Sleeping Problems on carnivore

(Machiavelli ) #1

Hi I’ve been on carnivore for about a month, and I’m pretty sure I’m fat adapted. I transitioned from a paleo type of diet. All my minor health problems went away except for sleep, it got wrecked. For some reason it became harder to fall asleep, I feel tired at the end of the day but as soon as I try to sleep I take way longer to fall asleep, like my body is just too wired up and active kind of thing and I keep waking up in the middle of the night multiple times. I do notice I still feel better with “bad sleep” on carnivore vs bad sleep on the SAD diet. However I just don’t feel as well rested compared to when I was on paleo. I’ve done a tiny bit of research on this on youtube, and a lot of people are saying its because of the connection between carbs and tryptophan, and magnesium intake. I went full carnivore and didn’t eat any carbs or take any magnesium for a month, when I was on paleo I did take magnesim citrate though. My routines and bedtime habits haven’t changed, I get plenty of sunlight during the day, exercise, and starting at dusk I turn on blue light filters and dim the screens. Anybody have any recommendations? I’m just worried I can’t sustain this diet because I really value my sleep


Make sure you’re not eating to close to bed, proteins take longer to be metabolized than other foods. If you need the mag, take it but you may want to switch to a more bioavailable one than citrate unless its to keep everything moving… citrate is great for that.

Assuming you’re referring to your Vit D levels… no, you don’t. Nobody living a normal modern life get’s enough unless you’re pastey white and work outdoors with barely any cloths on. Or possibly if your next door neighbor is the equator.

Quality sleep comes right after oxygen and food. If you can’t resolve it soon, change whatever you gotta change. Skipping a dinner should be enough to test whether you’re eating too late for your diet or not assuming you’re eating multiple meals a day and not doing OMAD or a compressed eating window.


There seems to be varied reasons as to why this happens. I’m sure those who are carnivore will chime in soon.

However, I can tell you my experience.

Earlier on in my keto journey, I was definitely closer to carnivore, although not fully. I was/am also OMAD.

During that time, I definitely experienced sleep problems, especially with falling asleep. It really affected me and I think I posted on the forum about it at the time. I tried all the blue light etc recommendations with no success.

I then saw that Thomas Delauer video regarding the cause being not getting enough tryptophan, so I followed his recommendation of eating some keto compliant carbs separately from meals containing proteins.

So I would have a bowl of brocolli in some tomato stew about 1 hour before having my main meal that contained proteins. That solved it immediately.

I did that for a few months and went back to OMAD but now incorporating a good amount of vegetable carbs. Haven’t had the issue since.

From reading about other people’s experiences, some people can’t do carnivore due to this sleep issue while for other people, carnivore has no effect on sleep.

That was my experience but if you want to see how you may be able to solve the issue without going off carnivore…see other responses in the thread.

(Machiavelli ) #4

Thanks for the reply. I’m strongly considering this, if magnesium citrate doesn’t fix my issue, I may have to just add some vegetables back, at this point I can’t really figure it out either, for some people sleep is a hit or miss for them. My only hypothesis is that its all about the adaptation phase.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #5

I’m not sure what that connection could be, because tryptophan is an amino acid and therefore found only in protein, not carbohydrate. While there are a few plant sources of proteins containing tryptophan (otameal, certain fruits, and some nuts and seeds), the most bountiful sources of tryptophan are all animal foods (milk, tuna, poultry, etc.).

I realise this is a carnivore thread, but I have to point out that leafy green vegetables are a good source of magnesium, if you can’t get enough in your meat. A magnesium atom is at the heart of every molecule of chlorophyll. But most carnivores don’t seem to find it necessary to supplement their magnesium, so far as I know.

(Robin) #6

Magnesium helps me. Also Melatonin at he same time each night.

(Machiavelli ) #7

What dosage of melatonin do you use? Time release or regular?

(Robin) #8

(Todd Allen) #9

I struggled with insomnia especially during weight loss phases while keto. The fix for me has been thermal stress before bed. I used to do it by taking an extremely hot bath but now I do a nightly strength training session in my bathroom in which I’ve installed 7 infrared heat lamps.

(Michael) #11

I have had excellent and horrible sleeping schedules during my carnivore stint. Higher fat seems to help me sleep as compared to too much protein (above 3 g/kg bodyweight) which seems to keep me up a bit more. Best sources of magnesium are snails or dark chocolate (non-carnivore) if you are looking for natural sources of Mg.


carnivore 6 yrs and I can say I have sleep issues, but not from this lifestyle. Farmer here, I am up with the sunrise, HOPE to be in bed by sunset but big livestock and breeding and more kept me on call all the time. All the while doing a 9-5 ‘real job’ and then farming on top. So for me my life is ‘3-4-5 hrs sleep’ and my eyes pop open and awake instantly. So for me it is normal to sleep way less. I know many ‘feel they are off’ on their sleep’ but carnivore might show ya what sleep pattern fits one best…also remember when on is newer on carni, there is tons of adaption and healing and more which can easily effect sleep but your body might be showing you a ‘new sleep pattern’ while doing that healing also so???

a month as stated by the OP is nothing when it comes to ‘who you will become’ and one doesn’t have to ‘jump’ on ‘fixing and correcting’ all the transitions and more, sometimes just ‘TIME’ and living the change is what it takes…but hey if a few things might help ya, yea go for it and if it works, cool for that person. I never tried to ‘get more sleep’ :slight_smile:

(Mike Levine) #14

20 March 2023: I too suffered from Insomnia eating a Carnivore diet and my best buddy to insomnia was cramping in my ankles (around the talus bones). An endless cycle for about two weeks. I drank plenty of electrolyte water that would subdue the cramping when it happened but the insomnia continued.

Note, I take plenty of potassium and magnesium supplements.

Then I read an article about calcium, vitamin D, and zinc and how calcium helps with sleep.

Also, I tried melatonin without any improvement.

I now take calcium, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium (in one tablet) and have been sleeping deeply for the past four days. No cramps either. It worked for me. I recommend checking it out.

(Robin) #15

Welcome and good for you! My fix for the cramps was magnesium citrate in a glass of salted water before bed. But insomnia and I have an unhealthy long term relationship. glad you’ve found your solution!