Extreme Fatigue & Sleep Cycle Question

anewlifeat40
anewlifeat40 Posts: 179 Member
Hey... About 6 weeks in to eating LCHF I started struggling with extreme fatigue in the afternoons and evenings. I've always been a night owl who sleeps in late... now I can barely stay awake after 4 PM and sleep hard till about 6:30-7 AM and then can't go back to sleep... Someone on instagram said this is a sign of keto adaption... Ideally I'd like to sleep from around midnight to about 9 AM... Are there any tweaks I can make to my macros to adjust my sleep cycles to fit my life better?

Replies

  • Sunny_Bunny_
    Sunny_Bunny_ Posts: 7,141 Member
    Maybe. Making sure you go very very low carb for breakfast, few carbs at lunch and dinner is more forgiving and the insulin release afterward could help bring in sleepy time.

    But you're describing low electrolytes

    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10358179/keto-flu-dizzy-weak-tired-headaches-cramping-muscles-electrolyte-imbalance-may-be-your-problem#latest
  • CeliaSea
    CeliaSea Posts: 51 Member
    I've noticed this, too. (Only I'm asleep around 930-10 and wide awake at 3 or 4AM.) I didn't even think about tweaking my macros...that's a great idea. For now, I've been having some success with melatonin and magnesium supplements. On days I take them, I can stretch my wake up time to about 530ish.
  • auntstephie321
    auntstephie321 Posts: 3,586 Member
    It passed for me, though I wasn't falling asleep early, that sounds like low sodium to me. But I was having trouble getting to sleep and waking up really early, right around the six week mark it was kinda cool for me cuz I'd love to be an early waker but I don't seem to be wired that way. It only lasted a coupke weeks though, magnesium did help
  • anewlifeat40
    anewlifeat40 Posts: 179 Member
    I think I'm good on the electrolytes. I can really tell when I'm starting to lag, and I'm not having any of the usual symptoms. I was using the active NUUN tablets to supplement my mag/cal, potassium and sodium and within a couple days I was retaining water so bad I had to cut back... I tend to eat a pretty high sodium diet with my foods, I easily average around 3500 mg of sodium from the food I'm tracking, and that's not even counting the sea salt I add to foods a few times a day or the electrolyte lemonade I make a few times a week.

    I'll play around with when I'm eating my carbs. I've been trying to spread them out evenly so I'm having around 10 net carbs 3x/day. I'm doing 16/8 IF (other than today, woke up starving and had to eat in the morning) so generally I have lunch at noon, a snack around 3, then dinner at 6 PM, maybe another small snack if I feel like I need it before 8 PM, then nothing but water till noon the next day.

    Another thought I had too is maybe I'm low on iron. I haven't take my supplement in awhile... Need to set a reminder in my phone. I'm TERRIBLE with remembering to take it.
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
    I think I'm good on the electrolytes. I can really tell when I'm starting to lag, and I'm not having any of the usual symptoms. I was using the active NUUN tablets to supplement my mag/cal, potassium and sodium and within a couple days I was retaining water so bad I had to cut back... I tend to eat a pretty high sodium diet with my foods, I easily average around 3500 mg of sodium from the food I'm tracking, and that's not even counting the sea salt I add to foods a few times a day or the electrolyte lemonade I make a few times a week.

    @anewlifeat40 ...I hate to tell you this but 3500mg/sodium per day is really close to the bare minimum here when following a LCHF WOE. So I reiterate what so many others on this thread have already said: your electrolytes are still out of balance!
  • Phrick
    Phrick Posts: 2,765 Member
    ladipoet wrote: »
    I think I'm good on the electrolytes. I can really tell when I'm starting to lag, and I'm not having any of the usual symptoms. I was using the active NUUN tablets to supplement my mag/cal, potassium and sodium and within a couple days I was retaining water so bad I had to cut back... I tend to eat a pretty high sodium diet with my foods, I easily average around 3500 mg of sodium from the food I'm tracking, and that's not even counting the sea salt I add to foods a few times a day or the electrolyte lemonade I make a few times a week.

