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Patrick Donnelly
01-31-2010, 06:17 AM
Over the past two weeks or so, I've found that I've been waking up and fidgeting about while trying to sleep. I have made some dietary changes lately, all of which revolve around a new schedule for this semester that makes it most convenient to eat all of my meals in the morning. I've been doing IF for 2-3 years now, but pretty much the whole time, it's been working out in the afternoon/evening, then eating immediately afterwards. Since that changed, I've noticed three things:

1. My memory is better in the morning (and no worse at other times).
2. I'm feeling real hesitant to leave bed in the morning. I feel like I could always sleep an extra hour, until I get out of bed and start moving.
3. The waking up and moving. (Might also be the cause of #2.)

The waking seems to happen 2-5 times a night, though I don't know exactly when or for how long - I try not to look at clocks while sleeping. I know that at at least one point, it happened just before 3am, so it certainly isn't my body's way of telling me I had enough sleep. When I wake up, I'm able think in complete thoughts, which are generally along the lines of "Crap, I just woke up again," or "Why can't I get comfortable and stay asleep?"

Here are some things that I don't think are causing it:
- Generally getting 8hrs of sleep (if not more) between the hours of 10pm and 8am.
- Sleep in a pitch-black room.
- Have a busy life, but not too stressed about it.
- Getting about 3.5g of omega-3's (which includes EPA, DHA, and other - the label isn't awfully specific) from capsules.
- I started eating a lot more berries lately, to make up for a lack of green stuff in my diet.

Here are some things that could be related to/causing it:
- The previously mentioned shift in eating hours.
- Thought my caloric intake was about 1000 cals/day higher (was only about 3500-4000).
- Don't have many green things in the diet.
- Falling asleep (initially) as soon as I hit the pillow; typically feeling physically tired as I go to bed.
- I always wake up using an alarm clock.
- According to a randomly entered "average" day of food on FitDay, I might be lacking in (<150% RDA): Vitamins C, E, D; magnesium; potassium; thiamine.

Generally, my diet involves:
- 10 eggs
- cooked yield of 1lb of meat (beef; chicken; rarely pork - cooked fresh each morning)
- 8-10oz of cheese
- some olive oil (1-2oz for cooking)
- 0.5-1 cups of nuts (walnuts in particular)
- 1-3 pieces of fruit (apples, oranges, all that jazz)
- 0.5-1 cups of berries (typically frozen, and time-thawed overnight)
- a cheat day once ever 4-7 days

So, it's mostly Paleo and all-real food. Not too diverse, but I'm getting better at that part. The contents of my diet didn't change too much in the past two weeks (just the timing), aside from the addition of more berries, and I didn't have any problems with sleep prior to the change.


Does anyone have any ideas on what might be the cause? It seems to have gotten more pronounced as time has gone on, so I don't think waiting longer will help my body get back on track. I'd just like to get this fixed, since it's terribly annoying, and if I'm going to make the effort to give a third of each day to sleep, it had better be a good use of my time.

Garrett Smith
01-31-2010, 07:29 AM
4 things I look to first with secondary insomnia:

Magnesium deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency
Nightshade sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity

Look up "Hibernation diet". Some raw honey before bed may help a lot.

EMF could cause this as well. Make sure your cell phone and anything plugged in to the wall (including the plug, and particularly alarm clocks) are at least 6 feet away from your head while you are in bed. Further away is even better.

Mike ODonnell
01-31-2010, 09:25 AM
Are you eating those berries late at night? Troubleshoot and take them out for a couple weeks see if things change up. Messing with blood sugar close to bed time can definitely mess with hormonal blood sugar responses during sleep. I'm no super expert in that area as there is too many things going on with GH and cortisol cycles...but it can usually all be tied to blood sugar before bed.

Patrick Donnelly
01-31-2010, 05:40 PM
4 things I look to first with secondary insomnia:

Magnesium deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency
Nightshade sensitivity
Gluten sensitivity

Look up "Hibernation diet". Some raw honey before bed may help a lot.

EMF could cause this as well. Make sure your cell phone and anything plugged in to the wall (including the plug, and particularly alarm clocks) are at least 6 feet away from your head while you are in bed. Further away is even better.

Re: Gluten
I don't eat any grain, so that's no problem. I had one family vacation about a month ago where I ate a substantial amount over the course of one weekend, and felt like crap the following Monday, but that was one in a handful of times I've had any at all in the past 2-3 years.

Re: Nightshades
I have grown accustomed to liking spicy foods (involving peppers), but that started back in September or October 2009, and I didn't experience any immediate problems then.

Re: Vitamin D/Magnesium
What would you consider an appropriate range for a 20yr old, 210lb male? (Of course, any such advice would be nonprofessional in nature, yadayadayada.) Those were two on my previous list of being "lowish" going by the RDA. I think they were 104% (vit. D) and 88% (Mg) for the "typical day" I entered. While they aren't abysmally low, the RDA doesn't have much backing to it that I know of, I'm eating a hell of a lot more calories than their 2000, and most of the other stuff was 300-1000%, so those ones do stick out as "lowish."

