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Too Tired


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Hi all!

I'm currently doing my first Whole30 (day 16, wooo!) and this is also my first time joining the Forum community! A little background about myself and first 16 days:

I had thought about doing this program for a while, but a lot of it was with "weight loss" in mind. I finally hit my breaking point around the end of March when I had another "cold" - 4th time being sick in 2 months (including bronchitis in January and Strep Throat in March!) I was so frustrated, sick of missing work, and generally feeling miserable. I don't know why this particular winter made me feel so yuckbombs, as I don't usually get sick this often. Part of it may be due to me recovering from a knee injury - last August I was in a bad bicycle accident and tore my acl and lcl. I had surgery in September and again in February, so it's been a tough winter trying to recover and I thought maybe my overall immunity was just lower due to my body repairing my knee. But that last cold really put me over the edge, and I knew it was time to try something new. Enter Whole30 - after being prescribed antibiotics, steroids, cough medicine, and a slew of over-the-counter-meds with no real improvement, it seemed like changing my diet might be the next step to take. I ordered both the Whole30 guide and cookbook from Amazon on the spot. 2 days later (love love love Amazon Prime) I started reading the Whole30 guide immediately. What started as a way to boost my immunity (and maybe lose a few extra pounds) turned into something that will change my life - and this was just from reading the book, hadn't started the program yet!

My optimism helped propel me into the program and has been a huge component of my ability to stick to Whole30. Some positive changes so far have been a cleaner digestion process, less bloating, and the general diet change which has helped with my binge-on-all-the-sweets habit. However, I think I was expecting to feel MORE by now. Part of that is likely because I'm not getting enough sleep, but I don't know how to change this! Truthfully, I slept better before the program (but didn't have the energy in the morning to get up and going). Now, I can't sleep and still don't have energy in the morning. I tried cutting coffee out for 5 days, but that didn't help my sleep at all and I felt even worse in the morning and throughout the day. When I do have coffee, it's only one cup in the morning with breakfast, or after breakfast, so I'm not getting loaded on caffeine throughout the day. I try to go to bed at reasonable times to shoot for 7 or 8 hours of sleep - I don't eat after 7pm (sometimes 7:30 if I have an after-work meeting), I have stopped using electronics (including TV!) for the hour before I go to bed, and I make sure my tasks are complete for the day and have a list ready for the next day. I used to use melatonin to help me sleep before Whole30, but cut that out since starting the program because I want to try things as naturally as possible. I'm not sure if my body is still adjusting to not using that, but I thought by now I would be more adjusted to the routine and sleeping better. I've had a hard time focusing and have very little energy (likely due to lack of sleep) even though I've given 100% effort to this program so far. I don't exercise often since I'm still recovering from my knee injury, but still do PT 3 times a week and try to walk as much as possible.

I'm open to any suggestions on how to nail this sleeping thing, and any tips for increasing energy and focus! I'm also open to any recipes people like to share, because, food. <3

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It sounds like you're doing the right things for sleep -- there may be something helpful in this article, or you may have tried it all already. 

Are you making all your meals match the meal template? Don't skimp on the fat -- add at least one serving at each meal in addition to what you cook in. Are you having at least one fist-sized serving of starchy vegetable each day? Drinking plenty of water (aim for 1/2 oz per pound of body weight, so a 120 lb person needs at least 60 oz)? Salting your food?

Sometimes things just take more time -- for instance, I notice you say you gave up coffee for five days and didn't notice a difference, but it's possible you would have if you'd kept going without it. If you're doing everything right, it may just take you a little longer to really see results. 

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Keep in mind that 16 days is a mere drop in the bucket in the terms of long term health.  So keep it going.  Many of us don't see results until the 3rd or 4th week.  Be patient.  I too I am doing a whole 30 at the moment.  (I think it's my 8th? - I dunno - I lost count.) I too am having sleeping issues as well.  So it could just be part of the resetting of our hormones - that would be my guess.

Also - do you have your period?  If so how far away are you from your period? Usually before our periods - we get hungrier.  Make sure to listen to those cues.  Don't ignore the signals even though you might think you have eaten enough already.  It's not unusual for me to increase my meal sizes by double.  Make sure you are eating enough and as close to the template as possible.  If you are not eating enough (many new people do struggle with eating enough) it will definitely cause some sleeping issues.  Also as strange as this sounds - if you are eating too many nuts, it may affect your sleep.  (I'm one of these weird people that has this problem).  Also make sure you are not going too low carb - as that may throw off sleep patterns as well.  Usually start with a fist sized portion of starchy veggies with your last meal.

How's your knee doing?  I  tore my acl and mcl in a bad ski fall late last year.  I hear your frustration and pain.  Some things that will help you - Collagen.  You can either make yourself drink tons of bone broth (excellent source of collagen) or get something called collagen peptides, or collagen hydrolysate.  Magnesium - This will help you with sleep too.  But it also helps with bone and joint support.  Brand recommended around these parts is Natural Calm unflavoured.  My Dr recommended to me a supplement called Recovery.  It was originally made to be used on animals - but I believe it can be found for humans as well.  (I just haven't found it yet).  


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