The Keto Diet is known for its ability to help people drastically lose weight in a short period of time. One of Keto’s lesser-known benefits, however, is improved sleep quality. For those who’ve already begun Keto, you may find this hard to believe. More often than not, dieters are plagued by “Keto Insomnia” for weeks after cutting out carbs. Keto may cause initial sleep loss, but rest assured the process will reward you with better sleep than ever.
Prepare for a period of adjustment
You’ve probably heard of (and experienced) the “Keto Flu.” It usually consists of a headache, fatigue, irritability and sleep disturbances during the first week of a Keto diet. The sleep disturbances can last for up to a month, resulting in “Keto Insomnia.” During this period of time, dieters often report feeling wide awake at their normal bedtime, as well as tossing and turning in the middle of the night.
Scientists still aren’t sure what causes Keto Insomnia. Some suspect it has something to do with L-tryptophan, a molecule that’s found in high-carb foods. L-tryptophan boosts hormones like serotonin and melatonin that help you fall asleep. By eliminating carbs from the diet, your body produces less serotonin and melatonin, which might result in poor sleep quality.
Don’t let “Keto Insomnia” deter you
The body needs time to adjust to its new energy source. It comes as no surprise that your body would react to the sudden low-carb, high-fat diet in multiple ways, including a lack of sleep. Just like the so-called Keto Flu, Keto Insomnia is temporary. The Keto Diet rewards those who stick with it. Better sleep is waiting for you on the other side.
Get ready for a good night’s sleep on Keto
The duration of Keto Insomnia is different for each person. Regardless of how long it lasts, people who manage to push through Keto Insomnia actually sleep better than before they started the Keto Diet. People go Keto with the intention of losing weight, only to find the diet has secondary benefits like deeper slow-wave sleep, waking up refreshed and less daytime sleepiness.
Why does Keto help you sleep better?
Keto diets have been linked to greater adenosine levels in the body. Adenosine is a brain chemical that accumulates as the day wears on. Adenosine levels are at their lowest when you wake up in the morning. By the time night rolls around, adenosine levels are high enough that they trigger a feeling of sleepiness. Therefore, Keto can help you fall asleep at night.
Keto diets also regulate blood sugar levels. People who’ve gone Keto will start to notice the absence of sugar highs and crashes due to low carb intake. Blood sugar and cortisol are directly related, meaning healthy blood sugar levels lead to healthy cortisol levels. Keto keeps cortisol under control, helping you to doze off a lot easier.
Sleep disturbances can make you feel like Keto was a bad idea. After the first couple of weeks, you may think Keto isn’t right for you because of the initial symptoms. Remember that Keto Insomnia is a short-lived and perfectly normal aspect of Keto diets. Don’t give up now—the best sleep of your life is just ahead!
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