This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

How to Sleep Again?

give or take I always end up sleeping too little, and feel very stressed out because of it. At my best I sleep 6 hours without waking but lately I almost cannot sleep at all, only 3 hours, from 1 am to 3 am only! I am almost sure that this is caused by stress hormones, but measuring my pulse and temp sometimes confuses me since it doesn't make any sense. When I get up in the morning with muscle pains like I have been strongly exercising the other day(and I haven't done that) that would mean that I am high on stress hormones, right? I eat correctly, I take all the right supplements and Cynoplus, Progest E , and all you can think of, still I am a total hormonal wreck. I am handling everything else with more positive attitude, but not being able to sleep every night really makes me want to hang myself. how did you solve your sleeping issues?

asked Jun 5, 2013 by Nemesis

If I don't work out for a while, my sleep quality starts to suck.

EDIT: I don't believe this anymore.

How much of a workout do you do Kasra?
Since finding Peat, I only do walking and a little light weights.
Same here pretty much, though I'll sometimes lift heavy weights for fun.
I don't do any exercise except walking.Maybe I should try it!
I have recently started having insomnia trouble again just lately. I am trying to think if I started eating something different when it started, but it's hard to identify exactly when it started.  I did switch from eating carrot salad to eating bamboo shoots recently, but not sure if the timing is the same. I'm switching back to eating the carrot salad again, though to see.
One thing that always seems to relax me is leisurely swimming in a natural setting. I don't know if swimming in a pool would be the same. I think I sleep well after this though.
I may have tracked  down the cause of my insomnia. I just realized raisins, which I've been eating a lot of lately have some starch in them. What made me think about this was checking my blood sugar, which I haven't done in a while. It was high, which seemed odd, since I have checked it lots of times after eating fruit and it stayed normal.  It occurred to me that maybe I was getting starch in my diet in some food I was eating regularly lately. Nutritiondata says raisins have a little starch which adds up to a lot if you eat a lot of them.   Along with the insomnia, I have been having low grade headaches, too. So, maybe this is the cause. I'll see.
You think that starch form it would cause you insomnia? i usually eat a little starch every day, at least with one meal, mostly rice or potato. Maybe you're just allergic to raisins. I am allergic to cocoa and I react badly when I eat it. So sad, because i love hot cocoa and chocolate:)
Cocoa seems to be a problem for me, too. Not sure why. It is aggravating to have to do without chocolate alright. :)
   The reason I thought starch might cause my insomnia is that it makes my blood sugar go high and then seems to affect my blood sugar for a few days after that.  Grain starches really seem to cause insomnia. I haven't knowingly been eating starch in a while except as an occasional experiment/cheat, so I just thought it might be the starch in the raisins.  Or it might be something else. Oh well. I'll skip the raisins for a while and see what's what. I'm not crazy about them anyway.  I really hate insomnia. I hope you get yours sorted out soon.
Just thought I'd add that I found bamboo shoots have some starch. Nutrition data says not much, but testing with iodine shows what looks like plenty. So, I was thinking it might have contributed to any blood sugar problems and insomnia caused by it.
Ice cream before bed?

" It's better to take your protein during the day, sugar and fat in the evening."

Also I have some gelatin before bed the glycine helps me sometimes to sleep.
Of course, it doesn't help my insomnia that my husband has decided that the lawn mowing should be done at midnight or later. Actually, his PTSD is the major stressor in my life.  I wish he'd go back to aggravating the neighbor in back of us who also evidently is in his yard at night. He was near the back property line then and working with hand implements, so I didn't hear any of it. I can't sleep in the day time like he does.
Hey, this has the makings of a good murder mystery. Man found in yard run over by lawn mower. Was it the insomniac wife? Was it the aggressive, possibly criminal neighbor? Or was it an accident involving the dog?
That man needs some sugah

5 Answers

It could just be general stress. But there are many other explanations. I struggled with sleeping problems for many years and finally got it under control a few weeks ago. One of the things to check is your circadian rhytm. It is easily adjusted by getting enough sun in the day and keep lights off after sunset. Try not to eat too late. Eat the main part of your calories until afternoon. Try to do some light exercise. But do it early in the day. Try eating more protein. Sleeping time seems to correlate with protein consumption in most species. Don't be too busy after sunset. Don't do anything that engages your mind too much. And the most trivial of all: Have more sex. Or to be more precise, have more orgasms. That should knock you out pretty fast.

