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- The keto diet has numerous benefits, and a few downfalls, too, just as any diet does.
- In the short-term, the keto diet can cause interrupted sleep and insomnia.
- Insomnia caused by the keto diet is attributed to low levels of serotonin and melatonin, as well as higher than normal energy levels.
- Long-term, the keto diet can lead to deeper sleep and less required sleep overall.
By now, you’ve probably heard of the keto diet. The keto diet can impact your weight, skin, mental health, and risk of disease in beneficial ways, but did you know that the keto diet can affect your sleep patterns, too?
It’s much better to know what to expect going into the keto diet than to be surprised when your sleep pattern shifts once you get started. After all, sleep can hugely impact your overall health, and you’ll want to be prepared.
Here’s how the keto diet can affect your sleep. It’s, of course, worth noting that everyone’s experiences on the diet will be different and that you should be consulting with your doctor before starting any diet plan.
In the short-term, the keto diet can negatively impact your sleep.
Insomnia is common amongst keto dieters, particularly early on in transitioning to the keto diet, according to Healthline.
Here’s the science behind it:
Carbohydrates are typically the body’s main source of energy as they supply the body with a constant supply of glucose, and “improve entry of the amino acid L-tryptophan into the brain.” Livestrong.com lists that L-tryptophan assists with the production of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter known for calming the body, and contributing to better sleep and well-being. Serotonin is converted into melatonin – the sleep hormone.
Since the ketogenic diet doesn’t include many carbs, dietary L-tryptophan isn’t included in the diet either, which can lead to low serotonin and melatonin levels, according to Keto Shop.
But long-term, the keto diet may improve your sleep.
Once you get past the initial hump, according to Pamela Ellgen, personal trainer and author of Sheet Pan Ketogenic, many people on the keto diet report sleeping much deeper than those who aren’t keto.
A study published by the International League Against Epilepsy found that while the ketogenic diet may decrease total time spent asleep, it can improve the quality of one’s sleep, with increased REM sleep.
Ultimately, everyone’s sleeping patterns are up to them, but it can be helpful to know just how much your diet affects your sleep – and vice versa.
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