The high-fat, low-carb keto diet is one of the most talked-about diets in today’s world, it maintains the body’s health and helps lose body weight.
Many people seem to have sleep-related issues when they first start with keto diets. The sleep patterns of the body can be very much affected by the increase in the intake of fats and a big reduction in the take of carbohydrates. People who follow the keto diet for a decent number of weeks seem to be more alert during the day and tend to have a deep sleep at night. A Keto diet certainly helps improve your sleep.
Keto Diet’s Popularity
Originally, the keto diet was not used to lose weight or even maintain body health. It was a form of treatment for those patients who suffered from epilepsy in the 1920s and 1930s. Research has also shown that the keto diet can help with certain types of cancers and even with severe Alzheimer’s disease.
The Keto diet mainly gained its popularity in the 80s alongside the Atkins diet when articles in newspapers started circulating about its benefits in terms of health and losing bodyweight. Keto diet and Atkins diet were promoted as the best way to lose weight.
What is Keto Diet?
The Keto diet focuses on the intake of high amounts of fats rather than carbs. This change in intake leads the body into the stage of ketosis where the body starts burning fat to use as energy to keep the body functioning and the fats of the liver are turned into ketones. The keto diet plan can help to maintain your blood sugar levels, weight control, and many other things.
How can Keto Diet improve your sleep?
The keto formula can work in many ways towards improving your sleeping patterns such as
- Weight Loss – If we compare a normal person to an obese person, the obese person is more likely to sleep less and wake up more, they end up feeling more tired. Obesity can increase the chances of developing apnea which is a dangerous sleeping condition. When an obese person starts with their weight loss journey with a keto diet, their sleeping cycle and patterns improve a lot. The keto diet plan is known for its ability to promote the loss of body weight.
- Control of Blood Sugar Levels – When you consume a diet that is carb intensive, your blood sugar levels are affected a lot. The energy and hunger levels can go up and down as the blood sugar levels increase and decrease. Something like this is not for sleep, however; ketosis helps you move away from this pattern of increase and decrease in blood sugar levels. Ketosis can maintain your blood sugar levels keeping you away from late-night hunger which can disturb your sleeping cycles and patterns. There is a very strong connection between a ketogenic diet and sleep. If you are not getting a night of good sleep, you will not be burning fats that much.
- Boost to GABA – GABA stands for Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, a neurotransmitter that helps towards relaxation of your mind. Studies have indicated that people who are suffering from insomnia when given supplements that boost GABA levels can sleep faster and for longer durations. The keto diet works towards increasing the levels of GABA in the body. Being on a keto diet can help you sleep faster and for longer durations, it can help people suffering from insomnia as well.
The Negative Side
When you go on a keto diet, your body experiences a very shift in its metabolism which it has never experienced before. Your body instead of burning sugar to use as energy to make the body function shift to fat for the same. Like with any shift in general, this shift as well takes time for the body to adapt to. When this shift is happening, people go through many problems and face the side effects of keto such as fatigue, headaches, low energy levels, and keto insomnia. There are many ways in which the keto diet can have negative effects on your sleep as well –
- Ruining the balance of Electrolyte – Minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium are regarded as electrolytes. They are responsible for conducting impulses in the nervous system. As they are responsible for functions of many parts of the brain, any kind of electrolyte deficiency can be problematic for a person. The Keto diet focuses the body to burn fats instead of sugar which means that sodium and potassium are not that well retained anymore. This forces a person’s kidney to take more electrolytes out of the body which can lead to problems related to sleep for people who are starting with a keto diet.
- More Excretion – Since kidneys are being forced to take more electrolytes out of the body because of the keto formula side effect, it results in a person peeing more than usual. This forces the person as well to wake up in the middle of the night which ends up ruining sleep cycles and sleep patterns.
- Carbs – For our brain, carbs are a drug that we need to take. As is the case with any withdrawal effect, when the body starts adapting to low carb foods, many brain functions such as sleep are affected by the low carb diet. However, this only happens for the first few weeks after changing to a low carb diet, your body adapts soon enough and your normal sleeping patterns are resumed.
The change in sleeping cycles and patterns is not only limited to a keto diet, this can be seen with all kinds of diet plans. With the keto diet, your sleeping pattern is improved but it takes time for the body to adapt to new changes hence some side effects can be seen when beginning with a keto diet. How much keto improves your sleep will depend on the particular situation of your body health and other factors. There is always a strong connection between sleep and what you consume on a daily basis.