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Old 03-12-2014, 04:26 AM   #1
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JUDDD, Intermittent Fasting and Sleep

The issue of disrupted sleep on DDs keeps surfacing. We need a thread to discuss the issues and for people to describe:
  • what they're currently trying (with undertakings to report back);
  • what they've tried;
  • what didn't work for them;
  • what did work for them.

It's important that we know what didn't/doesn't work as well as what did - we might be able to save a lot of dead ends and costly experimentation for others that way.

Do chip in with your experiences if you find that the sleep disturbance extends beyond just DDs and affects UDs.

This isn't going to (necessarily) assist people with complex sleep disorders and who are walking a tightrope while juggling pain medications, GERD or painful reflux, anxiety, the staggering bots, or other complicating factors. But, we may help other JUDDD BUDDDs and particularly
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:44 AM   #2
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I suspect that the issue of sleep and DDs is that people are finding it difficult to go to sleep when physically hungry. That was certainly my issue when I began JUDDD, and it was resolved with two suggestions from experienced JUDDDers who were then on the boards:

1. Whether you crave a specific food item or just food in general, promise yourself something specific for the next morning--e.g., "I will eat X for breakfast."

2. Then distract yourself with some pleasant fantasy to lull you to sleep--e.g., think about a planned (or desired) vacation; write your 'story' about losing weight; imagine the new wardrobe you'll buy, etc.

I found this always worked for me, and these days, I can even skip #1 completely because my brain knows that I'm reliable in terms of feeding it first thing in the morning.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for starting thread Slow.

My experience was different from Leo41's. I had no trouble falling asleep, but would wake up throughout the night, and be wide awake for hours. This would happen on both Up and Down days, only the first two weeks of fasting.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:55 AM   #4
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No sleep problems here just wanted to say "thanks" for encouraging folks to post their "negative data" as well. I often wonder how much further advanced we'd be in searching for cures if journals (and scientists) were more receptive to reporting negatives. I feel what doesn't work is just as important as what does, since it may keep people from inadvertently reinventing the (non-functional) wheel due to lack of knowledge sharing.
Anyway, just my 2 cents...
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:17 AM   #5
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Problems with getting to sleep after a DD have always been about physical hunger for me. No matter what kind of diet I'm following, I cannot fall asleep if I'm seriously hungry.

I tried camomile tea or a hot lemon drink before bed, but it didn't work.

What worked first was eating one half to one cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, sometimes with blueberries in it, about an hour before bed.

Now I'm using one scoop of whey isolate protein powder stirred into 4 ounces of cold water and I do that one or two hours before bed.

So far, it's working like a charm and getting me 20 grams of protein at a time when I'm starting to focus on taking in more protein on both UDs and DDs.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:17 PM   #6
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DD sleep issues initially were due to hunger, which eventually leveled out, both with dialing in the right amount I needed to eat on both UD's and DD's to coincide with my activity levels. Later I had sleeping issues due to just excess energy on DD's, I would go to sleep on time and just lay there awake for a long time. I figured this was just part of the adaptation period for JUDDD and it eventually got better, but almost every DD ended up with less hours actually asleep when compared to UD's when I was doing EOD rotations.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:54 PM   #7
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I used to do 24 hours fasts from time to time years ago and always had sleep problems. (Sleeping for 3 or 4 hours then waking up unable to get back to sleep.)

With JUDDD I didn't have that problem until the 3rd month and then on DDs it happened consistently, particularly on very low calorie days. So, I upped the DD calories a bit and still had the waking problem.

I tried eating later (I normally don't eat after 8pm) and I tried a midnight snack but neither strategy helped. I even ate when I woke in the middle of the night and still couldn't get back to sleep. I gave up coffee for a few days, no difference. I already took magnesium daily so that cure was out.

At that point I was exhausted so I suspended JUDDD. I was truly miserable for a couple of weeks and realized I was chasing a number that was unimportant. I was within my goal range. So, I'm back to my normal diet and sleeping regularly. I also hit my goal weight. (I think I needed some sleep!)

I don't have any idea why it affects me this way, but I do know there are some threads here that feature some other supplements and strategies that worked for people. I just decided it wasn't worth fighting anymore.

