How to Beat Keto Insomnia and Get More Sleep

minute read | Last update: Sep 25th2022

This article is backed by studies and reviewed by a certified dietician.

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Have you been experiencing inconsistent sleeping patterns accompanying your ketogenic lifestyle? Perhaps you have spent several sleepless nights in the past few weeks and wish to find a remedy to this keto insomnia.


If you want to sleep like a baby while on keto, we suggest eating your carbs later in the evening so you feel full when you tuck yourself in. However, you shouldn’t eat too late either, because your body needs time to digest the food.


Let us walk you through our top tips on how to beat insomnia and get more sleep.

10 Ways to Beat Keto Insomnia

Insomnia can cause lifestyle issues in the long run, so it is better to get ahead of the problem while you can. Here are a few to beat insomnia when you are on the ketogenic diet.

1. Scheduled Meals

Scheduling your meals is extremely important. You should consume your carbohydrates later in the day, preferably in your last meal before bed.


Having a low-carb meal before bed may be counterproductive. However, some people may not be able to adjust to the carb requirements, so we would suggest slowly easing into the recommended carb range instead of making sudden changes.


It is a good idea to fix a time frame for all your meals and try to have the meals at the same fixed time every day.

2. Not Eating Before Sleeping

Make it a rule not to eat anything for about three to four hours before you hit the hay. This practice gives your body plenty of time to work off the energy from the last meal. Additionally, your carb intake will increase the production of serotonin and help you doze off sooner.


It also provides your body with enough nutrition, and you won’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

3. Balanced Electrolyte Levels

When you cut down on your carbs, your kidneys go from retaining water and sodium to excreting them from your body, which depletes the electrolyte levels.

Since a keto diet flushes out your electrolytes at a higher rate than usual, you need to be careful that they are replenished as required.


You can improve your sleep cycle by adding magnesium supplements or consuming bone broth.


Magnesium glycinate reduces insomnia and improves sleep quality, and works as a muscle relaxant to keep leg cramps away at night.


Dr. Eric Berg also refers to electrolytes that help with keto insomnia in the video below.

4. Cozy Sleeping Ambiance

It is a lesser-known fact that your body follows the natural rhythms of sunset and sunrise to regulate your sleepiness and wakefulness.


Darkness tends to lower cortisol levels and increase melatonin, while bright lights function in the exact opposite manner.


When you are going to sleep, try to create a sunset-like atmosphere by dimming the lights.


Investing in dimmable light bulbs and blue-light-blocking glasses can go a long way.

5. Cool Room Temperature

When you go to bed, your body temperature falls, preparing the body for the upcoming slumber. Ideally, a room temperature between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit will help you fall asleep sooner.


Although the room you are sleeping in should be cool and dark, your extremities should be warm.


If your feet and hands are warmer than your core, your body is more likely to fall asleep than if you are physically exhausted.

6. Regular Exercise

If you practice about 30 minutes of exercise, it will reduce the time required to fall asleep and increase the duration of your sleep. Moreover, long-term exercising can help insomnia patients sleep faster, longer, and better.


Moderate exercise can also help with weight loss, which reduces your risk of developing conditions that affect sleep quality, such as sleep apnea.

7. Sleeping at the Same Time Daily

Ensuring that you get enough sleep regularly is critical in improving your overall health and promoting weight loss. Proper sleep also enhances your physical and mental performance.


Revenge bedtime procrastination is a widespread phenomenon these days, wherein people delay their sleep time because of a lack of free time during the day. It helps them regain a sense of freedom late in the night.


You will have to train yourself to try and sleep and wake up at the same time every day, regardless of whether it is a weekday or a weekend.

8. Lower Amount of Caffeine

Caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for almost six hours after consumption. So, taking coffee anytime during your last six hours before bed will disrupt your sleep.


We would recommend not consuming any coffee post the afternoon and even changing your morning coffee to decaf. Since you are on a ketogenic diet, you won’t have to suffer from blood sugar swings and crashes and will remain energized even without caffeine.


Although chocolate contains caffeine in minuscule quantities compared to espresso, you should avoid it before bed as it could still disturb your sleep.

9. Meditation

Relaxation methods, such as meditation and yoga, are an excellent way to decompress.


Meditation can help you unwind and clear your mind for some wonderful dreams. In addition, there are several yoga routines and postures that have specifically been designed for bedtime.


Mindfulness is also associated with better sleep quality. You can start with just a few minutes every day, and you will notice the results soon enough.

10. Use Natural sleep Aids

If you find yourself not being tired at all when you go to bed so that you're watching Netflix all night until you finally fall asleep, you might have a circadian rhythm that doesn't align with your routine. To fix this fast, I recommend using a good melatonin supplement 90 Minutes before bed. However, melatonin alone can leave you to feel groggy.


