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Waking at exactly 3am. Every. Single. Morning.


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#1 sahmomto2

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 02:23 PM

Pre-whole30, I would fall asleep easily and stay asleep until morning, but wake up feeling exhausted. I hated to go to bed because I always felt good in the evening so I felt like I was losing the best part of my day, and I knew I was going to feel like crap when I got up and not have any energy until mid-afternoon.

So now, 13 days into my first whole30, I'm waking up at exactly 3am every morning (since about day 4). Sometimes I fall back to sleep pretty quickly, and other times I'm awake for an hour or more before falling back to sleep. I'm still getting about 8hours sleep overall, and still waking up in the morning more exhausted than when I went to bed, but being awake in the middle of the night is frustrating. Is this my hormones attempting to reset?

Our bedroom is totally black and completely quiet, my husband is sound asleep next to me, and we switch off the breaker to our bedroom at night and the wifi in the house to cut down on EMFs. I can't figure out what is waking me. And why EXACTLY 3am? Every. Single. Night?

#2 GFChris

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 03:53 PM

Funny, this is one of the reasons why I went on Whole30 (now 4 days in), because I wake up between 2 and 3 am every night, and I'd like to be able to sleep through the night. :)

Are you drinking any caffeine after noon? Are you stopping to eat at least 2 hours before you go to bed?

Interested to hear what others have to say.
~Chris

#3 Susan W

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:07 PM

I've done 5 W somethings in the past almost 3 years so my first one is a bit of a distant memory. However, I remember the waking up thing got worse before it got better. I chalked it up to hormones resetting and a surge of energy happening. None of those musings helped my attitude, but it did pass.

I also found myself more sensitive to caffein. I was a two cup a day person and went down to one cup and half decaf. I don't know if it was that change that helped or simply time.

"Let food be your medicine" Hippocrates


#4 sahmomto2

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:04 PM

Caffeine is a migraine trigger for me, so I haven't had any for, oh, maybe 20 years :-). As much as I loved coffee, it wasn't worth the migraines. No chocolate, either :-(

I ate about three hours before bedtime last night. Most days my last meal is 4-5 hours before bed. I think I'll try an unsweetened chamomile tea this evening and see whether it helps and whether it awakens snack cravings. I'm thinking it's probably hormones resetting. I would be very happy if it is, if it means I'll stop waking up more tired than when I went to bed.

#5 smurphy

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:52 PM

I'm having this very same problem. I drink one small cup of coffee around 7am and that's it. This started around Day 20 for me (I'm on Day 31 of a Whole 50). I wake up around 3am every morning and it takes me an hour or so to fall asleep. I have no idea what could be causing me to wake up, but it's been going on for over 10 days now and it's really starting to wear on me. I'm feeling too tired to workout some days and it's becoming really difficult to concentrate and keep up with the kiddos.

If anyone has found anything that worked for them, please let me know your secret. I thought this Whole 30 (or Whole 50, in my case) would help me sleep better, not worse.

#6 calee

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 10:35 PM

I'm on day 32 and I just started waking a 3am. I read somewhere that the liver detoxes at 3am. I wonder if that's true?
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#7 sahmomto2

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:30 PM

Did it again this morning. Thought maybe if I called its bluff, it would stop :-)

Calee, I've read many of your posts on other threads, so have vicariously followed your journey. Knowing that you're experiencing the same thing is reassuring. Any idea where I could get more info about the liver detoxing at 3am? I binged it, and nothing came up.

#8 Susan W

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:42 PM

Have you guys tried magnesium? Natural calm makes an unflavored one that is compliant and there is also one in pill form by Now Foods that Amy S takes. I forget why she takes that one over Natural Calm.

"Let food be your medicine" Hippocrates


#9 sahmomto2

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:48 PM

I used to take magnesium citrate, but switched to magnesium oil because I was told that it would be better absorbed into my blood stream. It reduces the frequency and severity of my migraines, but hasn't seemed to have any effect on my sleep. Does Natural Calm affect the body differently? What is in it besides the magnesium?

#10 calee

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:51 PM

This is what I found about cleansing:

Traditional Chinese Medicine meridian cycles 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the body cycles through twelve 2 hours cycles every day and night during which each meridian organ system becomes most active. So that for that particular organ system it is high tide.