    @anewlifeat40 ...I hate to tell you this but 3500mg/sodium per day is really close to the bare minimum here when following a LCHF WOE. So I reiterate what so many others on this thread have already said: your electrolytes are still out of balance!

    I'd also like to toss out a "what can it hurt to up it even more for 2-4 days and see if it does help?" You can always back off again if it doesn't, but it is such a simple fix if it is the problem I fail to see why you wouldn't try it.
  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    I think I'm good on the electrolytes. I can really tell when I'm starting to lag, and I'm not having any of the usual symptoms. I was using the active NUUN tablets to supplement my mag/cal, potassium and sodium and within a couple days I was retaining water so bad I had to cut back... I tend to eat a pretty high sodium diet with my foods, I easily average around 3500 mg of sodium from the food I'm tracking, and that's not even counting the sea salt I add to foods a few times a day or the electrolyte lemonade I make a few times a week.

    I'll play around with when I'm eating my carbs. I've been trying to spread them out evenly so I'm having around 10 net carbs 3x/day. I'm doing 16/8 IF (other than today, woke up starving and had to eat in the morning) so generally I have lunch at noon, a snack around 3, then dinner at 6 PM, maybe another small snack if I feel like I need it before 8 PM, then nothing but water till noon the next day.

    Another thought I had too is maybe I'm low on iron. I haven't take my supplement in awhile... Need to set a reminder in my phone. I'm TERRIBLE with remembering to take it.

    @anewlifeat40 - About Iron, if you do not have awesome levels of stomach acid, you will not break down iron to be able to absorb it - whether from your food or in a supplement. Most folks don't actually need a supplement, but rather most folks need to repair and treat underlying gut issues that start from a huge number of metabolic situations.

    Specifically about Melatonin - Melatonin is the natural hormone that helps us fall asleep. L-Theanine is what helps you to STAY asleep. Some supplements have both in them, or you can get them separately. Personally, my body doesn't respond to melatonin much, so I've been using light therapy and supplement timing to help with this.

    I wrote it all out somewhere, but essentially, it's bright light/daylight for at least 5 minutes as soon as you wake up (usually 6-7 am in most "time" examples), D3/K2 supplements, etc. Then, you do that again at 2-3 pm - bright sunlight for at least 15 minutes, additional supplements, if you do that. Both of these naturally raise your cortisol, and as cortisol tapers out naturally, melatonin starts to ramp up, so around 9-10 pm, when you first get drowsy, you should take any nighttime meds and go to sleep. If you stay up at all to the point where you've gotten a "second wind," you're messing with your natural sleep hormone system.

    Doing this, adding strategically timed supplements, using a sleep cycle phone app that you place your phone on the bed beside you that uses movement to determine your lightest sleep, and wakes you any time in that light sleep in the 30 minutes before the "HARD" set alarm. It wakes you up when you're easiest to wake without any lingering grogginess and such. It helps so much. I generally set my alarm time (preferred rise time) in the middle of that 30 minute window, so it can't wake me TOO EARLY or TOO LATE... I use a specific piece of meditation music to clear my mind and help me to fall asleep, and if I wake and am restless, I use it to put me back to sleep. I don't use it for ANYTHING ELSE. I have a blue light filter on my phone, and I try not to watch TV for the last hour or so before I go to bed...

    On the carb split thing, a diabetes instructor said for best glucose response (for all folks, not just T1 or T2, pre, etc.), the carbs should be 1:2:3. Split your carb count in 6 parts - get roughly 1/6 at breakfast/first meal, 1/3 at lunch/second meal, and the remaining 1/2 at dinner/last meal. So if this was 60 carbs, that would be 10 for breakfast, 20 for lunch, 30 for dinner.... At 30 carbs (yes, using easy numbers for examples!), it would be 5, 10, 15 respectively... Just for an idea. Also, if you are going to have something carby you wouldn't normally have with sugars, extra starches, and/or grains, your insulin will handle it best at night. I liken it to a panic-driven response. In the morning, insulin is excitable, "OMG, we only have this much to use, but that's a lot of sugar, OMG, we better use it all!!!!" and this creates an unstable insulin and glucose cycle that can throw off one's whole day...

