Is Sleep Killing Your Keto Diet, or Vice Versa?

February 18, 2019

Is Sleep Killing Your Keto Diet, or Vice Versa?

Is Sleep Killing Your Keto Diet, or Vice Versa?

A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which can help you burn fat more effectively. The keto diet has numerous benefits, and a few downfalls, too, just as any diet does.

At first, the keto diet can cause interrupted sleep and insomnia, attributed to low levels of serotonin and melatonin, and higher than normal energy levels.

In the long-term, the keto diet can lead to deeper sleep and less required sleep overall.

How lack of sleep affects your appetite

Lack of sleep interrupts the function of two appetite controlling hormones— ghrelin and leptin, which regulate the body's energy balance. Lack of sleep can cause you to eat more, crave higher-calorie foods, and eat without a schedule or pattern.

If you're constantly hungry, or experiencing unwarranted weight gain, it may be a sign that you need more sleep even if you don't think you do.

Here's how the keto diet can affect your sleep. And remember, everyone responds differently to diets, so be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any diet plan.

Because the keto diet does not include many carbohydrates, the amino acid, L-tryptophan which produces serotonin to help with sleep is limited. Lower serotonin and melatonin levels can interrupt your sleep.

However, in the long-term, the keto diet may improve your sleep to a deeper, more relaxing state.

A recent study found that while the ketogenic diet may decrease total time spent sleeping, it can improve the quality of your sleep because of increased REM sleep.

There are several different types of keto diet, however, only the standard and high-protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively.

Here’s a list of foods to noteat if you are on the keto diet:

  • Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy
  • Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal
  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
  • Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas
  • Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips
  • Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs
  • Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat
  • Unhealthy fats:Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise
  • Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages have an affect
  • Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols and can affect keton levels.  

Most of your meals on the keto diet should be from this list:

  • Meat: Red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken and turkey
  • Fatty fish: Such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel
  • Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs
  • Butter and cream:Look for grass-fed when possible
  • Cheese: Unprocessed cheese (cheddar, goat, cream, blue or mozzarella)
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds.
  • Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil
  • Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers
  • Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices

No matter what diet you choose, remember that healthy sleep is always important. Island Slumber supports restful sleep in a relaxing Sleep Oasis®.

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Writer • Nature Lover • Tree Hugger

“Do or do not. There is no try.”   Yoda

- Jane Shelton -


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