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Waking up at 4am every night?


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#1 jrdva

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 11:45 AM

Before I started my Whole30 I had been waking up regularly between 3 and 4 am, sometimes unable to get back to sleep. It seemed connected to digestive issues. This issue was alluded to in the book, but not explained. I would love to know what causes this. I am on Day 17 and I am still waking up on some nights.

#2 Jennyebn

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 04:31 PM

I have the same problem with middle of the night insomnia and it has not stopped. I too am on Day 17 and still wake up EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at least once. And I'm barely having any caffeine since I started as well. Maybe I need a Whole 45 or Whole 60. I'll be interested in some insight to this as well.

#3 Tom Denham

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:32 PM

I wake up at about 1:30 AM and again at 4 AM every night, but I am waking up to go to the bathroom... my over sized prostate makes me. However, I have been able to get back to sleep without much trouble ever since I adopted the Whole30 approach to eating. If I don't eat enough the day before, I may be hungry when I wake at 4 and I usually have to eat something to get back to sleep. Sometimes I eat a can of sardines. Sometimes I eat a baked sweet potato with nuts and dried cranberries. I can usually get back to sleep quickly after a snack.

Before the Whole30, my sleep was worse. I think the reason I got stronger and lost weight after going Whole30 was that my sleep improved. Hang in there. It helps.

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I think the value of doing a Whole30 is to begin seeing meat, fish, eggs, veggies, and fruit as the good stuff and to start thinking of everything else as stuff we have to make do with occasionally. 

 

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#4 jrdva

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 06:13 PM

My female-ness rules out the prostate issues :) . I did read a teaser somewhere on a promo for ISWF that read "Do you wake up every morning at 4am?" - or words to that effect. Yet I don't think that was discussed in the book. So, I was just hoping for some more clarification.

#5 Tom Denham

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:00 PM

I edited the book, but don't recall any discussion of why unhealthy foods mess with sleep (or why healthy foods make things better). And I would remember since I am such a light sleeper.

Do you know the forum rules? Review them at http://forum.whole9l.../6-forum-rules/

 

I think the value of doing a Whole30 is to begin seeing meat, fish, eggs, veggies, and fruit as the good stuff and to start thinking of everything else as stuff we have to make do with occasionally. 

 

Browse 400 Whole30-compliant recipes at
Tom Denham's http://www.wholelifeeating.com


#6 Melissa Hartwig

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 01:51 AM

Middle of the night wake-ups aren't tied to digestion - it's either cortisol dysfunction (cortisol rising too early, and/or being chronically elevated) or blood sugar regulation issues (blood sugar drops in the middle of the night, due to hormonal imbalances). These things will both get better with a Whole30, but don't fix themselves overnight - especially long-term cortisol issues.

Make sure you're giving yourself a few hours between your last meal and bedtime, and absolutely avoid carb-dense bedtime snacks. Eat a good breakfast within an hour of waking, whether you are hungry or not, and don't lean too heavy on fruit for Meal 1. And be patient, yes?

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  • #7 CaseyD

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    Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:42 AM

    There is a list of things you can do to help improve your sleep outside of dietary changes (though I believe you have to change your diet to create optimal conditions). I was having problems falling asleep and problems with waking up too early (like 4 a.m.) and not being able to fall back asleep - or at least not for hours.
    I completely blacked out the windows in my bedroom, moved my husband out of the bed (we discovered we were truly messing each other's sleep up and are MUCH happier sleepers now in separate beds), and in the morning, I go outside immediately for just a couple minutes and delay breakfast for an hour or so, this is to help set my body's clock. This has been a multi-month project to fix my insomnia and I found eating perfectly clean was not enough - I've had to adopt all these behaviors to be able to sleep through the night. Now, I sleep from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. and it is rare I wake up.

    Some people do well breaking their sleep up. As in, go to bed allowing for 9 hours or more, then actually getting out of bed at that 3 or 4 a.m. wake up and doing very relaxing things (read by candle light, meditate, light yoga or walking) until they feel tired again. That's usually only about an hour or less. Then go back to bed and finish your sleep. I've done this in the past and it worked very well to keep me from getting too stressed out about sleeping, but since having a kid I find this doesn't work for me anymore. I get stressed out anyway. ;)

    Just some thoughts that might prove useful.

    #8 Emily

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    Posted 06 July 2012 - 05:22 AM

    Really interesting, CaseyD! Thanks!

    #9 jrdva

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    Posted 06 July 2012 - 12:36 PM

    Thank you all for the input and ideas! Melissa - thanks for the science-y explanation! I'm in this for the long haul!

    #10 Cheryl J.