    Another thing to note is that sleep is insanely critical to glucose and insulin control. Even missing 30-60 minutes of sleep (over your necessary level, whether 7-10 hours) each night over the course of 3-4 days can CREATE A SITUATION OF INSULIN RESISTANCE. So if you weren't already there, a few nights of bad sleep, and your insulin is going to turn in to Mr./Ms. Spazz reactions... So working to get sleep under control is definitely important. And sleeping medications (not supplements, but meds like Ambien and such) actually impact and reduce the quality of sleep one gets. So they should be a last resort only. I can tell you personally that improving the quality of my sleep (I went from an average of 60-70% quality - per my trackers - to 85-95% quality) has helped dramatically, even though I'm still not getting the amount I'd like.

    And of course, the standard warnings - no caffeine, vitamin D, stimulants (unless ADD, but that's a different discussion), MCT/XCT oil, etc. after 2 pm for most folks aiming for bed at 10 pm. Using some of the biohacking things above, and additional supplements like 5-htp and GABA to help with sleep (per Dave Asprey and others) can really make a difference for most of us... Don't give up trying to improve things...it will come with time! (HUGS)
  • CeliaSea
    CeliaSea Posts: 51 Member
    KnitOrMiss wrote: »
    L-Theanine is what helps you to STAY asleep.

    This is very helpful information, @KnitOrMiss! Thank you. I'm going to pick up some L-Theanine this week.

    Reading through this thread, I've realized that my sodium intake is WAY too low. I set my target at 1500mg (the current AHA guideline) and usually end up in the 2000-2300mg range each day. I had an insane headache last night that pain reliever was having zero effect on, so I drank a large mug of bouillon. Twenty minutes later - BOOM - headache gone. So, the question is, how can I add more salt on a daily basis? I can't have processed meats (migraine trigger) and there's only so much cheese/nuts a gal can eat. Maybe pickles and olives? I currently take these supplements, but the levels are so low that I'm not sure they're doing much for me.

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    PS - Sorry for hijacking your thread, @anewlifeat40 ...I know you're off camping right now, so I hope you don't mind! <3

  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    edited August 2016
    Overall, those are okay for a normal type of supplement, @CeliaSea , but you need far more magnesium and sodium than are here. They make sodium pills (CMC is a brand on amazon and some pharmacies), you can put salt into your own capsules, you can just swallow pink himalayan or other sea salt crystals like "pills," or you can salt the heck out of your food... Many folks do the pickle/olive/cheese/salt thing. Bouillion is fabulous. A dash of salt in the coffee or hot beverage of choice can heighten flavors, etc. I'm sure you have your magnesium situation on lockdown, already, right?
  • CeliaSea
    CeliaSea Posts: 51 Member
    KnitOrMiss wrote: »
    I'm sure you have your magnesium situation on lockdown, already, right?

    I do. At least I think I do. I've taken a separate 500mg magnesium supplement every night for years (for leg cramps/restlessness). Do you think 500mg/day is enough or do I need more than that on LCHF?

    I'm not crazy about overly-salty main dishes, but I do like pickles/olives, and I love the idea of just swallowing crystals. I've been meaning to pick up some pink Himalayan anyway, so this is a perfect excuse. And I'll definitely try a dash in my coffee!
  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    the 500 mg magnesium really depends on form and your tolerance to it. @Sunny_Bunny_ is great at explaining how to find your therapeutic dose... If it's oxide, it's probably not enough, as that form is terribly absorbed. If it's citrate (chelated), gylcinate (again, chelated), etc. - most of the -ate forms are good...

    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/2078-bulletproof-magnesium-thread/

    This explains most of the forms pretty well...