If everything fails, invest in some lab work. The most important things to check are thyroid, estrogen, progesteron, prolactin, serotonin, cortisol and adrenaline.

answered Jun 5, 2013 by Dewitt
I'm trying, it's not easy:)
The orgasm part or the other parts...? :-P
To give the Ray Peat perspective, I think he says bright incandescent light in the evening is anti-stress, so good for reducing night time stress. I'll try to find the quote. It may be on this site in other posts and in the email exchanges, too.
Yes, but he also mentioned that he couldn't sleep with an incandescent light bulb shining on him.
That's true. Let's see sit under bright incandescent light with a sleep mask on listening to classical, jazz or other mood soothing music in the evenings?  How 'bout that? :D
Not a bad idea... But theres still the heat generation of the light bulb that you have to cope with :)
Yeah, okay in winter, but not in summer!
I am having trouble finding the right bulb, but I should try it. Although, I do get a lot of sun and bright light during the day so wouldn't that be enough?
You would think that would be enough light. People talk about the heat lamp light bulbs, and those are hot, of course. I got a 250 watt heat lamp bulb, but it's too hot to use it now. Of course you'd want to use it in the appropriate fixture. I have a metal clamp light with a porcelain socket. Maybe just some 100 watt incandescents aimed at you would work.
good thing is that avoiding PUFA, eating right and taking a lot of sugar can cure diabetes. Do you have any menstrual cycle problems that can be related to poor blood glucose use?
No problems there, because I already went through menopause. Of course, new problems due to that, no doubt.  I was on birth control for a long time and for several years on SSRIs. That probably didn't help anything. :/
that only could make you estrogen dominant and diabetic. i hate doctors
I guess they are somewhat victims of the system, too.  Maybe, too, it takes a certain kind of personality to get through medical school. Probably few sensitive creative thinkers can hack it.
I finally had a pretty good night's sleep last night. I switched back to carrot salad a few days ago from bamboo shoots. Actually my insomnia felt like the kind that eating wheat seems to give me. It's as if I feel too energized to sleep, which isn't bad at first, but begins to tell on me with night after night of little quality sleep. Wheat and bamboo shoots are both grasses, but then so are many other things including sugar cane.
Well, bamboo shoots may have residual natural cyanide compounds in them. Here's an article which indicates that this might have an anti thyroid effect on people in poor health.
Wheat is fumigated with cyanide according to a study I read.

Does metabolism also effects sleeping time? when your metabolism raises from things like coffee, aspirin etc. Will you need more or less sleep?

when I am relaxed and calm( when stress hormones go down) I sleep better

A child doesn't have sleep problems because the high metabolism and ability to produce energy. Ultimately, it takes a lot of energy to rest and sleep deeply. Ray recommends Cynomel not plus when trying to sleep. He said in one the of podcasts that he gave a friend 10mcg's of Cynomel and the next day his friend said it was like an opiate. When Ray says "For years I hadn't slept through a whole night without waking, and I was in the habit of having some juice or a little thyroid to help me go back to sleep," he is talking about T3 when he says thyroid. Lots of sugar and salt helps me sleep. And T3. And eating frequently throughout the day. Check out Rob Turner's 10 tips for better sleep. He teaches a nutrition course that is based off of Ray's work solely.

answered Jun 6, 2013 by Westside PUFAs
reshown Sep 19, 2014 by Westside PUFAs
I never tried Cynomel. I was kind of hoping that my thyroid would start to function by itself after a year an a half of supplementing Cynoplus and diet and all the right things. Maybe i should try it.

how much starch do you all eat?

