One of the biggest benefits of the ketogenic diet is the energy! Once you start to become fat adapted you are bursting with it which is great… until you can’t sleep.
In the beginning of my journey I immediately saw an increase in the energy that I had for the day but at night I would wake up and not be able to sleep more than a few hours at a time. I wondered why? My body was healing and becoming healthier so shouldn’t it also be able to sleep better?
Technically, yes. If you are eating a balanced diet still and making sure that you get the right nutrients then you will sleep amazingly well. So why aren’t you?
Magnesium is needed for proper function of the GABA receptors in the brain to aid in restful sleep. Unfortunately some of the most commonly eaten magnesium rich foods are not keto friendly.
So how can you tell if you aren’t able to sleep because you are magnesium deficient? First ask yourself if you have been having muscle spasms or cramps. This is one of the most common symptoms and one of the most complained about issues of eating keto.
Next ask yourself if you have been having higher anxiety or depression issues. Research shows that being low on magnesium has a huge impact on your mental health. Not only that but when you are low on magnesium it can actually cause your energy to drop and for you to drag which can lead to anxiety or depression.
Maybe a few of these are on your checklist? Magnesium is found naturally in many things including almonds, pumpkin seeds, salmon, spinach, cashews, some lettuce and avocado’s. None of these sound good? You can always try taking a supplement to help.
If you’ve done any search on keto I bet you’ve seen someone mention bulletproof coffee. It’s incredibly popular and a great way to get in your fats while enjoying a favorite drink but because your body doesn’t have the same kind of blood sugar spikes and drops drinking any form of coffee too late in the day can cause for you to not sleep as well.
We’ve all had too much caffeine too late in the day and sometimes we just want that social or comforting sort of drink to give us peace of mind. Instead of using regular coffee try using decaf or a non caffeinated tea as the base instead. Personally I love a lemon chamomile or non caffeinated chai tea with a bit of sweetener and some heavy whipping cream before bed.
Still having trouble sleeping or these just feel like they are the right fit? There are still plenty of other options that you can try to help get a good nights sleep.
Melatonin is a common sleep aid. It’s natural and easy to find. Personally I only use it for those night’s that I just can’t sleep at all so that my body doesn’t become too reliant on an outside source of it. Most people’s bodies naturally produce it already.
Turning off and tuning out of electronics for a bit before bed is a big help. It gives a our minds a chance to unwind and shut down from the world. It doesn’t have to be a long time before bed but instead use that time to create a habit that will help you sleep better regularly.
What do I mean by that? For some, reading a book is relaxing. Depending on the choice of reading material how relaxing it is will vary but many still find it to be a way of helping themselves fall asleep.
You can also try writing out a checklist for the next day. For most this doesn’t sound like much fun but it gives somewhere for all of those worries and things that you need to do to rest but still be remembered.
Try stretching or putting on soothing scented lotions or oils. Taking care of yourself before going to bed helps release tension in your muscles as well as in your mind.