You’ve probably heard about the keto diet by now. This diet benefits your weight, mental health, skin, and even your sleep pattern!
Some people tend to underestimate the sleep benefits with keto because of its tendency to cause interrupted sleep. The good news, however, is that this sleep interruption is just fleeting.
Once you get past this initial hump, you will discover how the keto diet actually lets you have a deeper sleep!
Sleep Benefits with Keto
One of the many benefits of being on a keto diet is improved sleep. If you have been on this diet for a while, you may already be experiencing the benefits of keto when it comes to your sleep patterns.
Most likely, you find it easier to fall and stay asleep by now, and your sleep feels deeper and more restful.
You can’t underestimate the importance of having enough sleep in keeping your body healthy. Sleep is an absolutely essential factor that contributes to weight loss.
If you want to lose weight and live a healthier life, don’t think of sleep as something any less important than eating! Here are some of the ways having enough sleep benefits your body:
1. Your body is in ketosis while you sleep.
Many people feel that the keto diet is unsafe, when in fact it is one of the safest ways to go if you want to lose weight. When you sleep, your body is in a fasted state.
As your body enters this state, it relies on your body’s stored fat for fuel. That means that when you sleep and are in ketosis, your body keeps using as much fat it can use.
The more fat you burn, the more weight you lose!
2. More sleep means more cortisol in your body.
The more sleep you have, the more stable your body’s cortisol levels get. Cortisol is the stress hormone.
When levels of this hormone run high in your body, you store fat. But when you are well-rested, it makes it easier for your body to burn fat.
3. More sleep means more power to work out.
When you have enough sleep, you have more power through those workouts, and as a result, your body gets stronger and more active.
Don’t think that missing a day or two of exercise has little to do with your weight loss efforts. You probably haven’t heard of this, but your body loses as much as 36% of unnecessary body fat when you exercise even for just twice a week!
4. Sleep lets you think clearly.
If you have experienced not having enough sleep at least once in your life, then you probably know how it affects your ability to think clearly.
If you rest well, you give yourself the opportunity to think about your goals clearly and maintain your willpower. If you do not rest well, however, you are more likely to reach for a random stash of candy than celery with almond butter and coconut oil.
You know what happens after that, right?
5. Sleep tames your hunger hormones.
Your body has two hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is what tells your brain when it’s time to eat, while leptin is what prompts your brain when you are already full.
When you don’t have enough sleep, these hormones go all kinds of crazy. When you are tired, your body produces high levels of ghrelin to make you feel hungry all the time and produces less leptin to prevent you from feeling full.
If you want these hormones to stay right where they need to be, rest up!
How to Improve Sleep on Keto
Okay, so you now know how crucial sleep is in achieving your fitness goals. But the question is how do you improve your sleep patterns and get a good night’s rest while on keto?
Here are some tips for you:
· When it is time to sleep, make sure that you make sleep your priority.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Give yourself some grace and just tackle the things that you can.
The more well-rested you are, the more productive you will be. If you get enough sleep, it will be easier for you to cross your to-do items off of your list.
· Your room sends a signal to your body when it is time to sleep.
If you want to have a good rest, make sure that your room is dark and cool. This will tell your body that it is time to shut down and conserve energy while you sleep.
· Get some vitamin D from natural sunlight.
Vitamin D helps regulate your sleep cycles, so make it a point to be outdoors at least a few hours a day. Being outdoors in natural light helps your body produce melatonin, which helps a lot in regulating your sleep cycles.
· Fill your mind with positivity before going to bed.
Do not make it a habit to check Facebook updates before sleeping. This will only get you all riled up! Instead of turning on your television, pick up a book that makes you feel good!
· Do some work out at least 4 hours before bed.
When you exercise, several hormones increase in levels, including your ghrelin. As your ghrelin shoots up, you will feel hungry again.
When this happens, keto on! Fuel your body with healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein and small amounts of whole carb.
As you eliminate processed food and sugar from your digestive system, your fat-fueled brain will easily drift off to dreamland!
Sleepy After Eating
Going keto means that you are encouraging your body to switch energy sources. You eat in a way that tells your body to produce ketone bodies—not carbohydrates—for fuel.
When you get rid of carbs in your diet, your body won’t have the same amount of glucose it used to before as a source of energy. To make up for this, your liver produces ketones—the byproducts of the body metabolizing fat for energy.
In short, the keto diet lets you do away with excess sugar and break down stored fats as a primary source of fuel. That is basically why the keto diet may make you feel sleepy after eating.
While your body transitions from a sugar burner to a fat burner, it uses up all its energy from carbs. If you feel sleepy after shifting to the keto diet, you know that is your body in limbo, waiting to get used to the ketosis and to get that constant flow of energy going.
If you feel sleepy on keto, don’t give up! You will only experience this during the transition phase. While this may be tough, the good news is that there are plenty of snack options for you to have enough energy to make it through one day at a time.
You may consume a tablespoon of virgin, organic coconut oil to keep your energy around or eat a lot of alkalizing food or electrolyte food like non-starchy vegetables, avocado, nuts, seaweed, and green juices.
Can’t Sleep on the Keto Diet
Everyone’s experiences on the keto diet will be different. Once you get started with this diet, you will notice shifts in your sleeping pattern.
Early on in your transitioning to this diet, you may feel sleepy. However, you may also experience insomnia.
Insomnia is common among keto dieters. Carbohydrates improve the entry of amino acid L-tryptophan into your brain.
This amino acid assists with the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that calms the body and contributes to better sleep.
Since the keto diet does not include many carbs, it can lead to low serotonin and melatonin levels in your body, which may cause you insomnia. In the long-term, however, you will find that the keto diet actually helps improve your sleep.
Whatever happens, don’t give up on your keto diet! You owe it to your body.
Stick to it and you’ll see. One day, you will wake up a few pounds lighter and with no signs of keto insomnia anymore.
Keto Diet and Sleep Apnea
When you have sleep apnea, you snore at night and have irregular breathing while you sleep. That’s terrifying!
This condition is tied to grain consumption, the heartburn that it causes and the reactive hypoglycemia from a high carb diet.
Once you go keto, you cut grains and carbs out of your diet and permanently reduce your carb intake. Keto does not only help you lose weight, it also cures sleep apnea!
So if you are experiencing signs of sleep apnea, take charge of your health with the keto diet and get cured!