answered Jun 6, 2013 by Nemesis
Most of the time, I get half of my carbs in the form of starch. For various reasons... I live in Germany, where fruits are expensive and not very tasty. I cannot afford to eat only fruits as a carb source. And it wouldn't be very enjoyable to me. I already juice most of my fruits because I don't like the texture of whole fruits. Also, I seem to tolerate starch pretty well. Especially white rice. It's also a good way to eat more salt, as starchy foods can be generously salted without ruining the flavor of the dish.
I react good to white rice also. Starch gives me good energy but also gives me endotoxin problems I think.
I don't eat any starch because my blood sugar stays normal instead of jumping around by eating fruit instead of starch and I do think it causes endotoxin.
I don't know... I seem to get more endotoxin problems with whole fruits. I always notice gut problems when eating too much whole fruits. Which is another reason why I always juice my fruit. I guess that's because fruit fiber is more easily fermented by gut bacteria than the fiber found in starchy foods (except legumes).
I think starch really does that to blood glucose if you have any blood sugar issues. Sarah you should try supplementing niacinamide, it is good for regulating blood glucose.I take it because I noticed some high blood sugar symptoms. I don't have a glucometer but I think it is blood sugar, my health symptoms also point to poor glucose use in the cell, so I'm pretty sure. Niacinamide helps. Vitamin e too.  And sugar of course.
I get endotoxin symptoms depending on my health and hormonal status at the time. If I am feeling better and full of progesterone than all the food allergies kind of subside and endotoxin problems get smaller. But when I am not that good health wise I get a real endotoxin overload. and than it doesn't matter id I ate strach or fruit, I get screwed. Sometimes i need to eat carrots at least twice a day, and drink aspirin to help me get rid of it and other time I forget if I ate carrot salad or not that day because I don't need it. everything really varies all the time, all the allergies, all the symptoms, that is annoying. I think women don't easily get out of hypothyroidism and health trouble as men because of the menstrual cycle and constant hormonal varying and estrogen bursts.
I did get some niacinamide, but am nervous to try it, because I had a bad reaction to niacin (mood) in the past.  I may try it soon, though and see how it goes. Thanks!  I got a glucose meter when my doctor said I had mild diabetes. I use just to see how I'm doing. It's another clue.
Yes, even though, I am post menopausal there still could be complicating fluctuations. That's interesting that things get better for you when your progesterone is up. I felt the best ever when I was pregnant, I remember. Maybe that's why some women have lots of babies.
     I have been trying bamboo shoots instead of carrot salad for several days just because it's easier. You don't have to grate it, but today I switched back  in case the carrot was better.   Maybe I should try Progest E or pregnenolone but I get nervous about possible mood side effects.
of course you felt that good while pregnant , progesterone is what keeps us healthy and young and if you're progesterone deficient you get problems. like me. You should definitely supplement Progest E complex. It is dr Peat's formula and  It really has a great effect, even on me and I am really messed up.
Progest E made me sleep. while the bottle lasted:)
I guess I really should try it. Where do you order it from? Heck, it can't be as scary as trying some of the anti-depressant meds psychiatrists have given me! Some of those do have nasty side effects.
Sleep is very good.
they are the manufacturers, directly form them is the best
Oh, thanks! I have been considering trying it, and being post menopausal, I guess diet probably won't cut it by itself.

what really helped me to fall asleep was meditation or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - in the UK there's even a sleep school which uses ACT to help people deal with the stress they get when they are not able to fall asleep

here's an interesting article,2005.pdf

but although I fall asleep pretty quickly I always wake after about 4-5 hours of sleep - so I'm trying to integrate the tips from functionalps

answered Jun 6, 2013 by TarkusMoe

Lilly, this might be obvious, but have you tried cutting out caffeine or having it only 1st thing in morning? Some people are really sensitive to it, even with a meal. I know Peat says coffee is good, but I think for some people if their body chemistry is not optimised, sometimes they can't handle it.
Half life of caffeine is something like 6 hours I think (don't quote me on that), so even if you drunk a coffee at 4pm, there'd still be half the caffeine left at 10pm.
Just a thought ...
& also, maybe write out a typical days eating & drinking & supplementing for us if you feel like it, we might be able to pick up on something.

answered Jun 6, 2013 by Orangey
yes, that's exactly true! Few moths ago I've cut on coffee a lot, and I drink it only in the morning . These troublesome days i've cut it again to a really small dose in the morning also. That would suggest poor liver function right?
Yeah I think it could be that, I've heard people say it. I think it could also be just generally low hormones, not healthy, immune system reactive - and then any little bit of caffeine can set off a disproportionate stress reaction. Just my opinion. Could also just be differences between us, some more sensitive than others to caffeine, just the way we are made.
So maybe you could try cutting out all tea/coffee for a few days. Also gelatin in hot milk at night is very relaxing.
is some simple kind of gelatin good enough, the one i can by anywhere?
yes i think so