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Day 22: Can't sleep


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Hello friends,

Back before I started Whole30, I could easily sleep 8-10 hours and wouldn't wake up without an alarm. When my head hit the pillow, I'd be out for the night. Now, 22 days in, I go to bed late-ish (11pm) and take forever to fall asleep (2am today). I wake up at weird times (5am today). That said, it doesn't seem to affect my energy levels or ability to focus during the day. On Thursday, I slept for less than 2 hours and felt great during the day.  The restless night and body ache all night and beginning of the morning isn't pleasant though. I think my lack of sleep may also be impacting my mood at night (short temper). 

I'm hoping that you can help me with my sleep issues - they're killing me. 

A few things about me: 

- 37 year old male

- Walking everywhere is my main form of exercise. I'm also working on neck pain through stretching and exercises to build up back muscles and improve posture.

- Moderate stress levels: work is busy, but I love my job. Lots of family and friends to support me. 

- Drugs: Monthly testosterone shot and B12 injection to build bone density. 10% increase over the past three years. I also take 1000mg of calcium and Vitamin D3.

- Doing Whole30 to figure out what's giving me IBS (pain predominant) and acid reflux. It's working! Both have decreased significantly and I've eliminated meds. Eczema (ears, eyelids) is almost completely gone.

- Shortly before starting Whole30, I used eat a ton of oatmeal with fruits in the morning and had coffee with breakfast and at 2:30pm. That said, I would be starving by 10am and falling asleep after lunch. My life changed after a naturopath recommended cutting oatmeal/grains for breakfast and eating at least 3 eggs and some fruit instead. I wasn't hungry in the morning and didn't need coffee number two in the afternoon. 

- Potty time: Pain predominant, so no diarrhea, but slight constipation. I would enjoy being more regular. 

- Lazy meal prep is my thing: I'm getting through Whole30 by making three meals that I'll eat all week. Think of it as lunch planning, but for breakfast and dinner too. I rarely snack (1-2 times a week), often because I didn't have time to make breakfast stuff. Snack is almost always raspberries or grapes or fruit. Starting to eat almonds too. 


1) 2 Jumbo muffin egg frittatas (about 3-4 eggs total) packed with veggies. Some fruit (raspberries, strawberries or small avocado).

2) Big bowl of sweet potato hash (with apple, onions and lean ground beef)

3) Scrambled eggs in the microwave. 

4) Just made a big batch of breakfast bake (1st time). Includes: plums, peeled apples, raspberries, chia seeds, walnuts. Tastes good and smells even better. 


1) Boring but compliant salad from Freshii with half a serving of olive oil dressing

2) Fish with steamed veggies

3) Apricot Squash with sausage, onion and apple 

4) Artichoke and sundried tomato chicken (with zucchini and eggplant)

5) Coconut Chicken with onions and veggies

6) Sweet Potato Broccoli Chicken bake is scheduled for tonight (right after I hit send I'm off to the kitchen)

Any advice that you can offer would be most welcome. The inability to fall and stay asleep is wearing on me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, 



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Thanks for the thorough writeup. You are doing so much good for yourself!

My first thought is add Natural Calm (or another form of) Magnesium citrate to your diet. Original Natural Calm is W30 compliant (watch the flavored ones, I don't think any of them are). Start with 2 tsp in a short glass of water an hour before bed each night and increase as tolerated. This should help with both sleep and with being more regular.

Eating some high carb veggies in Meal 3 is also a good idea - let us know how the sweet potato addition worked out. Carb-rich veggies late in the day can also help with sleep.

Finally, if you need a snack, try to make it a mini-meal with protein and fat, and steer clear of fruit all alone.

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I've heard people recommend Magnesium. Are there any side effects? The online info I'm finding isn't from super credible sources. 

I was thinking about taking Melatonin but everything I read said that was a horrible idea.  

I slept better last night. Maybe it was the sweet potatoes? We shall we tonight. 

Thanks for your help, ultrarunnergirl

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1 hour ago, JP1980 said:

I've heard people recommend Magnesium. Are there any side effects?

It can have a laxative effect, that's why it's recommended to start with less than a full dose. I think if you really, really overdid it, there are more serious side effects, but my understanding is you would need to be exceeding the recommended dosage for that to be much of a concern. As with anything, if you have concerns or are taking other medications, check with a doctor or pharmacist.

As far as helping with the sleep, there are a couple of articles with other tips here:  https://whole30.com/2015/12/whole30-sleep/


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