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Many people had sleep problems before low carbing, and usually it goes away with
a firm low carb diet regime. Their sleep problems generally were caused by
blood sugar swings through the night, or from heartburn/acid reflux — both things
"fixed" by low carb. But if you're one of the people that continues to have sleep issues, there might be another cause.
First, check with your doctor, and make sure you explain it fully... including the
fact that it was a problem long before low-carb (as some doctors want to blame every
concern on the patient's new-found diet plan.) If you get a clean bill of health, here
are some steps you can take that can bring peaceful sleep back into your life.
Get a glucose tolerance test to make sure it's not bouts of hypoglycemia driving you
to a wake state. If it's hunger waking you up, you need to get your glucose levels
Do not use alcohol to help you fall asleep. Although alcohol may initially induce
sleep, once it wears off, the sleep tends to be fragmented.
If you're still taking in caffeine, try and limit it significantly during
the 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. Approximately 50% of the caffeine consumed at
7 PM remains in the body at 11 PM. Remember that caffeine is present in many
different foods, beverages and medications.
Limit nicotine prior to bedtime, as it is a stimulant. But remember, if you
do smoke, you'll see FAR more success with your diet if you quit.
Limit liquids of any kind for at least 90 minutes before bedtime if the need
to urinate wakes you up in the middle of the night. It takes about 90 minutes
for the body to process liquids.
Regular exercise can increase your odds of getting a good night's sleep. But
avoid exercise within 3 hours prior to going to bed as this will boost alertness
and have a negative effect on sleep. Studies have shown that exercising more than
3 to 6 hours before going to bed has the most positive effect on falling asleep
and staying asleep.
Some people find that foods containing tryptophan aids in sleep.
Tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid, (the building blocks
of protein), which the brain converts to serotonin. Serotonin is a
sleep-inducing hormone. Contrary to popular belief, foods high in
tryptophan, such as turkey, do not necessarily lead to greater production
of serotonin. This is because the other amino acids block the brain?s uptake
Try a relaxing routine, like soaking in hot water (a hot tub or bath) before
- Consider a new pillow, a fan (for noise) in the room, or a whole new bed.
Perhaps you are simply uncomfortable.