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Waking up in the middle of the night

Lauren N

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Hello all of you lovely people :) Glad to be part of this awesome community!

I just started my Whole30 on September 1st! It's been going really well and I haven't had any withdrawal symptoms now being on Day 4. I did eat very healthy beforehand with minimal processed foods and lots of veggies with my main treats being on the weekend (Beer and pizza...) so I think that's why its been easy to adjust. I've been following the meal template with lots and lots of brussels sprouts, chicken, squash, turkey, coconut oil, avocado, some nuts, sweet potatoes, and fruit, to sum it up. I haven't been very hungry at all except right before meals.

However ... first "issue" arose a few hours ago when I was dreaming about serving myself a huge plate of hash browns and homefries (the most delicious looking ones I've ever seen... yuuum) and then woke up in the middle of the night. Given that I NEVER wake up in the middle of the night I instantly knew this was weird and after searching the forum I pretty much concluded that my body was looking for starch (dream being a dead giveaway, haha) and that's why I woke up.

This totally makes sense because thinking about it now I didn't have too much of it these last 3 days. Pretty much all I had in terms of straight carbs/starch yesterday was two peaches. The two days before I've had a sweet potato for breakfast. Also I'm super active and have worked out every day the last 3 days (surfing, yoga, running, weightlifting - pretty much I do one if not two of those everyday). But my question now is:

If this happens again where I wake up in the middle of the night, should I listen to my body and eat something starchy, or wait until the morning? I would think I should probably eat some, but from what I gathered from another post it sounds like you could start psychologically relying on that and then you would continue to wake up. Do I need to "Train" my body to eat less starch so not give in.. ?

This time I ended up eating a bit of sweet potato in hopes that I could fall back asleep (hasn't happened yet) but would love to know what would be the best thing to do for next time if it happens again.

Thank you in advance for any answers and/or time.




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The best thing to do is probably to make sure you get enough starchy vegetables (and other food as well) throughout your day, so you don't wake up. For most people we recommend trying one fist-sized serving of starchy vegetables each day, and people who are active, who are prone to anxiety or depression, or women who are pregnant, nursing, or in the week or so leading up to their period often need more. Many people find having a serving of starchy vegetable at their last meal of the day helps them to sleep.

Be sure you're having pre- and post-workout meals in addition to your three meals a day on the days you work out.

If you're not sure if you're eating enough or if you're not sure your meals are really meeting the meal template, feel free to post a couple of days' worth, including approximate portion sizes, and we can take a look and see if anything stands out.

As for eating in the middle of the night, if you're so hungry it's distracting and keeping you from sleeping, go ahead and eat a few bites of something. Hopefully, as you make your meals more consistent, you won't wake up hungry anymore.

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