That's why we created our own sleep improvement supplement - Deep Sleep Pro. We combine Melatonin with relaxing ingredients like Valerian Root Powder, Hops Extract, L-Tryptophan, Lemon Balm Powder, GABA, Chamomile Powder and 5-HTP.


This formula works so good that if you don't fall asleep like a baby after taking it we don't want your money.

How does Your Diet Affect Sleep

Sleep and diet go hand in hand, which means not only does your diet affect your sleep, but the opposite also holds true.


Studies about sleep suggest that sleeping for less than seven hours each night can increase an individual’s risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, stroke, high blood pressure, and mental distress.


Inadequate sleep also increases your ghrelin levels, which is the hormone responsible for triggering the appetite. So, you end up constantly feeling hungry throughout the day.


Leptin, the hormone that controls the appetite, depletes without proper sleep. Consequently, you might overeat because you do not have control over your intake.


People who do not sleep well are hungry more often and might also end up storing the fat consumed instead of burning it. Their weight loss is usually from their muscle instead of the unwanted fat.


Cortisol, popularly known as the “stress hormone”, also increases due to improper sleep. It plays a rather significant role in regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and insulin secretion.


Disrupting the production of cortisol increases your hunger, elevates cholesterol, and hampers your weight loss efforts, storing fat around the waistline.

Other Factors Affecting Sleep

While diet plays an irreplaceable role in regulating your sleep cycle, it is not the sole factor that can make or break your sleeping patterns.


Let us look at some of the other factors that affect your sleep.

1. Consumption of Caffeine and Other Stimulants

Alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks, nicotine, and alcohol are stimulants that affect your nervous system and hold you back from falling asleep. Caffeine also stimulates the digestive, excretory, and circulatory systems.


It is also said to increase dopamine, which activates pleasure and hampers melatonin, interfering with your regular sleep cycle.

2. Stress or Trauma

Trauma, anxiety, stress, and depression are the most common causes of chronic insomnia.


People who have depression often find it difficult to fall asleep because they have the habit of ruminating, making it challenging to turn off their thoughts and calm down.


The inactivity and silence during nighttime can sometimes surface stressful thoughts and fears, holding you back from sleeping peacefully. As a result, you become more anxious and stressed out, creating a vicious cycle.

3. Medical Conditions

Sometimes improper sleep could also be a symptom of health issues. Moreover, the stress of chronic illnesses can lead to insomnia and drowsiness throughout the day.


Here are a few health concerns commonly associated with sleep problems.

  • Diabetes
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Mental health issues
  • Respiratory problems
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Heartburn
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Thyroid disease
  • Cancer

4. Jet Lag

When you travel across multiple time zones, you might develop the issue of jet lag because your body’s internal clock is disturbed.


Your body has circadian rhythms that signal when you need to sleep or stay awake. Since your body’s clock and the rhythms are synced to your original time zone and not the place you have travelled to, you experience jet lag.

5. Medications

At times, medications can upset your regular sleeping patterns. As a result, you might find yourself struggling with drowsiness throughout the day and unable to sleep at night.


Since chemicals work differently on everyone, your experience might not be the same as someone else’s. The treatment of these common diseases often interferes with sleeping patterns:

  • Heart diseases
  • Asthma drugs
  • Cold and allergy
  • Headaches
  • Blood pressure

6. Pain

Conditions such as back problems or arthritis can be a huge deterrent to a good night’s sleep due to chronic pains.


While pain interferes with sleep patterns, disturbances in sleep worsen pain, so it creates a dangerous cycle.

7. Poor Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to your rituals and habits before bed. Good sleep hygiene ensures good quality and restful sleep.


Some instances of poor sleep hygiene are regular all-nighters, sleeping at unusual times in the day, and using electronic devices in bed.


The light from devices increases your cortisol levels. It even interferes with your melatonin production, so you do not feel tired easily.

8. Lack of Physical Activity

Regular physical activities are extremely crucial to ensuring quality sleep. While certain physical activities can improve sleep duration and quality, others may have the opposite effect.


Moderate exercise training over months can go a long way in improving your sleep patterns.

9. Electrolyte Imbalances

Electrolytes are essential for your body, and an imbalance can interfere with your sleep cycle. Inadequate magnesium, a crucial mineral and electrolyte, can make you more stressed and anxious.


Electrolyte imbalance can cause restlessness, insomnia, and other symptoms, such as muscle cramps, headaches, brain fog, log energy, rapid heartbeat, and over alertness.

Why do you Have Insomnia on Keto Diet

Let us explore some of the reasons you might have developed insomnia to the credit of your ketogenic diet.

1. Keto Flu

When you are new to the keto diet, you might experience keto flu, which usually starts and ends within two to three days. It happens because you suddenly reduce your carb intake, and your body becomes dependent on fat for energy.


You might feel sleepless since you consume fewer carbs and might be skipping out on your comfort food.