The cycle can be regarded as running from 3 am when Liver time concludes and the body's energies turn outward in readying the body for the day by cleansing the lungs and the large intestine. Then, from 3 pm onward the energies flow back in to restore and maintain the body during rest and sleep. 

The meridians and their peak functioning times are itemised in the table below. This understanding has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to schedule therapies such as acupuncture at the most appropriate times. 

 

Time

Meridian Function
1:00 - 3:00 am

Liver
The liver gets down to the work of apportioning the day's nutrients and detoxifying the day's toxin load. Deep resting and dreaming also occurs during this time and it is the worst time to eat as the Small Intestine meridian is at its lowest ebb. Anger, frustration and rage reach a peak.

3:00 - 5:00 am 

Lung
The respiratory tract, lungs and sinuses are cleansed and maintained. Gentle breathing occurs and sleep becomes shallower in preparation for waking. Grief and sadness may be experienced at this time.

5:00 - 7:00 am

Large Intestine
The large intestine packs the stool for excretion ideally at 7 am so it is important to allow time for elimination in the early morming. Drinking water and avoiding caffeine during this time helps promote defecation. Guilt and defensiveness may occur at this time. 

7:00 - 9:00 am

Stomach
The peak time of the day for digestion. For this reason TCM advocates suggest having the main meal including protein at breakfast. The emotions of disgust and despair may be experienced at this time.

9:00 - 11:00 am

Spleen
Said to be the most important digestive organ in TCM, the Spleen meridian directs the processes of digestion, transforming foods into Chi and blood. The Spleen also governs the immune system and allergies may be most pronounced at this time. This time window is good for thinking and working, although jealousy, worry and low self-esteem may also be experienced. 

11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Heart
Palpitations may be noticed during this time and the majority of heart attacks are said to occur during the late morning. This is not a time to place the heart under additional stress by exercising or being exposed to excessive heat. A good time for meeting, talking and eating, although joy and sadness may also occur. 

1:00 - 3:00 pm

Small Intestine
The small intestine is busy digesting lunch and this may be the time when symptoms such as indigestion, abdominal pain and bloating most occur. This time window is good for sorting and organising, although insecurity, vulnerability and abandonment may also be experienced.

3:00 - 5:00 pm

Bladder
The Bladder meridian is associated with the skin and skin irritations and eczema may be noticed during this time. Many people may feel tired and want a nap mid-afternoon and a salty snack such as a bowl of miso soup is said to strengthen the Bladder meridian. Good for storing and reserving, although this time may be associated with timidity.

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Kidney
Tiredness may carry over from Bladder time if the adrenals are depleted (also governed by the Kidney meridian). However, if the adrenals are strong, there may be a second wind of energy. Good for driving and consolidating, although fear and terror may reach a peak. 

7:00 - 9:00 pm

Circulation-Sex
This meridian governs the master glands and reproductive organs. If depleted, low back pain may result arising from the kidneys. Good for socialising, flirting and sex. Negative aspects include being unresponsive and unable to express emotions, feeling hurt, or extremes of joy. 

9:00 - 11:00 pm

Triple Warmer
The Triple Warmer meridian governs the endocrine system and the blood vessels. Headaches or feeling tired and weak during this time may indicate significant arterial repair taking place. Good for relaxing, although may be associated with feelings of hopelessness, confusion, and paranoia. 

11:00 pm - 1:00 am

Gall Bladder
This meridian is associated with regeneration and sleep which is why we are told that the hours before midnight are important! If restless during this time, this indicates that the gallbladder and liver are overwhelmed and the toxins remaining in circulation are acting as an irritant to the brain. Emotions associated with this time window include bitterness and resentment. 

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#11 furbabyvet

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 11:53 PM

Did it again this morning. Thought maybe if I called its bluff, it would stop :-)

Calee, I've read many of your posts on other threads, so have vicariously followed your journey. Knowing that you're experiencing the same thing is reassuring. Any idea where I could get more info about the liver detoxing at 3am? I binged it, and nothing came up.




