Jump to content

Falling Asleep At My Desk

Recommended Posts

My husband and I are on day 22. For the past 3 days we have been getting more and more tired. I am so tired I could fall asleep on my desk at work. But here is the kicker, when we go to bed we can't fall asleep! It's so frustrating to be tired all day and then not be able to sleep once you want to!

Yesterday I went out and bought Natural Calm. We tried it last night with half of a teaspoon as the directions suggest. We are going to keep using it slowly increasing the dose.

I also wonder if we are not eating enough or the right amounts. Here is our typical day of food:


Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, 3/4 cup acorn squash with chicken sausage, 1/2 cup sweet potato hash

Lunch: Some type of protein (roasted chicken, meatballs, whatever is left over from the night before) with roasted or sautéed vegetables

Snack: either a piece of fruit or baby carrots or sometimes a larabar

Post-workout: hardboiled egg

Pre-workout: Roasted chicken - there is no way I can have a meal after exercising. It takes me at least 45 mins to get home from the gym or martial arts studio so I pack a little bit of chicken in a container and eat it on the subway on my way home

Dinner: Protein, vegetable, small baked sweet potato

Exercise: Mon&Fri - Gym for 30-45 mins, Tues&Thurs - 1 hr kickboxing, Sat - 1 hour bootcamp

Somehow I make it through all of this exercise even though I am tired. I have really good will power to keep going.

Water intake (+herbal tea): 9 or 10x 8oz

Meds: Synthroid at waking up, Metformin with breakfast and dinner, digestive enzyme with every meal, multivitamin with dinner

My Husband:

Breakfast: 4 egg omelet with sweet potato hash and prosciutto, small steak (size of my palm, not his) on the side

Lunch: Large bowl of chili, avocado

Snack: banana or larabar

Same post and pre-workout as me

Dinner: Same as me just a bigger helping

Exercise: 2x a week at the gym 30-45 mins

We typically get to bed around 11 and wake up at 7 but we are not falling asleep until way after midnight. We even tried going to bed earlier and just ended up lying in bed awake longer. My husband is now getting into the bad habit of going back to bed after breakfast and going into work late. He is usually back asleep in bed when I leave in the morning. I feel like we must be doing something wrong to be feeling so horrible. I would be most grateful for any suggestions anyone may have. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmmm. I don't see a lot of fats listed here. Unless of course you don't list them. Could be that you might need some fat's included in your diet. Other than that your meals (to me) look fine.

But I would wait for a mod to weigh in.

I have noted with myself that Lara bars will give me sleepless nights. Doesn't matter when in the day I eat one. Not sure if it's the nuts or the dates that bother me here. But it does create an issue. I know they are a convenient PWO snack. But maybe ditch them for a couple of days and see how it goes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thoughts:

1. Slow your exercise roll ASAP. That's a lot of work for a single week - I only see one day off, which is too much for someone who doesn't have all their recovery stuff in line. Your body is screaming at you to slow down, and instead you're pushing through the same exercise routine while extremely tired. That's not a good strategy. Immediately pull back for a week, either taking the week off (my preference) or doing half-intensity. (Literally - HALF intensity - which probably means you don't kickbox or bootcamp at all, and your gym sessions are skill work, stretching, foam rolling, etc. only.) Also, when are you exercising? If it's in the evening, the kind of exercise you are doing, the duration of your sessions and the timing isn't helping your sleep troubles.

2. Try eating more. Looks like your carbohydrate content is decent (I like seeing carb-dense veggies with someone who is active), but I don't see any fat, unless you're using a ton of cooking fat. For the record, however, I don't think this is a food problem, necessarily.

3. You obviously have some medical conditions (based on your list of meds), and who knows how that is contributing to your tiredness. I'd 100% schedule something ASAP with your doctor, as I assume you're on the metformin as a T2D. Blood sugar regulation can change MIGHTY fast on the Whole30, and it's possible your dose is already needing an adjustment. That should be your first priority, after you adjust your exercise volume.

Finally, Natural Calm might help - you can safely take two teaspoons a night without side effects. (That's a really gentle dose.) Your symptoms tell me you've got some cortisol stuff going on, which may be a result of blood sugar mis-management, or your excessive exercise routine in the context of your recovery, or other life stresses. Start here, and keep us posted as to how you are feeling.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Melissa and Carla! All my veges and meats are cooked in evoo but I tend not to add any other fats into my meals. I can start adding olives and avocadoes. I also think I need to up the starchy carbs a little. I just bought a yucca root that I am dying to try.

I think you are right Melissa about toning down my workout schedule. I got so used to that schedule pre-whole30 that I just stuck with it without thinking of all the extra energy my body must be going through to heal during the whole30. This week I will cut out the trips to the gym. I can't cut out the kickboxing since I have my yellow belt test tomorrow and the classes have been helping with any stress I may have.

The metformin is for pcos rather t2d. My husband and I have been ttc since April last year and my endocrinologist put me on metformin in hopes it would help but so far it has done nothing. This is one of the reasons I am doing a whole30. I read so many success stories of women with pcos that I figured I would give it a try. To top things off I also have a hypothyroid. It seems that if anything I should be going more in the hyper direction than hypo. I had an appointment with my endo right before starting and my thyroid and sugar levels were normal. I'll try to make another appointment to get more blood work done to see if my medications need adjusting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have been having this same issue recently (I'm on day 38). I literally almost fell asleep driving to work this morning. And often times I will find myself nodding off at my desk (could be any time of day). I know I'm getting enough fats and starches in my diet so I'm not sure what to tweak or what else could be going on. I just feel exhausted all the time.

