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree about the fruit! This is anecdotal but once I removed fruit from my daily schedule I started sleeping wayyy better. Some people are just more sensitive to sugar and obviously bananas and apples contain quite a bit: a large banana is 17g and a large banana is 23g (this is according to Google anyway.) It's like having coffee at 2pm-- even if you're not going to bed for 8 or so more hours, it's still probably going to affect your energy levels enough that you'll have a hard time sleeping. I also have found that when I have more fat with dinner I stay asleep, but obviously everyone's different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm back with an update.  I'm on Day #26 and have not had fruit in the morning or after lunch since those who responded suggested I try that approach.


For a few nights I still woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom but ignored it and tried to convince my body the need was not real and went back to sleep in hopes of breaking the habit (a ridiculous thing to do, I know, but I was sleepy and stubborn). I haven't had any issues waking up to use the restroom since.  I have been woken up by my husband a few times but have (thankfully) been able to get back to sleep relatively soon.


I have also recently started using the Natural Calm supplement and, on nights I use that, I sleep soundly through the night.  Hopefully this sticks as its nice to be sleeping again! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...