How Does Keto Affect Your Sleep?

Are you trying the keto diet and wondering how it’s affecting your sleep? Here’s what you need to know. The ketogenic diet can impact your sleep, for better or worse. Depending on how well you adjust to the changes in your eating habits, you may find that your sleep improves, stays the same, or gets worse. I’ve got a few points to keep in mind as you try the keto diet.

What Is Keto?

Keto, also known as the ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat nutritional plan that has recently gained significant popularity. This dietary approach involves drastically reducing (or even eliminating) carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. When this metabolic state is achieved, the body uses fat for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates.

Proponents of keto say that this shift in fuel sources can have various health benefits, including weight loss, reduced appetite, improved cognitive performance, and increased energy levels. While some risks are associated with the keto diet, most experts agree that it can be an effective tool for those looking to incorporate healthy eating into their lifestyle.

How Does Keto Work?

The ketogenic diet is a weight loss regime that drastically reduces carbohydrate intake and increases the fat and protein in the diet. This diet aims to put the body into a metabolic state (ketosis), where the body will burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.

This process happens naturally when the body does not access carbohydrates from food. Still, it can also be expedited through keto-friendly foods like high-fat dairy products, fatty fish, and coconut oil. Aside from its weight loss benefits, proponents of the keto diet claim that it can improve mental clarity and reduce symptoms of certain chronic illnesses.

While there are many questions about how keto works exactly, research has shown that this innovative eating approach may have some powerful health benefits for those willing to stick with it.

Is Keto Safe?

While the ketogenic diet has recently become popular, many people remain skeptical about its safety. On the surface, this skepticism may seem warranted, as the diet is well-known for being extremely restrictive. In particular, adherents of the keto diet eliminate most carbohydrates from their diets and instead focus on fats and protein.

However, much research suggests that the keto diet can have significant health benefits for those who follow it properly. For example, many studies have shown that it can help to reduce inflammation in key areas of the body and boost energy levels by inducing a state of ketosis.

Thus, while some risks are certainly associated with following a keto diet, the benefits generally outweigh these risks for most people. Those considering this diet should consult a medical professional before changing their eating habits.

You might be interested: How Sleep and Weight Loss are Connected

Pros and Cons of the Keto Diet

Pro: Weight Loss

The biggest pro is that it can help you lose weight. This is because when you consume fewer carbs, your body is forced to burn fat for energy.

Pro: Increased Energy

Another pro of the keto diet is that you may experience an increase in energy levels. This is because it burns fat for energy rather than carbs. This can lead to more stable blood sugar levels and increased daily energy.

Pro: Improved Mental Focus

In addition to increased energy levels, you may also find that your mental focus improves on the keto diet. This is because when your body is in ketosis, it provides a steady supply of energy to the brain, leading to improved mental clarity and focus.

Pro: Lower Blood Sugar Levels

If you’ve got diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, the keto diet can be beneficial as it can help to lower blood sugar levels. This is because when you consume fewer carbs, your body does not have to produce as much insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Con: Difficulty Maintaining

One of the biggest cons of the keto diet is it can be hard to maintain over the long term. This is because it requires strict adherence to a low-carbohydrate diet, which can be difficult for some people to stick to. The keto diet may also cause some side effects, such as fatigue, headaches, and constipation.

Con: Limited Food Choices

Another con of the keto diet is that it limits your food choices, as you must avoid all high-carb foods. This can make meal planning and preparation difficult and may lead to boredom with your food choices over time. Additionally, you may miss important nutrients if you do not eat various healthy foods on the keto diet.

Con: High Cholesterol Levels

A final con of the keto diet is that it may cause high cholesterol levels. This is because your cholesterol levels may increase when you consume more fat and protein on the keto diet. If you have existing cholesterol issues or are at risk for developing cholesterol problems, this may not be the best diet for you.

Con: Can Affect Sleep

While the keto diet is generally considered safe when followed properly, studies suggest that it may also have some adverse effects on sleep. For instance, research has shown that people who follow a keto diet experience more disturbed sleep than those who do not.

This may be because higher levels of ketones in the blood can lead to increased alertness and decreased drowsiness at night, disrupting sleep cycles and potentially contributing to symptoms like insomnia or restless leg syndrome.

These findings underscore the importance of mindful eating and paying close attention to how certain dietary choices affect our health and well-being overall.

How Does the Keto Diet Affect Sleep?

Regarding sleep, the keto diet can affect our bodies and mental states. One common complaint when people begin following a ketogenic diet is changes to their sleep habits.

According to clinical psychologist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., this is because of how our bodies process and metabolize fat and carbohydrates. Protein plays an important role in determining how we sleep. For example, eating more fat suppresses melatonin levels and increases adrenaline production, leading to poor sleep quality and reduced duration.

Conversely, decreased carbohydrate intake can reduce oxygen flow while influencing anesthesia-inducing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, potentially causing disrupted sleep and insomnia. The key to getting good sleep while on the keto diet is carefully monitoring your food intake to maintain a balance between carbs and fats.

Doing so can minimize any negative effects from your dietary changes and ensure you get enough restful, rejuvenating sleep each night.

Why Carbs Are Important

Carbohydrates, or carbs for short, are one of the most important components of the human diet. They provide our bodies with much-needed energy and are essential for many vital functions, including brain function and healthy growth.

There is no question that certain types of carbs, such as refined sugars and refined flour, should be exercised in moderation. However, there are also many benefits to consuming whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. These nutrient-dense foods help to fuel the body and promote overall health by providing key vitamins and minerals.

In addition, research has shown that consuming complex carbs may help reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

However, recent studies have shown that carbs can also have a direct impact on sleep quality. According to these studies, foods high in carbs can delay our body clock and disrupt the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

The researchers believe that spikes may cause this disruption in blood sugar levels following meals rich in carbs. While more research should be done to fully understand how carbs affect sleep, it is clear that this relationship is closely linked and should be considered when planning your diet.

What to Do If Keto Starts Affecting Your Sleep

When you go on a ketogenic diet, you may notice unexpected changes, including in your sleep patterns. Studies show that a low-carb diet can lead to insomnia and other sleep issues. To minimize these effects and ensure you get enough rest at night, it’s important to focus on replenishing your electrolyte levels.

A high-quality keto electrolyte supplement is effective, providing an array of critical minerals and nutrients like magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy nerve function and regulating important bodily processes such as heart rate, digestion, and muscle tension.

In addition to a supplement, you can also try adjusting your carbohydrate intake or experimenting with different foods to see what helps regulate your sleep better. With the right approach, you can overcome any side effects of low electrolytes related to keto and enjoy restful slumber each night.

Bottom Line

Some research points to the fact that the keto diet may negatively affect sleep. If you are considering starting the keto diet, consult with a healthcare professional and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why can't I sleep?

There are many potential causes of sleeplessness, from medical conditions such as chronic pain or sleep apnea to lifestyle factors like stress or caffeine intake. However, one of the most common reasons for disrupted sleep is simply bad sleeping habits.

Is keto good long-term?

While the extreme limit on carbs seems to be manageable for most people, the high-fat content of the diet – especially unhealthy saturated fats – could lead to serious health issues such as heart disease over time. Furthermore, restrictions on nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains make this diet difficult to follow long-term and could end up causing other nutritional deficiencies. As a result, while keto may be effective as a short-term solution for certain individuals, it is not necessarily something that should be used long-term without medical supervision.

Do you need carbs?

While many believe that carbohydrates are empty calories that can be avoided, research suggests that carbs play an important role in our overall health and well-being. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, around 45-65% of our daily calories should come from carbohydrates. These carbohydrates provide us with much-needed energy and other key nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.