Sleep Requirements Before and After Keto


Prior to starting keto, I required 8-9 hours of sleep each night, in which I had to take sleep aids in order to fall asleep and stay asleep. I also had a difficult time waking up and getting up in the mornings.

Now 6 weeks in to keto WOE, I find that I am only sleeping 6 hours each night. If I go to bed at 9:30, I wake up at 3:30 am and cannot fall back asleep.

Because I typically work out every day, I have a difficult time staying awake past 9:30, but I do not like waking up at 3:30 as its too dark outside and feels like an awkward time to get up.

My question is - Is 6 hours of sleep enough each night? To me and based on my prior sleep requirements it seems like too little sleep. How has keto altered your sleep requirements. Please weigh in.


Here is my commentary

Note I am almost at a year and I am back to my old sleep habits. I am not sure if this is due to not always being in ketosis (I snack on nuts and berries too much) or whether my normal circadian rhythm came back. I have trouble getting up again which is what I have always had and I stay up late to do work or binge watch something

One trick is I keep my iPad (in night mode) by my bed so if I do have trouble going to sleep or waking up during the night I will read some keto book and within a few minutes I will be ready to sleep. I like the science


I woke up at 3:03 this morning and I wished so bad that the 24hr gym that is opening 2 blocks away from would freaking open already! Maybe you could work out in the awkward mornings?

(Jay AM) #4

Eating ketogenic does effect a lot of systems and there is no right for everyone. If you can’t sleep 8 hours, maybe go to bed later to avoid waking up so early or find something productive to do with you early waking up.

My n=1 experience is that, as a usual night shift worker, I’ve started struggling through my night shifts and find it hard to sleep in the day. Which is an obvious problem that I’m hoping goes away.

(Chris W) #5

I was at 7-8 hours before I started, during the time between keto adaption and fat adaption about 6 weeks I really had an issue sleeping. I was not tired, and I would wake up at 430 am and it was like someone slapped me in the face and injected me with cocaine. It seemed to mellow out some about 2 1/2 months in for me. I have lost about an hour of sleep overall now I wake at 6 am, but I am never tired and my sleep seems better. So yes 6 hours of sleep is enough for me and feel way better than before.


If it is any consolation, sleep before midnight is seen as far more restful than sleep after midnight. Cant recall the specific reference for that, but it was from a site dealing with sleep difficulties (not a rubbish site - valid science). Will try and find the link.

Old man just trying to keep breathing
(Jay AM) #7

I found this, this, and this.


I’m about 6 weeks in (can’t remember, but new) and I have the SAME things you’re describing. 3am, wide awake. It sucks.
I’m definitely not as tired as I was before keto, overall. So I think my body is just “done” sometimes so I lay there and meditate and then just get up at 4 and work out. I need to push bedtime later but I’m still ready for bed at the same time every night, so that’s not an option right now. I’m just rolling with it. I drink coffee so that helps me get through the day and I try not to worry about it, hoping it’ll straighten out. It does come and go for me


I’m at almost 2 years keto and I don’t think I’ve seen any difference on how much I sleep.


Great articles.

My preferred sleep method is to fall asleep when the sun sets, but rise when it’s still dark and early when traveling close to the equator. Looks like I’m getting the best sleep by going to bed early.


Ketoteacher… you described me to a T including starting 6 weeks ago.

I find I’m tired during the day. I hope at some point able to sleep a little longer even if it’s just an hour.

I do like going to bed at 9:30 especially after reading the articles posted above.

(Chris) #12

I love it. Used to be an insane night owl, the party doesn’t stop until Dread drops…well now Dread drops at 9ish and is up at 4 every day to lift. I’m okay with that. Forces me to get a lot done in the evenings to prep for a fast exit in the morning, including showering at night. I roll out of bed, throw on my gym clothes, grab my bag and work bag, lunch and I’m out the door (after brushing teeth).


Me, too. I get up at 4 to do my lifting and/or walking and it works fine for me. Those articles are super interesting, Deb, I agree. And I never wake up before 2am, so looks like I’m in good business.

I’m looking forward to both the improved sleep and the lessened hunger. Neither have totally happened for me, although I see glimpses of each. I’m still very hungry for my 3 meals, but it used to be 4 so improvements.

(William Craig Jeane) #14

I’ve found especially during an extended fast that I don’t need as much sleep. I always wake up before the alarm clock and I’ve never done that on a consistent basis before Keto.

(Ellie Baum) #15

Pre keto, I had a hard time keeping my eyes open passed 9:30pm. I think I was sugar crashing. Then at the beginning of keto, I needed way less sleep. Now, about two years in, I can sleep a normal amount in a night. But if I need to stay up late, I can without too much trouble or pain the next day.


My sleep got a lot better temporarily (had trouble falling asleep before) and then reverted partially, but it’s not bad right now. I do take melatonin (0.25 mg) which is over the counter and helps. Melatonin might be good to consider if you haven’t tried it yet

(Raj Seth) #17

Most important question - how do you feel when you wake up? If you are feeling rested and happy - then …
I found that I sleep less on keto, and even less while fasting. However, I feel ab-fab so… I just do something else in my waking hours…

(Allan L) #18

I was like this in the beginning but its regulated a lot more now. Can stay awake later and sleep longer.

Those 3-4am wake ups became a lot easier to deal with once I resigned myself to the fact that I was not getting back to sleep and just got up and got productive. Now they have gone I miss them, getting 90% of your chores done and its still only 7am was actually a good feeling.

(Anthony ) #19

Greetings Ketonians,
Debut post here
Been a Zoner/Blood type dieter for about 20 years…cruising along, fit, lean and healthy but still eating some sugar (chocolate) along with a few other Frankenstein food addictions and then boom! Ive been thrown back into the World of Nutrition and Research into Keto (a lot of great info and research out there nowadays).

Throw away the processed carbs and the buckets of insulin that comes with them and fully grown humans are left with a natural sleep duration of 5.5 to 7.5 hours sleep/night (6.5 average) (Feels that way with my switch to a Keto-ish diet in last few weeks.)
This recent Sleep research on three modern day Hunter Gatherer tribes in Africa and South America (tabulating 1000 days of sleep for 90+ individuals) shows they can sleep as much as they want, and the number of hours sleep on average over a year ends up being…
6.5 hours - with changes in Winter (7 hrs plus) and in Summer (less than 6). No word for sleep apnea in their languages; they sleep well. They wake up naturally before sunrise and go to sleep a few hours after sunset.
The study can be found online on numerous websites, here is one:



I read somewhere that the primary purpose of sleep is to recharge our brain. Given that Keto provides more fuel to the brain leading to increased mental clarity, our brains are less fatigued going into the sleep cycle, and are more easily replenished by our higher level of ketones already present.

My sleep requirements are down by at least two hours, and I’ve used the additional time to establish quite the luxurious and decadent morning routine. I walk around all smug in the knowledge that, while ordinary mortals are constrained to live in a 24 hour day, I effectively have 28 hours (OMAD and Waze gave me 2 more hours).