August 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm #11888
Hi everyone. I had a 24hour cortisol urine test which showed a level of cortisol slightly higher than the upper reference range.
I have already started the diet for recovery, but the thing is that I still wake up at 3 or 4 am for no apparent reason.
I eat 3 meals a day with one snack. Typically for breakfast I have more protein, fat and moderate carbs.
For lunch I have higher fat, high carb and moderate protein.
For dinner I have high carb, moderate fat and moderate protein.
Could it be my dinner Causing the wake up?August 22, 2013 at 12:20 am #11890
Around 3 or 4am is when adrenaline peaks typically, so if your stress hormone baseline is high, that surge can wake you up. Matt sees that a lot. From 12 Paleo Myths, in the list of common paleo fail symptoms:
“Waking at 4am
Our natural rhythms seem to set 4am as the time to awaken with a surge of adrenaline when things start to become ?off. I do believe that this can have something to do with running out of sugar and salt at the cellular level ? once again relating to overall metabolism.
Usually there is a strong urge to urinate and feelings of extreme hunger or thirst, rapid pulse, and anxiety. Putting sugar and salt under the tongue at this time is very helpful for taming this adrenaline surge. This is another thing to watch out for and take action to correct.”
You can also try a salty carby snack, like two or three crackers or pretzels, to help deal with that, and get you back to a less stress-hormone dominant state, and more quickly back to sleep.August 22, 2013 at 12:41 am #11891
Thanks for your reply, Rob. Your response is so helpful. Are there any other ways to correct that problem of mine? What else could help?
When I suddenly wake up at 4 am, my body feels very hot and I feel hot. But what happens in 30-45 minutes is that I start getting cold hands, feet and low blood pressure.
I am quite desperate as something is very wrong with meAugust 22, 2013 at 7:39 am #11900
Feeling hot, possibly with a racing heart is consistent with that adrenaline surge pattern, and then once that calms a bit, feeling cold and with low BP makes sense. Some people in a low metabolic state have a similar reaction to eating; when you eat, you quell that stress response, and if that was the only thing keeping you warm and alert, then you’ll feel comparatively cold after.
In general- working on metabolic health is a good idea. The more time you spend in a less stress-hormone dominant state during the day, the more your body can restore and repair, and the less likely it is that the normal hormonal peak at that time will be strong strong enough to wake you.
It’s not fun, and no one wants to experience this, but it’s often an easy fix. Try the salt and sugar under the tongue during acute bouts of it, and see what happens. And in general, I would follow the guidelines of Eat for Heat, paying attention to signs of stress hormone events, and keeping them at bay by consuming appropriate amounts of fluids, and making sure to get plenty of food, especially carbs and sleep. Good luck.August 22, 2013 at 8:35 am #11905Chen2011Participant
Rob, you mentioned putting sugar and salt under the tongue, my question is two fold a) how much sugar and salt and B) Why under the tongue as opposed to just eating it?
ThanksAugust 22, 2013 at 9:04 am #11906
It’s up to you to figure out how much- there’s no set amount really. Maybe a teaspoon or two of each and see how that goes for you.
The idea is to let it dissolve under the tongue so it’s absorbed faster and is more immediately available, rather than going through your GI tract. Obviously if you’re chewing, it happens too, versus just swallowing like pill. But sublingual absorption seems to be most effective.August 22, 2013 at 11:12 am #11917LindaParticipant
I am also having problems with sleep. I go to bed at 10:30 and wake up a couple hours later, then again around 2:30 and may be up 2hrs before I get back to sleep. I’m totally messed up at night. I also noticed no matter how tired I feel in the evening when I get into bed I almost feel wired. I don’t have room darkening shades but I do have a sleep mask. It’s just too hot to wear right now. I do the salt/sugar thing. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I wish I could get on with fixing my metabolism without worrying about sleeping thru the night, because I don’t think I’m ever getting there. And may I add I can’t stand the fat and desperate to get rid of it!August 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm #11936Chen2011Participant
Thanks, I will give that a try and hope I have some success.August 23, 2013 at 1:41 am #11952
Rob, dont even know how to thank you for helping me.
It gets worth in the morning. I wake up quite warm and when I drink and eat, bam I am quite cold, chills running down the spine, hands dead cold:(
What else should I do to fix that problem of mine? I tend to have something like 700 kcal on breakfast with majority coming from carbs, fat and some proteinAugust 23, 2013 at 6:39 am #11963justlolaParticipant
@Linda: I’m almost exactly the same. Waking up every few hours, suddenly wired the second I switch off the light, and the fat… ah, the fat. Le sigh.August 23, 2013 at 10:00 am #11971LindaParticipant
Finally, someone responding to me! Justlola, I’m glad I’m not the only one having this problem, at the same time I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Maybe we can help each other. From reading Matt’s blog and the forum here I have the feeling if I don’t get good sleep I will never recover. That is why I am so frustrated. Talk about stress, huh!August 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm #11986justlolaParticipant
@Linda, yeah, the lack of consistent sleep does tend to cause more stress… and less sleep. Perfect : / I’ve found yoga and meditation help sometimes, but my practice of preference is Bikram, which requires a good 2-3 litres of water ingested throughout the day. Haven’t figured out how I’m going to work through that, or whether to transition into a less fluid-intensive style.
Oddly enough, when I did Whole30 about 18 months ago, I found I slept really well, too. Sugar seemed to be the lowest common denominator at the time. There’s no way in hell I want to go paleo again; it drove me absolutely mental with all the restrictions (and I’m not a fan of red meat or eggs). What’s a girl to do?August 31, 2013 at 7:26 am #12258KazaParticipant
@Linda and @justlola I have the same problem :-( I sleep in 2-3 hour chunks, being awake from a few mins to a few hours between sleep chunks. Some days/nights are better than others but I can’t work out why. I tried yoga (not Bikram) but that doesn’t seem to make it better or worse. I’ve been following Matt’s advice for 5 months but I guess I’m just being impatient!! I have also put on a lot of weight (60 pounds – eugh!) and can’t wait for it to be gone :-( Anyway, please share anything that helps to make it better for you guys and I will do the same :-) Nice to hear from others who are going through the same thing. Although it’s not pleasant for anyoneAugust 31, 2013 at 8:40 am #12259juliebwParticipant
I’m just jumping into the sleepless group, problems staying asleep earlier in the evening, and waking way too early. I Think Matt recommended 4 parts sugar and 1 part salt.August 31, 2013 at 3:43 pm #12265DutchieParticipant
Im sorry for everyone experiencing sleep problems,as ive been there myself for many years.
For me it all reversed when i took out all starches,especially grains sadly.
I think in my case it was surges in cortisol by bloodsugar imbalances. Caused by eating starchy grainy foods:(
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