Does the insomnia go away on its own?

(Laura) #1

I am 4 weeks in and finding Keto gives me insomnia. I fall asleep fine, but always wake 2-3 hours too early and can’t get back to sleep.

I have good sleep hygiene and haven’t had insomnia problems before this.

The only thing that sort of helped was a pill with valerian and sustained-release melatonin. But the melatonin was 10 mg, and I think that was too much. It left me tired, groggy and dizzy. I didn’t like the thought of 10 mg melatonin every night.

I now take a 2 mg sustained-release melatonin, but am still waking too early.

I do not generally use melatonin, or any sleep aid, before this.

I also take magnesium in the evening now, and electrolytes in the morning.

If this insomnia usually goes away on its own, I can be patient and wait it out. When I try to research it, I just get a lot of sleep tips. And the tips are usually geared toward falling asleep, not staying asleep. Or I get ads for pills. But I can’t find information on whether the insomnia goes away on its own. I’m also interested in why keto causes this. I’ve read a couple articles that state in a cursory way that keto inhibits production of melatonin. But okay, is that only a short-term problem? Does the body adjust, which would make sense, or is this because of doing it wrong? And can you really resolve it with melatonin pills or do you need your body to start making its own melatonin?

I don’t think it’s hunger, the other thing online articles point to. I’ve been eating three meals to satiety, and if I feel hungry in between then I eat a little something.

Tell me this goes away??

(Take time to smell the bacon) #2

When I joined the forums four years ago, it was a common joke that people didn’t know what to do with themselves. They would find themselves up early in the morning cleaning house, organising the closets, and so forth.

I do believe that the sensation of extra energy does die down after a while, but it’s such an individual phenomenon, it’s hard to get too specific about how things are likely to work for you. The question to ask is how you are feeling. If you are waking refreshed and energetic, then I wouldn’t worry about the extra energy. You don’t need a specific number of hours of sleep, you need for the amount of sleep you are getting to restore and refresh you.

If, on the other hand, you are waking but still feel the need of more sleep, there are a couple of strategies to try, such as a power nap later in the day, watching caffeine intake, and so forth. Make sure you are breathing well (I am an asthmatic, and when my allergies are acting up, I find it difficult to sleep). That sort of thing.

(Laura) #3

I’m waking tired and still needing more sleep and tired and cranky during the day. Poor mental function. Serious eye-twitching!

I don’t think my magnesium supplement has been very good, so I just ordered a better one. Also ordered a cortisone regulator supplement.

When I did put on very sudden weight a couple months ago, a toxic bully within my career had just given me tons of trouble and hijacked my life. The person still hangs over my life like a threat until at least December. So I wonder whether the culprit here is cortisol.


Yes, waking up at 2-3, when still very tired is typical of cortisol. its hard when the bully is around until december, but my greatest tip to try to quiet the reptile brain, and destress, is accept and accept! pushing back, and struggeling to do better, only somehow makes the stress worse.

Or you could just kill him and bury the body…

(Ohio ) #5

There’s a belief among some ppl that the more elevated ketone levels are, the less time you need to go through all levels of sleep.

Ultra marathon runners that take 1-2 minute naps during the race often think they have been passed out for hours.

Today I slept from 9p-1am and felt like I slept 10 hours. Full REM sleep.

So take what you want from this. Maybe your body is making some kind of adjustment that there’s no science on yet.

My unpopular trick for solid sleep under fat adaption is a rice cake completely coated in grass fed butter.

Also a brisk walk-the-dog and/or 4 breaths a minute knock me right back out.

(Bob M) #6

Rice cake? That takes me back to my Pritikin (very low fat) diet. I think a coating of butter would help those. :wink:

Reminds me that I have a cortisol test at home…I just need to prick myself for blood and send it away. Unfortunately, it’d be the only test I’d have. When you have one value, it’s difficult to know what to do with that info.

(Laurie) #7

Hmm. After I began keto a year ago, I was waking up at 3 and 4 in the morning, every day. It lasted for a few months; I sleep at “normal” times now.

I never made the connection with keto, but who knows? I coped by going to bed at 6 or 7 pm.

Good luck sorting this out!

(Take time to smell the bacon) #8

A friend will help you move; a real friend will help you move a body . . . :grin:


The insomnia never went away for me and I’m about 16 months into my keto journey. For a long time I just went with it but I got realistic about the negative effects in the past month or so. I was really starting to feel generally crummy, plus wired and tired at the same time. My fitibit tracks sleep and it was pretty clear I had to make a change.

I’m back to using melatonin - I’m generally taking 6mg per night but would like to get down to much less, ideally none. I’m also taking Magnesium Threonate which is supposed to be the best for crossing the blood brain barrier as well as 200mg Theanine.

The first several episodes of the Huberman Lab podcast were all about sleep. He suggests the Mag Threonate + Theanine + Apigenin (Chamomile extract that is sold out everywhere) - he says to avoid melatonin but so far I have needed it.

I think keto might tilt our axis towards more adrenaline/activated/edgy which can feel good for a while but lack of sleep can catch up to us. Some people target getting their allotment of carbs in the evening and find this helps. I have been pretty militant about my carb counts but at some point I might allow for a bowl of berries close to bedtime to see if this could help.

(UsedToBeT2D) #10

I feel so good on keto, that i have found that I require 2 hours less sleep every night after 2 years Keto.

(Joey) #11

+1 to burying the body.

Lower risk alternative: Relegate the bully to his proper place in your life… which is not in your bed, most especially not during the wee hours.

For me, although it takes focus and patience, I’ve found that on those occasions in which I’m obsessing about some relationship issues - when I should be sound asleep - that meditation eventually does the trick.

Your own comfort with meditation methods will dictate which is most effective and appropriate for you. If you’re religious, consider a faith-oriented focus.

I’m not, so for me it comes down to focusing on my breathing, slow and deliberate. Also doing a “body scan” where I slowly concentrate intently on small successive areas of my body from toes to head.

The key is to give yourself something to focus your attention on besides the bully - or any other stressor that invades your bedroom.

Best wishes and keep us posted :vulcan_salute:

(UsedToBeT2D) #12

Stress is a serious contributor for me. Once I learned to leave work at work, I sleep much better. The worst they can do is fire me…but I’m too valuable…and I can find another job (so I tell myself).

(Ohio ) #13

I’ve been there. Lots of jobs out there. Signing bonuses.

(Bob M) #14

Let us know if you try this and if it helps.

Any idea on what the theory behind this might be?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #15

(Joey) #16

Sounds counterintuitive to me. If most people find that carbs provide an energy boost, why would one want to eat fructose near bedtime? :upside_down_face:

(Bob M) #17

Might be like this, though I’d like to see a low carb version:

(Take time to smell the bacon) #18

Doesn’t seem to work for me, but I haven’t explored it rigorously.


Andrew Huberman the Stanford Neurologist cited above does this and a couple fitness types I follow have said the same. Basically they stay fasted to zero carb during the day for maximum focus but find that the PM carbs help them relax and go into sleep mode.

Remember food comas? I haven’t been in a “food coma” since I gave up carbs. Carbs supposedly help produce serotonin too - while serotonin comes from an amino acid that amino acid (tryptophan) has to compete with others and somehow in the presence of carbs tryptophan has a better chance to get where it needs to go.


Where did you get the cortisol test? I often wake up very “stressed” worried that I am already behind on work emails or whatever. Plus I get high morning glucose. Pretty sure my cortisol is high.