I do hope to try again next month just doing 5:2 with 5-600 calorie DDs. It's such a nice way to "cleanse" the system and maintain your weight. And as a low carb eater, those low days knock me right back into ketosis and cut my appetite when it's starting to rage. If my sleeping is still disorted, I'll run an experiment and raise calories on those days. Hopefully, it won't happen.
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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My DH has a lot of business travel and the jet lag has regularly thrown his response to DDs. The last few times he travelled abroad, we used food reward to reset his circadian rhythm: i.e., adjusting to the time zone of the country to which he'd travelled, and then re-setting it to UK time when he returned home. This method worked well for him, both in dealing with adjustment to time zones (he adapts more rapidly) and in moving back into rotations without disturbed sleep.

Differential Rescue of Light- and Food-Entrainable Circadian Rhythms

In a nutshell, the paper is about timing food consumption to an animal's biological rhythms and there's a rather charming (and readily accessible) radio interview about the study to be found:
Science Friday
It was broadcast 23 May 2008 and it's titled:
Circadian Clock Sets at Lunchtime

Various animal studies report examples of circadian rhythm reset based on fasting and food reward* so it seemed reasonable to assume that it might work with humans. So, as per the overview given in the radio interview, the protocol is quite straightforward.
Fast for 12-16 hours prior to the time that you need to wake up. To be clear: this means complete abstinence from food or drink with kcals or any degree of food reward - for this experiment it's not enough to do a modified fast as most of us do on JUDDD DDs. Obviously, water should be consumed but I'd be wary of even sugar-free soft drinks because they mimic food reward (presuming that you enjoy them). (If you need to rise at 7am, then the fast should start at no later than 7pm the preceding evening or a little earlier.)

Wake at your target time on the next morning (which should be an UD) and, as soon as possible, eat a substantial, relatively high calorie, tasty breakfast that is high in food reward (it's something that is a delicious treat for you).
This protocol has worked remarkably well for my DH. I do not only suggest it for people who travel extensively and change time zones however - I think it might have a lot to offer people who are having difficulty with DDs. I suspect some people might only have to do it a couple of times to reassure their bodies that there is a predictable supply of calories and that they need not to be hyper-alert and hyper-vigilant (or to go without sleep) until that next meal arrives.

*Daily rhythms of food-anticipatory behavioral activity do not require the known circadian clock
Phenotyping Food Entrainment: Motion Sensors and Telemetry Are Equivalent
Circadian Rhythms: Perturbing a Food-Entrained Clock
Neurobiology of food anticipatory circadian rhythms
Metabolism and the circadian clock converge

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Old 03-12-2014, 03:36 PM   #9
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I just read this on a calorie counter blog. Thought it would be good to add here:

"Sleep More: Cardio-Free Trainer Jim Karas

“If you snooze, you lose weight,” the celebrity fitness coach and author of the New York Times bestseller The Petite Advantage Diet says. “If you are sleep deprived, you are going to be obese. Your hormones are affected by sleep. The most important one is leptin, the hormone that says, ‘I’m feeling full.’ The minute you are sleep deprived, your leptin levels go down. Ghrelin is the hormone that says ‘feed me.’ When you’re sleep-deprived, your ghrelin levels go up. But people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. They think it’s cool, and they don’t even know what it’s like to be awake and lean. New moms are the worst culprits — they say, ‘My baby comes first,’ but when you are sleep deprived, you are not making great decisions.”
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:48 PM   #10
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Well, I do have complex sleep issues, but recently they have been worse on DDs. I do save all my calories for 1 bedtime snack. This worked great for almost 2 years, but recently I have not slept well on a DD night. Tonight is a DD and I'm planning soup (100 calories) and yogurt (80) right before bed.

Keeping my fingers crossed. I may save the yogurt in case I was wake up at 11:30pm, which has been happening when I fall asleep around 10pm.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
My DH has a lot of business travel and the jet lag has regularly thrown his response to DDs. The last few times he travelled abroad, we used food reward to reset his circadian rhythm: i.e., adjusting to the time zone of the country to which he'd travelled, and then re-setting it to UK time when he returned home. This method worked well for him, both in dealing with adjustment to time zones (he adapts more rapidly) and in moving back into rotations without disturbed sleep.