Re: Honey
So, that wouldn't mess with blood sugar levels at all? I'm going to bed on a 12ish hour fast - I would intuitively think that introducing some pure sugar then wouldn't be the wisest idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c1lbfhPLeM
This guy makes it sound pretty good, but it's pretty easy to throw around big words and jargon just to confuse/impress people into agreeing with you. It's a possible fix that I'll consider, however.

Re: EMF
I had actually forgotten about that. About a year ago, about a year ago, when I moved into a new place and blacked out the windows in the bedroom, I also made sure to put all of my electrical stuff away from the outlets beside the bed. However, about two weeks or so ago (the same time my diet changed and the waking started), my room got pretty cluttered and I ended up moving my lamp and alarm clock beside the bed. That'll be the first thing I fix.



Mike, all my food is in the morning, so it's not a blood sugar spike from the berries. Aren't those things normally low-GI anyway?

Steven Low
01-31-2010, 06:38 PM
Vitamin D you want between 5,000-10,000 IU IMO. For reference RDA is 400 IU. Given that this is the winter, and it's been overcast here in MD for the past couple weeks this would be my bet.

Mg is pretty variable -- have you tried ZMA or natural calm?

Garrett Smith
02-01-2010, 05:00 AM
Vitamin D - I would suggest 5000iu for three months, then get tested (a blood test is $69).

Hot peppers have a knack for disrupting sleep, I know this personally.

The EMF issue should be a very early fix.

Patrick Donnelly
02-01-2010, 04:46 PM
Vitamin D you want between 5,000-10,000 IU IMO. For reference RDA is 400 IU. Given that this is the winter, and it's been overcast here in MD for the past couple weeks this would be my bet.

Mg is pretty variable -- have you tried ZMA or natural calm?
What the hell would you even eat to get that much vitamin D?

I have considered going back to Carlson's cod liver oil for my omega-3's, which would also get vitamin D covered, since I can't help but feel that I'm not getting my money's worth on my fish oil capsules, even if they're cheap. However, the one time I got Carlson's, the stuff last waaaay longer than it should of, almost like the liquid was expanding while in the fridge or something. I checked my tea and table -spoon calculations repeatedly too - the stuff was just lasting longer than it should have.

I've never tried ZMA. The stories of funky dreams resulting from that stuff have me a bit worried.


I've got the outlets by my bed unplugged now. I'll see if that makes a noticeable difference over the next few days.

Steven Low
02-01-2010, 05:48 PM
Supplement or get lots of sun everday.

10,000 IU per 360 pills for 24 bucks. That's the one I'm using. I hit up 10k everyday; Garrett suggests 5k. Either or it's a year or two years supply pretty much. Can't go wrong.

http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/10/a-closer-look-at-vitamin-d/

ZMA or mg supplement before bed could be interesting.

Soft tissue massage work as well may be beneficial for relaxing sympathetic nervous system.

Brandon Oto
02-01-2010, 06:55 PM
I tend to think most of this stuff is bojangles but have become a believer in Vitamin D.

Chris Forbis
02-02-2010, 04:28 AM
Be careful when taking high doses of CLO for the Vitamin D. Because along with the D comes Vitamin A. I got some Vitamin A toxicity symptoms from doing high doses of CLO.

Scott Kustes
02-02-2010, 05:43 AM
I get vitamin D liquid 1000IU/drop from Dr. G. Super cheap and easily added to a bit of water and downed.

Patrick Donnelly
02-03-2010, 11:48 AM
Moving the lights/plugs seems to have done the trick. The past two nights have been pretty good, though incidentally, now I have a cold.


I think I'll hold off on the vitamin D for 3-4 more weeks, just so I don't fall prey to trying too many new things at once. It makes it too difficult to associate effects to their causes. I will give it a shot, however, and use it at least until Spring is in full bloom.

Steven Low
02-03-2010, 05:55 PM
Moving the lights/plugs seems to have done the trick. The past two nights have been pretty good, though incidentally, now I have a cold.


I think I'll hold off on the vitamin D for 3-4 more weeks, just so I don't fall prey to trying too many new things at once. It makes it too difficult to associate effects to their causes. I will give it a shot, however, and use it at least until Spring is in full bloom.
Vitamin D will clear up your cold.... :)

Garrett Smith
02-04-2010, 05:19 AM
I'm glad that worked for you, Patrick.

Many people think that the EMF issue is a bunch of voodoo quackery, probably because they don't want to believe that their beloved plug-in devices could possibly be negatively affecting their nervous systems.

It really works, and EMF is a real thing to deal with. I never talk about the "science" of it, I just suggest people try it, and often get great results.

Patrick Donnelly
02-14-2010, 04:46 AM
After having some more time to confirm, I'm just reporting back here to let you guys know it was definitely the plugs. Thanks!


I've also ordered the vitamin D, though like I said, I won't start taking it for just a few more weeks, so I can better associate causes/effects.