Here are a few common symptoms of keto flu:

  • Brain fog
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Lack of focus
  • Heart palpitations
  • Stomach aches or pains
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Muscle cramping
  • Sore muscles
  • Sugar cravings

2. Change in Diet

Your body needs some time to adjust to your new diet and lifestyle. Your sleep cycle may be temporarily disturbed since you consume much more protein and fat content and very few carbs.


Your body has to adapt to metabolizing macros on a keto diet, and this process often takes a toll on your sleep cycle.

3. High Levels Of Energy

While energy is typically perceived as a positive thing, you might be bursting with extra energy while on a keto diet.


The diet involves a lot of healthy fats, such as coconut oil, MCT oil, and grass-fed butter. As a result, you might be wide awake at bedtime or get up in the middle of the night feeling fresh.


You might even be waking up before your alarm in the mornings.

4. Lower Glycogen Levels

As you ease into nutritional ketosis, your body burns through your glycogen reserves.


Every gram of glycogen has about three to four grams of water attached to it, and your body releases this water via urination as it burns through the glycogen.


Depending on your glycogen reserves, you might find yourself waking up often to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night, which will negatively impact your sleep.

5. High Levels Of Stress

People often supplement their ketogenic diet with Intermittent Fasting (IF). It throws your body into a glucose starvation mode, which helps you get through your excess glycogen stores and increases the production of ketones.


Intermittent fasting can sometimes raise the cortisol level, or the stress hormone, in women. Higher cortisol also means you might feel more anxious and on edge, and therefore might not be able to sleep.

The Bottom Line

Sleep and diet are correlated, so if you want healthy sleep, you need to eat well, and vice versa.


Researchers have concluded that increasing your sleep duration by just an hour might improve your food choices the next day.


Sticking to the ketogenic diet definitely requires hard work and lifestyle changes, so you might have sleepless nights initially. However, with our carefully curated tips, you can find your way out of the insomnia issue.


Remember, consistency is critical, so as long as you put in regular efforts, you should be able to get a good night’s sleep soon enough!

FAQ

How do I overcome insomnia on a keto diet?

Overcoming insomnia on the keto diet is not challenging as long as you remember to eat and sleep on a schedule. Moreover, each meal should contain the required nutrients. It is also essential to maintain a good bedtime routine.

How long does keto insomnia last?

If you have symptoms of keto insomnia, they should fade in a couple of weeks once your body eases into the diet and lifestyle changes. All you need to do is ensure that you follow proper sleep hygiene.

What sleep aid can I take on keto?

Here’s our favorite sleep aid for those on a keto diet - the Deep Sleep Pro! It promotes deep and restful sleep and enhances relaxation and focus. Moreover, it is made exclusively with natural ingredients.

Is insomnia a side effect of the keto diet?

In the short term, yes, the keto diet can interfere with your sleep cycle and cause insomnia due to lower serotonin and melatonin. However, the diet improves your sleep quality in the long run.

Do ketones cause insomnia?

No, ketones do not cause insomnia. Ketones are what your body produces when there is not enough glucose or sugar for energy. It can be considered an alternate fuel for the body.

Can keto help with sleep?

In the long run, the keto diet may help people sleep well. It promotes adenosine activity within the body, which relaxes the nervous system and reduces pain and inflammation, helping you sleep better.

How many mg of melatonin should I take?

Ideally, you should take as little melatonin as required to help you sleep without causing side effects. For adults, doses can vary between 0.5mg to 5 mg, depending on person to person.

How many mg of melatonin should I take?

Ideally, you should take as little melatonin as required to help you sleep without causing side effects. For adults, doses can vary between 0.5mg to 5 mg, depending on person to person.

Does lack of carbs cause insomnia?

A low-carb diet can reduce insulin production in the body, which is required to convert sleep-inducing tryptophans into serotonin. You might get a little insomniac since serotonin is the good stuff that helps you sleep.

Why can’t I sleep during intermittent fasting?

IF can cause sleep issues in the short term, but it usually goes away in a few weeks. Fasting sometimes increases energy and adrenaline levels, and you find it harder to sleep since you’re bursting with energy.

Why do I feel tired on the keto diet?

Initially, you might feel more tired than usual, and a certain weakness might take over you. It happens because your body is adjusting to the switch from burning calories to burning fat to produce energy. Here's an in depth article on why you might feel exhausted on the keto diet.

What can I eat on keto when hungry at night?

An ideal late-night snack on the keto diet would be something nutrition-dense but with minimal calories. Here are some options:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Coconut milk
  • Half an avocado
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Keto bread with butter

About the author

The Authentic Keto Team is here to bring you health tips that help you with losing weight fast. We focus on a clean keto diet for beginners because we believe that is the easiest and most simple way to healthy eating. Our keto weight loss tips will not only bring you into ketosis fast but will also help you to improve your mental health, sleep problems, and wellness.


- Our goal is to make keto success easy. -

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