Keto Messing with My Sleep


So the last few days I have been sleeping really well. Barely got up, was able to sleep in the morning which is something I have always done, I am a night person and I like it that way. However, while I was not cheating, between all the supplements I have been taking for some aches and pains and the extra nuts I have been snacking on I suspected I was not in ketosis. Yesterday I skipped lunch unintentionally and started what is now a 40 hour fast. Last night my sleep went back to how it is on keto/fasting. I woke up several times to use the facilities and this morning woke up an hour earlier than usual and could not go back to sleep (no matter how much I wanted to). I do not feel refreshed but I do feel alert. On the flip side I usually fall asleep earlier than usual with keto.

I have always had a bit of a delayed circadian issue but I like it and am used to it. When on keto it seems to fix it? Is that possible?

Sleep Requirements Before and After Keto
(David Driver) #2

I am going to have to give up on Keto. I have had insomnia for almost a year and I discovered that when I cheat I sleep all night. This week I have bumped up the carbs significantly and I have slept all the way through every night. If you google low carb and insomnia you will find that it is fairly common.


Perhaps that is why my insomnia has been so bad recently. Only slept 4 hours last night. However, if I eat more than 20 grams carbs I immediately put on 1 or 2 lbs over night which is a no no for me,

(David Driver) #4

I have picked up the carbs and I have added back three pounds in the last few days. I guess I am just going to have to find some sort of balance because I can’t go another year only sleeping three or four hours a night.

(Ethan) #5

Try taking melatonin at night.

(David Driver) #6

That is a good suggestion, and I have used it in the past, but I don’t have a problem getting to sleep. I fall right out at the same time every night. I don’t stay asleep but for two to four hours. Then I wake up uide awake, heart racing, and anxious. That is a very common pattern for people leaving sleep problems because they are too low carb. One theory is that even though the liver produces glucose to run the brain that glucose isn’t getting converted to serotonin. This is the sleep pattern of a serotonin deprived person too.

(Ethan) #7

This rat study seems to suggest something similar:

(Allie) #8

ZMA for helping with sleep

(Jessika Nilsson) #9

I’ve had issues once or twice with waking up and my heart was pounding really bad, usually after alcohol though so due to electrolytes being awry :open_mouth: I took some magnesium and then some Himalayan salt directly on my tounge and that seemed to calm my heart down pretty quickly :wink:

I think if that doesn’t help that you should look up Healthful pursuit, you might want to do small ‘carb ups’ before sleep to keep the blood sugar at a good level all night through :slight_smile:

I guess the solution depends on whether it’s an electrolyte imbalance or whether it’s the blood glucose crashing…

Edit: Or you’re supposed to be able to try ‘protein ups’ instead as well if you don’t tolerate the carbs at all. I’ve never tried any of the techniques though as I haven’t felt any need for them.


Your sleep pattern sounds exactly like mine. I get to sleep no problem but waken up at 3 or 4 and can’t get back to sleep. This morning it was 2.30, so really tired at the moment. I will be eating some carbs tonight!!
So frustrating when you increase carbs a little, as you have done, and gained 3 lbs. :sleeping:

(David Driver) #11

I did a quick google on ZMA, if the additional carbs don’t get everything leveled out I will defiantly give this a shot. Thanks!


An hour before bed and its great!

(Bacon, Not Stirred) #13

I thought it was just me! Everyone that I’ve spoken to has said that they sleep so much better! Have you tried taking melatonin? I don’t like it, but it does work.

(Edith) #14

I was having something similar but when I wake up at 3AM I also very hungry. Yesterday, I made sure my salt intake was over 4g for the day. I also took 1/4t of salt before bed. I work up at 5AM, and I wasn’t starving.

Of course, that is just one night, but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens tonight on day 2 of my experiment. Maybe it is something similar for you, low electrolytes.


Happened to listen to an old Keto Talk Podcast, has some information about halfway through

Its at about 40 minutes

As usual the answer seems to be eat more fat!

Glad I am not alone. I take Melotonin does not seem to help, if anything I do not need it as much because I am falling asleep earlier

(David Driver) #16 I am in the middle of reading this and I am finding it very interesting.

(Bernardo Fanti) #17

Reposting from my other thread:

I have been doing Keto on and off for quite a while. I combine it with intermittent fasting, usually a 16/8 window but lately doing a 20/4 window.

From about March to just last month, I have been full on strict Keto, <30g carbs/day with no refeeds. Combining fasting with Keto for extended periods, I’d say I’m pretty well fat adapted. I had been having sleeping problems in the past, but lately they seemed to keep getting worse. I wake up a lot in the middle of the night, seem to twitch or toss&turn a lot, needing up to an hour to fall back asleep, just to repeat it again.

Due to a recent injury / surgery, I broke off Keto somewhat involuntarily and abruptly, and the past few days I actually had quite the carb-heavy meals 2-3 hours before bed, which led to the best sleep in months.

So, sounds like I need to experiment with some salt intake, but will definitely keep experimenting with carbs too for now. I’m with OP, I can’t handle the lack of sleep any longer, my training is suffering and my job is incredibly demanding during the week, I can’t afford waking up groggy.

(Bernardo Fanti) #18

Btw, the feeling you describe is exactly my symptom, too: waking up several times in the middle of the night with a feeling of anxiety, slightly elevated HR, twitchy muscles.

Btw, I have tried all the following 30-60 minutes before bed, with minimal success:

  • Magnesium
  • ZMA
  • Melatonin
  • 10-20g of Fish Oil
  • NAC
  • 5-HTP


I’ve been going through this middle of the night waking for a few years now, way pre-keto. I thought it was menopause, but I guess if guys here have it too, maybe it’s something else lol.

I’ve also tried all of the above. The only thing that works for me is either 1) popping a half a benadryl when I wake up so I can get back to sleep; or 2) working out just before bed. That helps me sleep through the night. Trying to get off the benadryl, so I’ll be watching this thread for other ideas.

As an interesting side note, there’s a podcast about American History called Back Story and they did an episode on sleep. Apparently back in the 1700s or so there was this concept called “second sleep.” When you woke up at 3am, you either — as the show put it — made love or snuck out to steal your neighbor’s apples. Then you went back to your second sleep.

The historians claim this whole “8 solid hours of sleep” came after the industrial revolution with its electric lights and factory work hours.


When I am in deep ketosis I feel like my body is working very hard. I have taken all the recommended supplements etc, and while some help (especially electrolytes) I always feel like I just got finished with a light jog. I always figured it would pass but it didn’t. Ultimately, I think it’s worth it but not constantly. I try to hover around 1-mmol/ketones most of the time, using carbs to make the adjustment of course. I also have really restless sleep when in deep ketosis, the exception being when I’m fasting. As bad/odd as it may sound, 1-2 glasses of wine in the evening helps a lot. I sleep way better and the general keto symptoms are reduced (presumably because of the carbs?).

My current thinking on the subject, for me being in deep ketosis requires careful monitoring of hydration and electrolytes. To the point where a lot more trial and error is needed. But I’d love to hear what others think.