Self-Experimentation

Well, he doesn’t look healthy, but he sure looks like he’s getting his sleep. As a matter of fact, I think, Homer Simpson probably sleeps a heck of a lot better than I do, since that is likely his third favorite passtime besides drinking beer and eating donuts.

When I went paleo in January of 2011, a lot of things changed for me. Less painful periods, quick weight loss, better skin, improved mood, and yes, better sleep.

Interestingly, my sleeping pattern got worse over the past few months, and recently, I started having a hard time falling asleep all together. At night I’d toss and turn, and in the morning I would wake up groggy and usually with a kink in my neck. Every so often I’d be up all night, incredibly tired, but unable to sleep. I’d sit around all night, eyes half open, watching silly TV shows (you wouldn’t believe the garbage they show on television at 3am), frustrated and angry. I’d fall asleep around 4am, then woke up again around 6am… because as soon as the sun comes up, I rise and shine… or well… I rise… I DID NOT SHINE!

Then Ogre and I had our little staycation I blogged about a couple of days ago. During those 4 days I slept incredibly well, and this is amazing, considering the hard hotel beds and the amount of wine I had. πŸ˜‰ Plus, McMenamins hotels are not exactly the most quiet place. And yet, I slept. I hoped this would continue when we got home. But well, the first night in my own bed, and it was back to tossing and turning all night. Weird, right?

The next day something occurred to me. In recent months I increased the amount of dairy I consumed pretty considerably. My first night back home I’d had a dessert made with heavy whipping cream. Could this be it? Could my sleeping problems be related to my dairy intake? I decided to put this theory to the test and stay off dairy completely for a day. That night I slept wonderfully. A full 9 hours! The following day I consumed dairy at night. The results? Tossing and turning all night.

Yesterday, the only dairy I did consume was some butter in my food. I slept well, and this morning I woke up feeling rested and rejuvenated.

Wow, I really amazed at how much of an impact dairy seems to have on my sleep. I grew up being told that milk is a great sleep-inducing beverage. Every now and then I’d get a glass of hot milk with a tablespoon of honey to help me sleep. The only thing I remember is getting a stomach ache as a result of it. Should have gotten the hint back then, eh?

Have a nice day, Paleo peeps!

3 thoughts on “Self-Experimentation”

  1. I have a hard time sleeping (and other symptoms) from dairy, too. I can eat 24 hour yogurt we make at home from raw or pasteurized but non-homogenized milk, I can have ghee. For me, amall amount of butter is ok, and extreme moderation with some kinds of aged cheese seems to be ok (but will lead to mental instability).I get a lot of trouble sleeping from anything sugary aside from a honey and fruit (in moderation). Starchy vegetables or a lapse into other forms of sugar make me "sleep" exactly as you describe. Add to that sweats, crazy dreams that leave me still aware of the house all night, and then full body itchiness and digestive trouble.I'm on the GAPS diet which is very similar to paleo/primal, it works for me until I stray from it a bit.

  2. I think I may start keeping a sleep log, and write down what I've been eating. Not painstakingly precise, but in general… Obviously, it's just been a few days, and it could still be something else. But we'll see. :)The sugar thing is also something I have to watch out for. πŸ˜‰

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