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    Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:09 PM

    I have had trouble with getting to sleep and waking up feeling rested for years, and I'm hoping The W30 will help with those issues. It sounds like there are factors other than diet involved, and that I may need to work on those other factors and just be patient. Last night I ate some sardines, hoping that would send some blood from my brain down into my digestive system and make me feel drowsy, and it did, a little, but not enough to get me to sleep. I also have black-out curtains put up. In any case, I'll wait it out and see how things are after a month.
    ~Cheryl

    No rest for the wicked. -- paraphrase of Isaiah 57

    #11 Adagio

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    Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:26 PM

    I completely blacked out my bedroom and use f.lux for my computer monitor. http://stereopsis.com/flux/

    (BTW, I rarely sleep through the night. Chelated Magnesium before bed helps, as does sub-lingual Melatonin. I am hoping that getting on track with my eating will help, but Melissa is correct, it's probably a Cortisol issue and I have to have that tested. My adrenals burned out long ago, lol.)

    If you use a computer before bed, the f.lux helps, as do the blackout drapes.
    Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later. - Joel Salatin

    #12 befabdaily

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    Posted 20 July 2012 - 01:47 AM

    I took the advice I've seen on here to have some Natural Calm before going to sleep and it's nearly put an end to my 4 a.m. wakies.

    #13 Cheryl J.

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    Posted 20 July 2012 - 06:59 AM

    Can anyone suggest a W30-approved substance that will put one out like a light at bedtime and leave one feeling refreshed and ready for the day come morning? This has been my problem for a long time: I can't get to sleep and after I finally do get to sleep, I wake up feeling like garbage. Currently, I drink a lot of "sleepytime" herbal teas and take anti-histamine capsules. If there is a W30-approved magic potion out there, I'd be very happy to know what it is.

    Befabdaily, could it be Natural Calm?

    Thanks!
    ~Cheryl

    No rest for the wicked. -- paraphrase of Isaiah 57

    #14 missmary

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    Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:07 AM

    Befabdaily, could it be Natural Calm?


    yup, if you tolerate citric acid, Natural Calm is a great relaxer before bed. Just make sure you get the plain kind, not the kind with sweeteners/flavoring.

    Epsom salt baths before bed are another option (epsom salts deliver magnesium transdermally. natural calm is an oral version, so just keep that in mind--I might not do both on the same night to avoid getting too much magnesium all at once).

    #15 juju

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    Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:09 PM

    @ Cheryl- You may "wake up feeling like garbage" secondary to the prolonged effects of the anti-histamine, depending on which one you are taking. Diphenhydramine (AKA benadryl) can make some poeple feel as though they have been thrown under a bus. If you get a "benadryl hangover" I would try cutting the anti-histamine out and see how you feel. Unfortunately, like most drugs, they do more than one thing. So, while it makes you sleepy we have several histamine receptors in our central nervous system and it acts on those receptors too which leads to unpleasant side effects for some. Just a thought try eliminating it and see if you feel better the next day.

    #16 Cheryl J.

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    Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:18 PM

    Thanks for the suggestion, Juju. In fact, I took a double dosage last night and woke feeling not so great -- not as bad as I would off the program, but still a little "off." I think I'll go with Missmary's advice and try Natural Calm next.
    ~Cheryl

    No rest for the wicked. -- paraphrase of Isaiah 57

    #17 Cheryl J.

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    Posted 23 July 2012 - 01:39 AM

    Just in case anyone else is interested, I found these lovely posts by Steve Pavlina on how to beat insomnia and how to become a morning person:

    http://www.stevepavl...an-early-riser/

    http://www.stevepavl...-riser-part-ii/

    http://www.stevepavl...alarm-goes-off/

    Enjoy!
    ~Cheryl

    No rest for the wicked. -- paraphrase of Isaiah 57

    #18 Cheryl J.

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    Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:31 PM

    I've been taking Natural Calm, and have found that it works, but only up to a certain point, I guess because my body eventually adjusts to it. It seems the only thing to do is to try multiple possible solutions, such as those mentioned above. I need to keep working on this. Thanks, everyone, for all the advice.
    ~Cheryl

    No rest for the wicked. -- paraphrase of Isaiah 57

    #19 greenpapaya

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    Posted 26 August 2012 - 12:09 AM

    Strangely enough, I've had the opposite experience.

    I've never had problems with sleeping- I used to conk out as soon as my head the pillow, and sleep uninterrupted for 8-9 hours. But since starting my Whole30 on 1 August, I've been finding it harder to fall asleep and waking up around 4am most nights. When I do wake up in the morning though, I am much more alert than I used to be (even though I've been sleeping less).

    Mind you, pre-Whole30 I was constantly exhausted and I'm thinking that I was hardcore sugar crashing (hence the being able to sleep immediately and not waking up).

    Other than the sleeping, though, everything else (i.e energy, headaches, cravings, skin etc) has improved so I'm not really complaining. Just finding it odd! :huh:

    #20 curlyj88

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    Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:38 AM

    I have had trouble falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night as well. I found (and still do sometimes) falling asleep especially brutal when I had something stressful (or exciting) happening the next day, I.e. a job interview. Although I don't struggle with this as much anymore (reading before going to sleep is like magic for me), I discovered Calms Forte tablets and they were amazing. They are completely natural and rather than putting your system to sleep like others do, it relaxes you and helps you to fall asleep on your own. I found them at my local health food store as well as Save On Foods. They are super helpful!!

    Here is the link:
    http://www.calmsforte.com/home/




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