Once your body has fully keto-adapted, you will be able to stay in this metabolic state overnight. But for you to be fully keto-adapted, it will take some time, about a week minimum. This only applies if you are following all the rules and restrictions that come with being on this diet to the letter.
Therefore, it is not possible for you to be in ketosis while asleep and not when you wake up.
HOW DO I GET IN AND STAY IN KETOSIS OVERNIGHT?
Getting in and staying in a state of ketosis takes a lot of work, restrictions, and rules. The following are some tips known to help one get and maintain a state of ketosis.
Restrict your carbohydrate consumption during the day
The cells of the body by default use glucose as their primary source of energy. When in excess it stores it as glycogen in the liver and the muscles. Therefore, when your intake of carbohydrates is low, the glycogen stores are lowered and eventually get depleted. This leads to the liver converting the fatty acids from the body’s fat stores to ketones, which it uses as its fuel source.
However, the level of carb minimization depends on individual factors such as exercises and physical activities that one engages in and hence varies greatly from person to person. Some people have a daily limit of 20 or 30 grams of carbohydrates while others need double this to achieve and stay in ketosis.
Generally, consuming about five to ten percent of the total calories from carbohydrates can produce ketosis.
Coconut oil is a must-have in your diet plan:
Coconut oil can help you get into and stay in ketosis. This is because it has fats called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs in short, which have a faster absorption rate as compared to other fats. It goes straight to the liver, and can be broken down and used to provide energy or just converted to ketones. However, keep in mind that when you start to use coconut oil in your diet, do so slowly so as to lower side effects that may arise such as diarrhea.
Increase your physical activity during the day
Being active during the day will help your body use up its glycogen reserves. These stores will remain low when you have restricted your carbohydrate intake, which will necessitate the liver to ramp up its ketone production for providing energy.
CAN YOU BE IN KETOSIS WHILE SLEEPING?
Once your body has keto-adapted, you will be able to stay in this metabolic state overnight. Therefore, you will be in ketosis both when awake and while you are sleeping.
WHY AM I IN DEEPER KETOSIS BEFORE BED THAN IN THE MORNING?
Your ketone levels are lower in the morning than when going to bed because of a phenomenon referred to as the dawn effect. You might wonder why this is so yet you stayed on your usual ketogenic diet the previous night and even went to sleep while in ketosis.
Worry not! This phenomenon has nothing to do with what you ate but instead is a natural biological process that occurs to everyone, whether you are a keto-dieter or not.
It simply is the body preparing itself for the day by increasing its blood glucose levels. The liver dumps lots of glucose in your blood to give you that energy boost to start the day, and hence lowers the production of ketones for a few hours, leading to low ketone levels in the bloodstream.
HOW DOES A KETOGENIC DIET AFFECT SLEEP?
As is with any other type of diet, the ketogenic diet has both its benefits and negative impacts on sleep. Initially, this type of diet can lead to interruptions in sleeping patterns and even cause insomnia. For the long haul, it leads to a deeper and peaceful sleep and overall less sleep is required.
Insomnia experienced while transitioning into the keto diet is because of low serotonin and melatonin levels, including really high energy levels. Here’s the science behind all this. The body is still switching from carbs to fatty acids as an energy source, and so it is still burning some carbs for fuel.
Additionally, the glucose from carbs helps to improve the entry of L-tryptophan into the brain, which assists with the production of serotonin. The role of serotonin is to calm the body and contribute to better sleep and is eventually converted to melatonin, which is a sleep hormone.
Therefore, with the low carbs intake that comes with being on this diet, the L-tryptophan is not included in the diet, and thus the low melatonin and serotonin levels.
In the long term, the ketogenic diet leads to improvement in your sleep quality. Once you have managed to be full keto-adapted, you will start experiencing deeper sleep, and eventually decrease the total time spent sleeping.
This is because the ketogenic diet promotes adenosine production, which plays a great role in regulating our sleep. This leads to increased alertness and energy levels during the day and eventual deeper slow-wave sleep at night.
Sleep disorders. There is evidence to suggest that the keto diet worsens sleep apnea when. A point to note, however, is that a low-carb, high-fat diet cannot cause sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, etc.
The keto diet is good news for those with obesity. This is because aside from the obvious benefit of promoting weight loss, it improves sleep quality.
However, this area of keto and how it affects sleep still needs more research. All in all, you need to know and listen to your body, as it all boils down to the quality of your diet and how your body is going to respond to it.
CAN KETO CAUSE A LACK OF SLEEP?
