Carbs and night waking?

Some friends in our community were wondering about waking up in the middle of the night while dialing back their carbs, and wondering how to sleep through the night again.

You can recover from an occasional night of fragmented sleep here or there, but when you consistently wake in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep easily, you’ll start to feel it during the day.

When you first dial back your carbs, it takes some time for your body to get used to it. Before you settle into your new eating patterns, you may have some blood sugar fluctuations.

You knew that was coming, though. That’s why you were ready for snack attacks with your grass-fed jerky and keto-friendly cookies. Problem is, you can’t snack while you’re sleeping — and even if you could, it wouldn’t be great for your digestion, anyway. When your blood sugar drops at 3am, you may get a surge of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Cortisol can wake you up in the middle of sleep. It’s your ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which is useful to get you ready for action in a threatening situation, but not so useful when you’re safe in your bed.

Healthy cortisol levels are lower as you start to wind down in the evening, then rise in the morning to wake you up. When these rhythms shift, your sleep quality tanks, and you can’t focus through the day.

What to Do About It

Eating a little something before bed can help. Research shows that raw honey had a calming effect on mice, so perhaps a small spoonful of honey before bed could signal calm for your body. Or, a small snack of granola with almond milk may be what you need to stay steady throughout the night.

If you’re trying to get into ketosis, you may opt for a lower carb snack in the evening to carry you through. You could try:

  • Golden milk, or turmeric tea made with full-fat coconut milk
  • A hard boiled egg with sea salt
  • A piece of dark chocolate
  • A few olives or a tablespoon of olive oil

It’s important to find what works for you and your body. Some people find that they need a more substantial snack before bed, while others find that a small amount will do the trick. Experiment with it and see what works for you!