Differential Rescue of Light- and Food-Entrainable Circadian Rhythms

In a nutshell, the paper is about timing food consumption to an animal's biological rhythms and there's a rather charming (and readily accessible) radio interview about the study to be found:
Science Friday
It was broadcast 23 May 2008 and it's titled:
Circadian Clock Sets at Lunchtime

Various animal studies report examples of circadian rhythm reset based on fasting and food reward* so it seemed reasonable to assume that it might work with humans. So, as per the overview given in the radio interview, the protocol is quite straightforward.
Fast for 12-16 hours prior to the time that you need to wake up. To be clear: this means complete abstinence from food or drink with kcals or any degree of food reward - for this experiment it's not enough to do a modified fast as most of us do on JUDDD DDs. Obviously, water should be consumed but I'd be wary of even sugar-free soft drinks because they mimic food reward (presuming that you enjoy them). (If you need to rise at 7am, then the fast should start at no later than 7pm the preceding evening or a little earlier.)

Wake at your target time on the next morning (which should be an UD) and, as soon as possible, eat a substantial, relatively high calorie, tasty breakfast that is high in food reward (it's something that is a delicious treat for you).
This protocol has worked remarkably well for my DH. I do not only suggest it for people who travel extensively and change time zones however - I think it might have a lot to offer people who are having difficulty with DDs. I suspect some people might only have to do it a couple of times to reassure their bodies that there is a predictable supply of calories and that they need not to be hyper-alert and hyper-vigilant (or to go without sleep) until that next meal arrives.

*Daily rhythms of food-anticipatory behavioral activity do not require the known circadian clock
Phenotyping Food Entrainment: Motion Sensors and Telemetry Are Equivalent
Circadian Rhythms: Perturbing a Food-Entrained Clock
Neurobiology of food anticipatory circadian rhythms
Metabolism and the circadian clock converge
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:04 AM   #12
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I have complex sleep difficulties which I attribute to my last concussion rather than the practise of ADF.

I've tried various supplements such as melatonin but it had no useful or even noticeable effects. I've tried two brands but we have specific problems obtaining it in the UK as it's been banned from OTC sale for some time and, by and large, although it can be prescribed, it's rare there's consent for it to be prescribed for the under-55s (and I'm in the <55yrs demographic).
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:15 AM   #13
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I've tried the usual sleep hygiene advice which does make sense altho' it doesn't particularly fit our lifestyles.

Borrowed from Wikipaedia.

Recommendations to improve sleep quality include:
Allowing enough time for sleep. Most people need 7–9 hours of sleep each day.
Avoiding heavy meals and alcohol before sleep and reducing intake of caffeine and other stimulants several hours before bedtime.
Arranging a sleep environment that is very dark, comfortable, quiet, and cool to facilitate falling asleep quickly and staying asleep.
Avoiding TV beds and other media-furniture.
Exercising for twenty to thirty minutes or so five to six hours before sleep, but not immediately before sleep.
Seeking assistance from healthcare providers for continuing difficulties with sleep, since specific sleep disorders may require particular treatments.
Avoiding bright lights or wearing sunglasses which block the blue spectrum of the light for two to three hours before bed.

The MayoClinic also offers a good list of cognitive approaches to sleep disturbance:
Article: Insomnia treatment: Cognitive behavioral therapy instead of sleeping pills

However, in my own experience, both stimulus control therapy and sleep restriction were disastrous for me and actively worsened how I felt. However, I know people who tried these and responded very positively.

Stimulus control therapy. This method helps remove factors that condition the mind to resist sleep. For example, you might be coached to set a consistent bedtime and wake time and avoid naps, use the bed only for sleep...and leave the bedroom if you can't go to sleep within 20 minutes, only returning when you're sleepy.

Sleep restriction. Lying in bed when you're awake can become a habit that leads to poor sleep. This treatment decreases the time you spend in bed, causing partial sleep deprivation, which makes you more tired the next night. Once your sleep has improved, your time in bed is gradually increased.
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:34 AM   #14
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I feel more than faintly idiotic for admitting to this but I'm hag-ridden enough by the lack of sleep and recent concerns about the impact that this may be having on my muscle repair and protein synthesis that I'm pretty much up for trying anything that doesn't actually involve the wearing or goat skin or hair shirts.

So - after being baffled by the research items on blue-blocker glasses for some time, I've finally purchased some and have been using them for about a week. To my great surprise, I've been sleeping for longer than 40mins at a time. It's too early to say anything definitive but I shall provide some links for people who might find this avenue worth exploring. (I don't know how to identify that group: there are so many sleep disorders where this would seem to offer no benefit at all because they're too complex. On the other hand, there are others that might respond better to warm baths, a late snack and better sleep hygiene or a realistic appraisal of current stress levels and their contribution to sleeplessness.)

