Waking up at 3 am everyday


I’ve started keto on 1st of September, so it’s almost a month.
After really rough first weeks I slowly start feeling better. I don’t have this energy and mind clarity everyone’s talking about, but at least I don’t suffer with reactive hypoglycemia anymore.
But almost EVERYDAY I wake up around 3 a.m. and I just can’t fall asleep. I have to take melatonin at the middle of a night to fall asleep.
It started happening just after first 2 days on this diet and continues to happen since.
I used to have issues with my cortisol level being high - I used to wake up with my heart racing at 3 a.m. and I really struggled to get rid of it. For some time now I haven’t got any problems with my sleep, and now again…
Not sure what to do! Is it possible this diet elevates my cortisol?

(Luc) #2

I had the same problem with my sleeping patterns when I started Keto. The first few weeks were miserable and then it progressively got better. It took about 10 weeks for my sleeping pattern to get back to normal, as in sleep soundly through the night. Hang in there and give it more time. Your body is under a lot of stress until you become fat adapted so it’s possible that your cortisol levels are higher.

(Chris) #3

I made a decision to just start my day at 3. Usually in bed and asleep by 10 now, for the past year and a half.

("Don't call it calories, call it food") #4

Do you drink alcohol? It can interfere with glucagon and cause you to wake up hungry (from what I understand)


No, I don’t. I’m also not hungry when I wake up - I’m just completely awake and unable to fall asleep. And because I need 8 hours of sleep it’s really hard :frowning:

(Amy) #6

I’m just 2.5 weeks in and having the same problem. The only thing I’ve found to be helpful is mixing up a batch of Calm magnesium water before bed, drinking half of it before bed, and the other half when I wake up. I’ve tried melatonin, kava, etc, but only the magnesium helps. I still wake up, the mag helps me fall back asleep faster (1/2 hour instead of 1+ hours). I’m sure it’s stress related, and keto is physically stressful.


omg, getting up at 3… I have considered doing this, but 3am just doesn’t feel like an appealing time to me. Still, you’ve put it back on my radar. Thank you (I think?).


This should only be true in the beginning! You said you’re 2.5 weeks in, so that makes sense - just want to make sure you don’t think it’s true long-term. Once you’re fat adapted, it shouldn’t be physically stressful!

(What The Fast?!) #9

My boyfriend has been keto for over a year and this still happens. The only way he can fall back asleep is eating some carbs. :confused:

(Susan) #10

Since I have been keto I have been averaging 6.5 hours sleep. I wake up feeling rested and energized and don’t feel napish in the afternoon. When I am on night shift I have to take sleeping pills twice to get the 8 or 9 hours I think I need.

(Jenni Kitterman) #11

I have been in ketosis for 3 years. I too wake at 3am. Here is why: 3am is when your liver regenerates. To do so, it needs glycogen. Once keto fat adapted, your liver no longer stores glycogen, so you body will not have enough glycogen for the liver to regenerate at 3am. If your liver cannot get the glycogen it needs, your adrenal glands will compensate by releasing adrenalin, which is why you are wide awake and ready for action, not exactly a state you want to be in at 3am.

(Scott) #12

This is very interesting but I keep coming back to the thought, how does my liver know what time it is?

(Jenni Kitterman) #14

Your liver runs on circadian rhythms - it is meant to be in tune with you being up at sunrise and going to bed at sunset (or close to there). This article talks about that some: https://worldhealth.net/news/liver-grows-half-during-day-shrinks-night/

(Jenni Kitterman) #15

I’ve been Keto for 3 years this month. I wake 98% of evenings (mornings?) at 3am +/- 6 minutes.

(Chris) #16

I’d sleep later but there’s less people in the gym at this time. :smiley:


I didn’t. Now it seems to be around 2 or between 2 and 3 for me. I do get back to sleep eventually and oddly enough I still feel good in the morning. It’s annoying, though.


I do eat some dairy and usually cut the screen time out well before bed. I’m a reader instead of a TV person so sometimes when I do wake up at night I grab a book. I actually had a good pair of blue blockers that were amber colored and funny enough, they really do help. I also sleep with a sleep mask for total dark but I tend to take it off in my sleep.
Salmon is something I need to get back to eating more of. I actually love it but don’t get around to making it often.