Here's a sample of my meals from the last week:


Breakfast – Leftover spaghetti squash mixture

(At work I will drink several cups of tea – loose leaf green tea – and put a tablespoon of coconut oil in it) I consume on average 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil per day with this method.

Snack – Red bell pepper

Lunch – Paleo chili with ground beef, zucchini, bell pepper, tomato, onion, lamb (approx. 2 cup serving)

Snack – Small portion of pork belly (maybe 1-2 oz.)

Dinner – Seared salmon and salad (mixed greens with bell pepper, red onion, olive oil & balsamic vinegar), ½ sweet potato, dill pickles


Breakfast – 3 eggs, ½ bunch asparagus, mushrooms, ½ avocado

At work – tea/coconut oil (3 servings)

Snack – Red bell pepper

Lunch – Paleo chili (same as day before)

Snack – Chicken Jerky (65 calories, 14g protein)

Dinner – 6oz. Halibut, tostones (mashed plantains “fried†in coconut oil), 2 tomatoes


Breakfast – 3 chicken legs, ½ bunch asparagus, 3 mushrooms, 1 avocado

At work – Tea/coconut oil (2 cups/servings)

Snack – Red bell pepper

Lunch – Paleo chili

Snack – 1-2oz. Pork belly

Dinner – Sauteed baby bok choy, onion and yellow bell pepper with shrimp

For vitamins/supplements I take 5000ius Vit-D, B-12, C, Probiotic, fish oil x2 daily, multivitamin x2 daily, Zinc, Iron (per Dr.), Magnesium, Biotin (nails and hair), and then my 3 prescription meds (Citalopram & Wellbutrin for anxiety/depression and Synthroid for Hypothyroid)

Exercise - My husband and I do CrossFit 3x/week at 545 AM and Kettlebells 1x week at 545AM. Trying to add in another day of straight weight-lifting and we plan on adding in some walking). I don't eat pre (way too early) or post workout meals, but I eat breakfast about 45 minutes-hour after working out.

Any thoughts or suggestions on how I might remedy this problem would be greatly appreciated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is your bedtime routine like? Since my original post my husband and I have started a bedtime routine that we implement every day. It has helped us a lot. I also took Melissa's advice and decreased my exercise to only 3 times a week instead of 5.

Here is the routine that we have started to follow. If I miss this routine 2 days in a row I start feeling more sleepy during the day.

10pm - Place the kettle on the stove to heat up water for Natural Calm Magnesium supplement

10:30 - An alarm goes off on my phone (the only way to make sure this happens) in which at this time ALL electronics are turned off (tv, computer, phones). We then sit around, read and sip on our magnesium tea. Sometimes we even lower the lights in the apartment.

11 - Go to bed. Make sure the room is as dark as it can be. Sometimes I have to use an eye mask and ear plugs (the people upstairs are really loud)

We then wake up very refreshed in the morning. We get at least 8 hours of sleep.

I really believe the addition of Natural Calm and a routine has helped us a lot. Maybe try a routine for a few days and see if it helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, maybe it's just as simple as I'm not getting enough sleep. During the week M-F I usually get about 7 hours per night (more on the weekends). I try to go to bed by 10 but it's usually more like 1030, so maybe I'm really only getting 6.5 hours per night (we get up at 5AM to go to the gym). I'm a night owl so trying to go to bed at 9PM would be extremely difficult for me. We do have a very dark room and I typically wear ear plugs at night because my husband snores :) Maybe I'll try using a sleeping mask.

Also, I do take a magnesium capsule at night so I'm not sure if I would need to add more? I bought some Natural Calm, but when it was shipped to me it had Organic Stevia in it so I haven't used any of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was it the original flavor? I think the raspberry flavor had stevia in it.

I used to only get 7 hours of sleep. Adding that extra hour has helped at lot. It was very hard to go to bed earlier but after a week I started to get used to it. Now I can't believe that I used to go to bed at midnight!

I can't help you on how much magnesium is enough. We use 2 tsp which is 325mg. Maybe the magnesium "tea" absorbs faster than the capsule? I'm not sure. If I were you I would research it before taking more. Or maybe switch to the Natural Calm for a little bit and see if you feel different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't eat pre (way too early) or post workout meals, but I eat breakfast about 45 minutes-hour after working out.

Try eating a post workout snack immediately after your workout. There's a chance that your body isn't getting enough food, in the right amount of time, after your workout to fuel BOTH muscle recovery and daily function. Give it three days of post workout food (starchy veg + protein) in addition to your normal meals and see if that helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Robin! I will have to give that a try. I did go to sleep much earlier last night and today I'm feeling a lot better, but I think I could definitely benefit from both. Just out of curiosity, what is an appropriate amount of food for a post-workout snack? Like a hardboiled egg and a few bites of sweet potato? What is the timeframe of when it needs to be consumed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Create New...