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HHOLLOWAY44 SparkPoints: (11,951)
Fitness Minutes: (5,302)
Posts: 16
6/14/14 3:31 P

These are great tips! Thanks you guys. =)

Someone asked about my blood sugar and pressure. I've had my blood work done for hypoglycemia, and my blood sugar is just a few notches over the normal mark. My doctor recommended taking a supplement formulated for thyroid function. I've been taking that and it helps a lot.

I also have lower than average blood pressure. I always assumed that was because I'm pretty tall. Now I wonder if it's something else. *frets*

My doctor also found that I was low in Vitamin B. I began taking supplements for that too. Though I exercise regularly, it's indoors. Maybe a little sun exposure would help me.

I do drink a cup of Sleepytime tea before bed. I added a few capsules of Valerian to that. I've taken over the counter sleep aids for years, but they work less and less as time goes by. I'm always sleepy when I get to bed, but it's like my brain doesn't want to shut down. Don't get me wrong, I like that lower carbs gives me more mental clarity and energy. I just want my brain to shut up once in a while.

I've heard the thing about cherries and cherry juice before, too. I'll pick up some up the next time I go grocery shopping. I'll let you guys know how it works. =D

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,320
6/14/14 8:06 A

Sleep takes a backseat if you add refined carbohydrates to your diet.
Many sleep deprived people don't snack on fruits and vegetables. When is the last time you had your blood sugar checked? Maybe have your doctor test magnesium levels...and a do a full lipid panel...
Eating a high protein meal without a small carb may keep you awake
if you are low in vitamin B especially B6 it will be harder to fall asleep

High blood glucose can wake you up to urinate, while low blood glucose can wake you with hunger.

Stress interferes with sleep...are you stressed? Maybe try some chamomile tea at night... it is a carmative and will soothe you.....have a bowl of oatmeal, cereal with low-fat milk or yogurt with honey, salmon, halibut and tuna—boost vitamin B6

Food that may help you sleep are.....cottage cheese, cheese, Seafood, Meats, Poultry, Beans, wild Rice Hummus, Lentils. Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Eggs, Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter sandwich with sesame seeds, Bedtime snack foods can be...a baked potato, mandarin oranges, strawberries...Foods containing tryptophan make a person get a good nights sleep combine a tryptophan and a carb as a bedtime snack...Chickpeas boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin...drink room temp water at night. Maybe a handful of chickpeas baked with cinnamon

I heard that a cup of tart cherry juice twice a day may provide some relief in the severity of insomnia.

Hope you have happy zzz's

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,347)
Fitness Minutes: (5,920)
Posts: 3,815
6/13/14 7:58 P

Carbs promote serotonin production. Serotonin is the relaxing neurotransmitter.

This article elaborates a bit....

The good news is, there are other, healthier methods of increasing serotonin in the brain.

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 6/14/2014 (08:26)
KASTRA Posts: 369
6/13/14 5:21 P

I've tried to search for information on high carb requirements, but since low carb is the big diet craze, that's all that comes up. I'd love to see something on it.

I also occasionally test hypoglycemic (not consistently) and have low'ish blood pressure (nothing that alarms the doctor too much yet), so I assumed it had something to do with that. Not sure if it's the same with either of you?

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (64,375)
Fitness Minutes: (41,333)
Posts: 541
6/13/14 5:08 P

This is an interesting topic as I too struggle with sleep. I am going to observe and test this theory myself, hopefully improve my sleep. Wonder if there is any research on this.

KASTRA Posts: 369
6/13/14 4:04 P

Oh my, I do. I thought I was the only one that functioned best on HIGH carbs! And, since I've accepted my freakish nature in other categories, just let it slide but let me start by saying I'm pleased to see someone else who just can't get through a decent night's rest without carbs.

I eat within my carb range as recommended by Spark, but I do not keep myself to 50% of my daily calories from carbs. I'm generally more like 65-75% of calories from carbs (with fat and protein within as well). I aim for the middle to top of my carb range, and the bottom to middle of other macronutrients to make sure other areas are not short-changed too badly by my carby need. It's the only way I can get decent shut-eye. When I first started my weight-loss journey over a year ago (I only joined Spark last month, but have been on my own much longer) I tried just sticking with it, thinking - like many things - my body needed to get used to the changes. After a few weeks, I was exhausted and a basket-case. Carbs went back up, and sleep came back.

Shoot for the mid to upper end of your carb range. Hopefully it helps you like it does me.

Edited to add: Probably 60-70% of my carb intake is between 2 and 9PM. I've also tried more carbs in morning and sleep is better than "low carb" (for me) but not as good as carbs closer to bedtime.

Edited by: KASTRA at: 6/13/2014 (16:08)
6/13/14 1:59 P

Are you keeping t the spark low carb range or going lower?

DMUERHOFF Posts: 1,986
6/13/14 1:32 P

I am taking a nutrition class through my health insurance and I stopped eating before bed. The dietician asked me if I then had trouble sleeping, which I did. She said carbs help in the release of serotonin which is a calming chemical in the brain. She advised to go ahead and eat a small snack at bedtime as long as it was in my calorie range for the day.

HHOLLOWAY44 SparkPoints: (11,951)
Fitness Minutes: (5,302)
Posts: 16
6/13/14 11:44 A

Am I the only person who has problems sleeping when they cut carbohydrates?
I get on and off the calorie-counting wagon. I'm currently back on, and to really keep my calories low while still getting important macro nutrients, I'm following Sparkpeople's recommended meal plan.
It's only been six days, but already I have more energy and I feel less bloated.
However, sleep eludes me. I fall into a shallow sleep for a few hours, then wake up, try unsuccessfully to return to sleep for a few hours and then repeat the process.
I've had similar problems getting shut-eye when I followed a low-carbohydrate diet. The Sparkpeople meal plan allows for carbs, but not as many as I was previously eating.
Has anyone else experienced this? If so, does it go away eventually? Is there a way to stay on the diet and get a good night's sleep?

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