Tips and ideas on how to sleep better in general and specifically for those of us who struggle to sleep when we are in ketosis.
For some sleeping amazingly well is a side effect of keto, for some of us sleep become or remain elusive.
Unfortunately I fall into the latter category and I struggle with insomnia. For me it is not something new though, I have always struggled to sleep.
In looking for ways to address my sleep struggles, I found a website called AsleepyWolf where the founder Layla Paker shares tips and ideas on how to get a better night’s sleep.
Layla agreed to share her own keto sleep experiences and what she does to sleep better with us.
She says number 2 is her "Must-Do" tip.
This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you, which helps me to create this content. (Full disclosure)
So here is Layla’s story and advice on how to sleep better:
Since I began the keto diet, one of the things I had trouble with the most was my sleep. I expected to feel groggy with the occasional brain fog, but I was genuinely surprised insomnia came with the keto flu!
That was when I realized the importance of sleep when in a ketosis state, as I couldn't eat properly without the right amount of sleep.
However, getting enough good quality sleep while losing weight on the keto diet was difficult!
I was desperate at this point, searching keto FAQ, looking into natural remedies, even considering medicine.
Fortunately, I found some practical tips to sleep better while in ketosis WITHOUT spending a ton on medication or doctor's appointments.
Tips to Sleep Better When You're in a State of Ketosis
One of the reasons why we have trouble sleeping while following the keto diet is because of the lack of carbs in our system.
Carbs are known as comfort foods because of it soothing effect on the body.
They support the entry of the amino acid l-tryptophan into our brains. This is needed to produce serotonin that calms and helps us sleep.
Fortunately, there are ways you can still get quality sleep. Here are my best tips:
1 - Create a Sleep Schedule
Are you used to sleeping late in the morning? That may be the reason why you can't fall asleep easily!
It isn't just about how many hours of sleep you get, but also about what time you get to bed.
If we want to get the maximum out of our circadian clock, it is best to be in bed or asleep by 10:30 PM. When we work with our circadian rhythm rather than against it, it is easier to gently drift off to sleep.
For most of us, it's best to have seven to nine hours of sleep and once you create a routine of getting to bed at a regular time, it becomes easier to fall asleep and to wake up early.
Create a sleep schedule, and then make sure that you stay consistent with it to avoid ruining your body clock.
2 - Create a Peaceful Sleeping Environment
The way your bedroom looks and feels may affect your quality of sleep. After all, who would feel relaxed in a cluttered room with too much light?
It's time to clean and organize your bedroom, making it a sleep sanctuary!
I recommend that you keep your room dark when you sleep and keep the area quiet, either using a white noise machine or playing natural sounds.
Furthermore, you can use lavender scents or other essential oils, which are known to help calm one down for better sleep.
I also noticed that keeping my temperature cool has me sleep better, especially when bundled in comfortable blankets!
I find how I wake up and not worrying about over sleeping also helps me sleep better. So having a wake-up light alarm is a fantastic addition to your bedroom, which helps you BOTH sleep and wake up naturally!
3 - NO Gadgets
I'm sure you're all guilty of using your phones or watching television before heading to bed.
Did you know that this can lessen your brain's production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin?
Studies show that the blue light inhibits melatonin production, which has you stay up for longer.
And let's face it -
If you're scrolling down social media or watching an exciting television show, you won't be able to sleep until your interest dies down.
That's why I recommend that you put down all gadgets and switch off the television at least an hour before bedtime.
No stressors should come your way!
4 - Start Exercising
Exercise doesn't only help you burn calories and fat, but it's known to improve your sleep as well.
I find that exercising in the morning is best to warm up my body and to provide the energy needed throughout the day.
This way my body cools down once night comes, which is perfect for sleeping well.
5 - Be Mindful of When You Eat
While the time you eat may not affect your weight, it affects your quality of sleep!
It's best to avoid consuming heavy meals right before you sleep, as this can cause digestive discomfort that has you up all night.
Instead, have your last heavy meal three to four hours before bedtime.
Now, what if you're still a bit hungry before bedtime?
Then have a small keto friendly snack, like:
Now that you have your environment and behavior set to sleep better while on the keto diet, what other techniques can you use to fall asleep faster?
Techniques to Fall Asleep Faster
Here are a few techniques I use to slow my mind and to help me fall asleep within minutes:
1 - Counting Sheep
Counting sheep is an oldie, but still quite effective.
Instead of counting up, start counting down while visualizing sheep in a calming place.
You can either imagine sheep grazing on grass or jumping on fences, whichever works for you!
Enjoy this fun video on counting sheep that illustrates the technique:
2 - Breathing Exercises
Have you heard of the 4-7-8 breathing exercise?
This is one of the most popular and effective ways to fall asleep within minutes. Through following this breathing exercise, you relax and calm yourself down to sleep immediately.
To follow this exercise, merely inhale for FOUR seconds, hold the breath for SEVEN seconds, and exhale in EIGHT seconds.
Repeat until you feel tired and ready for sleep.
3 - Create a Nightly Pre-Sleep Routine
Last but not the least, having a relaxing routine about an hour before heading to bed can help you fall asleep quickly and easily.
I recommend that you have a warm bath with lavender scents and follow it up with yoga or meditation to put you in a calming state.
As mentioned earlier - NO heavy meals or gadgets during this time!
Being on the keto diet isn't just about following a meal plan religiously. Remember, you're also going to take into account your sleep and exercise, as these also affect your appetite, mood and fat distribution!
Sleep is crucial, as it indirectly affects your weight loss goals. Too much or too little sleep will result in you feeling groggy and hungry.
That's why developing a sleep schedule and creating a peaceful environment is essential.
Not only will you be a step closer to reaching your goals but you can function even better despite the expected "keto flu."
So use these tips as a starting point to your diet and get the sound rest you deserve today.
For those who have more questions or want to share their tips on sleeping better when in ketosis, comment below. Your thoughts and queries are much appreciated.
My name is Layla Paker, the founder of asleepywolf.com, where our team brings you reliable and useful information about sleeping and everything related to it. Learn about techniques and therapies that improve your sleep and the every day products that affects your sleep, your health, and your life.