In traditional Chinese medicine, the meridian clock has liver from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and lung from 3 am to 5 am. Liver is implicated with any kind of stress, anger, and frustration. Read this page, especially the last 4 paragraphs for more details about the liver in TCM. http://www.yinyanghouse.com/practitioner_members/general-acupuncture/my-liver-what

#12 smurphy

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 01:21 AM

I googled some stuff about the liver detoxifying/regenerating around 3am too. Here's the first link that pops up:

http://www.rejuvinst...am#.UavueMu9KK0

I've tried magnesium, and it didn't work for me. The magnesium just helped me fall asleep easier; it didn't help me stay asleep. I'm still waking up at 3am. The article mentions a home remedy at the end, but it's not Whole 30 compliant...except for the sea Himalayan salt.

#13 sahmomto2

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:10 AM

Wow! Thanks, everyone! Something else to research...

I wonder whether a banana with a pinch of salt would be helpful? It would be high in potassium and sorta high in glucose?

#14 AmyS

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:53 AM

Have you guys tried magnesium? Natural calm makes an unflavored one that is compliant and there is also one in pill form by Now Foods that Amy S takes. I forget why she takes that one over Natural Calm.

I used to take magnesium citrate, but switched to magnesium oil because I was told that it would be better absorbed into my blood stream. It reduces the frequency and severity of my migraines, but hasn't seemed to have any effect on my sleep. Does Natural Calm affect the body differently? What is in it besides the magnesium?


I take magnesium chelate, this particular one: http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I take magnesium for blood pressure, and so I chose the kind (and formulation) that the magnesium-for-high-blood-pressure book said works best for that. Also, it reduces the, err, digestive effects of larger doses of some other kinds. I also take baths in magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) on occasion.

Since I take it for blood pressure rather than sleep issues, I don't have anything particular to report about how it helps me stay asleep. I've been a nightwaker all of my life. I do find that in general, when eating Whole30 (and possibly with magnesium), I sleep somewhat better and wake better rested. I do have the occasional experience of waking up having slept more than a few hours straight, and it's infrequent enough that I'm always shocked.

All of that said, I do think that once 3:00 a.m. hits, if I wake up and I know I have to get up at 5:30, basically my day has begun. There's just not much I can do about that. If I wake up at 3:00 and I don't have to get up at any particular time of the morning, I can usually get back to sleep. So there's definitely an aspect of this that has to do with what time I have to get out of bed and start the day. Sometimes this happens to me even if I wake up at 2:00. I'm just done sleeping for the night if my day has to start at 5:30. Too much pressure!!! :lol: This morning I was absolutely astonished that after being awake from 1:46 (I checked) until whenever, I fell back asleep and woke up after it was light out. That was a good night.

So - magnesium has been awesome for my blood pressure. My sleep, however, has a mind of its own.

#15 Susan W

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:34 AM

Thank you Amy. That is the one I was thinking of. I am the same..anything after 3 is okay if it happens. Not ideal but I can survive it without homicide involved.

"Let food be your medicine" Hippocrates


#16 Kirsteen

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 07:53 AM

Having ME, sleep problems are very common. As well as magnesium I take timed release Melatonin at night. I don't always sleep through, especially now when it's so hot but it really does help.



#17 smurphy

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

Well, prior to starting my Whole 50, I could sleep all night without waking up once.  And I've always been able to sleep 8-9 hours per night.  Sleep was never an issue for me.

 

But around day 20, I started waking up at the exact same time every night (3am).  Since I've only changed what I eat, I can only assume that what I'm eating is what's affecting my sleep (or maybe my hormones).  I may have to try eating a banana with some salt before I go to bed tonight and see if the potassium and glucose from that will help me stay asleep.  

 

I will report back with my findings because this is driving me bonkers.  I take my sleep VERY seriously, because without it, I can't function. 

 

Thanks everyone for the tips, and thanks to @sahmomto2 for bringing this up.  I thought it was just me.  :)



#18 Susan W

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

Smurphy, great idea on the banana. Let us know. I think you should try it consistantly for a week to really get a good read on it.

"Let food be your medicine" Hippocrates


#19 smurphy

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 04:54 PM

@Susan -- I can't take credit for the banana idea, sahmomto2 mentioned it in a preivious post.  

 

I could try it for a week, but it will be hard...I don't really like bananas.   :unsure:



#20 Susan W

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:00 PM

Lol..I must have missed the banana post. I dont like them either. I would do it to get more than 6 hours of sleep.

"Let food be your medicine" Hippocrates





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