I should also add that altho' I would like to think that the blue-blocker protocol might help with the post-concussion related sleep difficulties, I have no expectation that it will help sleeplessness that is related to pain (other than I'd be perhaps better able to cope with it if I'm better rested than I would otherwise be).

Harvard Health Letter: Blue light has a dark side
Quote:
Blue wavelengths—which are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood—seem to be the most disruptive at night. And the proliferation of electronics with screens, as well as energy-efficient lighting, is increasing our exposure to blue wavelengths, especially after sundown...

While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light does so more powerfully. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours).

In another study of blue light, researchers at the University of Toronto compared the melatonin levels of people exposed to bright indoor light who were wearing blue-light–blocking goggles to people exposed to regular dim light without wearing goggles. The fact that the levels of the hormone were about the same in the two groups strengthens the hypothesis that blue light is a potent suppressor of melatonin.
Bill Lagakos has written a reasonable overview of blue-blocker research in his blog but people who aren't that interested in the research behind it might just skip down to his personal experiment:
Blog: Calories Proper
Blogpost: The hot Blue Blocker Experiment
also
Blogpost: Fiat Lux
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:50 PM   #15
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I haven't noticed any sleep problems since restarting JUDDD very recently but in the past I've had problems staying asleep or sometimes falling asleep in general. I got some SleepPhones, which are headband headphones which I use to listen to guided sleep hypnosis apps. I love them, the sleepphones and the apps. They put me right out.

I also save some of my calories for a before bed snack. Heck, I'll even have a before bed snack if it takes me a little over my calories. No sleep is happening if I'm hungry.

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Old 03-19-2014, 05:25 AM   #16
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I've been keeping up with this thread. I'm one of the newbies who has been having sleep probs on DD's. I think I've had a few with no problems and if I keep my cals 500-600 with an emphasis on protein, it seems to help some. When I go low on DD's (like yesterday), it usually takes a while to fall asleep, my sleep is pretty restless, and I wake up before my alarm. I even took two benadryl last night and didn't nod off until 2-3 hours later after I finally went to the fridge and finished off a protein shake and a few almonds. I appreciate all of your input on this buds!!
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
I have complex sleep difficulties which I attribute to my last concussion rather than the practise of ADF.

I've tried various supplements such as melatonin but it had no useful or even noticeable effects. I've tried two brands but we have specific problems obtaining it in the UK as it's been banned from OTC sale for some time and, by and large, although it can be prescribed, it's rare there's consent for it to be prescribed for the under-55s (and I'm in the <55yrs demographic).
Have you tried it in combo with 5-HTP?

I took a combo of melatonin and 5-HTP about every other night for a couple months in the Fall. It did help me sleep then. Maybe I should give it a shot again. I read melatonin has some depressant effects (the reason for taking every other day), so I stopped when I began to experience some depression/lack of motivation. It may or may not have been attributed to melatonin, but I stopped anyway.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:59 AM   #18
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I haven't had major issues with sleep but do get that hungry feeling when falling asleep. It may take 10 more minutes to fall asleep on a DD because of this but I always go to sleep and wake up more refreshed earlier for some reason (and hungry!). After I eat I get a little more relaxed and may want to go to bed earlier that day, but it all depends.

I find for the hardest nights that some valerian root tea before bed is really helpful for falling asleep fast, not waking up during the night, and feeling refreshed. I also bought some tea with natural l-theanine but haven't tried it yet however supposedly it does the same thing.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:28 AM   #19
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ks4, I use Valerian root capsules for anxiety sometimes. They smell so awful I'm afraid to try the tea.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:37 AM   #20
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Haha, I never tried the capsules, but the tea isn't so bad. Yogi makes a bedtime tea that has valerian root that I use and it smells and tastes great to me! And I also bought another tea brand with valerian which I haven't tried yet. Yogi makes another bedtime tea with the l-theanine which I will try and it might taste better to some people. There is also a valerian root extract (in alcohol) that can be mixed with water but I haven't tried that either and probably won't.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:06 AM   #21
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I used to have TERRIBLE sleep problems if I was hungry when I went to bed when I first started JUDDD. So much so that if I had a DD under 600 or 700 calories I couldn't sleep. Even if I was able to fall asleep, I would wake up in an hour or 2 and then be awake the rest of the night starving.