One of the negative side effects of being on a ketogenic diet, especially for beginners is problems with sleep- problems with falling asleep or staying asleep, or total lack of sleep. This may be because of what we call the ‘keto flu.’
keto flu refers to the flu-like symptoms that come about when your body is starting to adapt to using fat as its primary fuel source. They include diarrhea, insomnia, nausea, and stomach aches. Keto insomnia is highly likely even if you do not experience other keto flu symptoms.
Insomnia experienced while transitioning into the keto diet is because of low serotonin and melatonin levels, including the really high energy levels, and thus being awake.
Moreover, the keto insomnia that you are experiencing might be because you are implementing keto too rapidly. If you are a beginner, start by decreasing your carb intake slowly instead of going all cold turkey on carbs.
HOW DO YOU TREAT KETO INSOMNIA?
If you find keto insomnia to be a nuisance and unbearable, you can either wait for it to subside once your body is full-keto adapted, or you can try implementing the following techniques that will help.
Avoid eating 3 or 4 hours before going to sleep. This is especially helpful for those who feel very energetic after having a keto meal. Additionally, you can have most of your allotted daily carbs within the three to four hours before bedtime so as to sleep better and soundly.
Carry out your workouts and exercises earlier on in the day. Exercising in the evening or towards your bedtime may cause you to feel highly alert at night, and hence lack sleep.
SHOULD YOU EAT BEFORE BED ON KETO?
The timing of your meals does not really matter on a keto diet. What matters is that you do not exceed your set calorie and macronutrient count for the day. Also, it all comes down to how your body responds and your individual eating habits.
For some people, eating before bed, whether on keto or not, can cause sleep disruptions or worsen an existing medical condition such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
It is however advisable to avoid eating right before you retire to bed because it can lead to the development of unhealthy habits. A lot of people report feeling hungry late at night especially if they are watching the television before going to sleep.
They may end up giving in to that feeling and snacking. Mind you, they have achieved the day’s set macronutrient limit!
These unscheduled meals or snacks are just extra calories and will eventually impact your ketosis, and weight loss or retention goals, whatever your aim was for starting on nutritional ketosis.
As you can see, at the end of the day- pun definitely not intended- it is all about knowing whatever floats your boat. If eating before bedtime works for you, fine, if not, then adjust the time that you have your last meal of the day and ensure that you also still get to achieve the day’s macro and calorie goals.
SHOULD YOU AVOID EATING CARBS AT NIGHT ON KETO?
The ‘when’ does not really matter. Generally, you should work on the overall restriction of carbohydrate intake as someone on a keto diet. As long as you are within the carb threshold of the set daily macro split, the time that you choose to eat your carbs has little to no effect on ketosis.
If you have trouble with falling asleep, you might want to consume more of the daily set carbs towards your bedtime so as to help you fall asleep. This is because glucose from carbohydrates is known to stimulate the production of serotonin and melatonin which help in regulating sleep. It also leads to decreased levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
WILL ONE NIGHT OF HIGH CARBS RUIN KETOSIS?
Having meals that contain carbohydrates or are high in sugars will affect your body’s ability to stay in ketosis. Eating meals that are high in carb content will definitely kick you out of ketosis and hence cheat meals are not ideal for this type of diet. This is because it relies on your body to stay in a metabolic state of ketosis.
Having a meal high in carb content for a night will mean that that single meal contains far more grams than the set 20 to 30 grams daily for a keto dieter.
Because carbs are the body’s default energy source, as soon as a good number of carbs are available in the body, they will be prioritized over ketones in the provision of fuel. This will definitely take your body out of ketosis.
Furthermore, reintroducing a meal that contains a high carb content to a keto diet all of a sudden may damage one’s blood vessels, as evidenced by research.
Lastly, while having a cheat meal, it is easy for one to overindulge. This will eventually sabotage the efforts made so far in weight loss and also lead to the development of unhealthy eating habits.
WHAT IS A GOOD KETO SNACK BEFORE BED?
There are a lot of healthy bedtime snacks available for those who love snacking at night and are on keto.
The chocolate peanut butter cups are a good option and have healthy fats and are low in carbs.
Choc coconut balls
Are a go-to snack because they not only have low carb content but also chocolate, which is known to boost serotonin levels.
Nut-free chocolate cake
This snack will help you get that night’s rest as it uses sun flour which has a really low carb content. A serving contains just 3 grams of carbohydrates. Also, if you prefer to use sweeteners, there are available keto-friendly sweeteners that one can pick from.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to achieving and maintaining a state of ketosis. You have to put in the work and stick to the rules, as a simple cheat meal can kick your body out of ketosis. Also, adhering to your daily macro split is more important than focusing on what time you have your meals.