One thing that helped me was 1T raw honey right before bed. Pirate Jenny had a thread on it called The Hibernation Diet: honey before bed. It's something about the way honey is metabolized by your body. Anyway, after I had the honey I was able to fall asleep and sleep well. In other words, I would sleep deeply and wake up feeling well rested, especially my brain (if that makes any sense ) It certainly was something to look forward to on a DD too!

I really don't need to have it now because I think my body finally got used to fasting and thankfully I don't seem to have problems falling asleep no matter how little I eat.

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Old 03-19-2014, 12:31 PM   #22
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i don't necessarily "feel" like i'm not sleeping because i'm hungry. i just can't sleep. lol

essential oil cedarwood works great (helps stop your brain from thinking too much), working like a higher powered melatonin.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:30 PM   #23
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I meant to buy some Benedryl this afternoon and forgot. I am having sleep problems on DDs and UDs now. I don't know if it's JUDDD related, hormones or environmental aspects. All I know is that I wake at the slightest noise and tend to wake up fully several times per night and feel exhausted in the morning. Plus, I have trouble actually going to sleep because I tend to "wake up" late at night--and have to make myself go to bed sometimes at midnight or later. Doubly bad when I'm waking every hour.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #24
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Hmmm... I have always been a good sleeper. Could sleep my life away if I was allowed. I love to sleep. LOL

But lately, I have been waking up feeling so unrested! But I don't think it's related to JUDDD. Been reading some posts in here that actually made me wonder if I might have a thyroid issue. Feeling unrested is only one of the symptoms that I didn't know could be related.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:55 PM   #25
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I occasionally have trouble on DDs and just in general when it is stress related. I am not sure if I can put product names on here but I take one that is a chewable tablet with melatonin, chamomile, lavendar and lemon balm (its called Midnites) and you can find it in the pharmacy in the aisle with the pain killers. I think it works wonders. I also do Benadryl on occasion but that usually makes me groggy in the morning.

As Green pointed out, there are side effects to melatonin and people with high blood pressure, diabetes and depression should read up on it first.

Also SlowSure to follow up on your blue light information, there is a program you can download on to your computer that dims your computer screen in conjunction with sunset. Just do a search for it and you will come up with a few options. I have used f.lux. I really think that it has helped me because I do have a habit of staying on-line in to the evening. But of course that is only for the computer screen, it doesn't block the rest of the blue light.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:41 PM   #26
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I'm going to look for it, phoenix.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:50 PM   #27
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Cindy- for me the midnites work well to get me to sleep. I can't say it ALWAYS keeps me to sleep! I find it takes maybe 30 minutes at the most to kick in.
On particularly bad days I have even taken a 2nd one midway thru the night (like 4 hours later but I have a weird 4 hour sleep cycle when I'm really stressed out over something) and could go back to sleep.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:27 PM   #28
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Quite timely for me. I had my DD yesterday - I have 8 ambien pills, so I took one.
Fell asleep. Woke up at 1:30. Woke up at 5am and stayed awake until it was time to get up for work.

I tend to have sleeping issues, especially while in ketosis. I tried to save my dinner cals for later in the evening, but I was dying for something and ate at 6pm.
Tomorrow I'll try to save the cals for before an hour before I go to bed.

As an aside - I used to take herbal sleeping tablets which contained valerian root. My mom also took these, and during some examination for other things, it was determined she had an enlarged liver. The only thing that she had been doing differently over the last six months was taking valerian root for her insomnia. Because all the women have insomnia, I'm a big believer in genetics playing a part in allergies/ reactions, so I've quit taking them.

Something to keep in mind. Feel free to google it.
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Last edited by kwerp; 03-24-2014 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:30 AM   #29
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I'm experimenting with resistant starch in the form of potato starch and moderate amounts of cooked then cooled par boiled rice. also taking soil based probiotics and eating homemade fermented veggies. it has been reported to help with sleep as well as restore gut flora (which of course is probably linked to sleep.) I will update here after it's been a week or so. I'm only on my 4th day.
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:48 PM   #30
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Interesting, Green. I'll be watching for updates. I did a little research last night on RS and am very interested on how it works for you.
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