The keto diet is known for its numerous health benefits, especially when it comes to weight-loss and brain functions. What people don’t know is that it also improves your sleep. In fact, it’s a natural way of reducing insomnia and increasing deep sleep.
Due to the way we live today, the long working hours and stress, we can’t sleep tight during the night. And while many people aren’t aware of sleep’s importance to our wellness, the lack of it results in more drowsiness, nervousness, and exhausting, over time. When we notice the results, it’s too late to prevent them. Being aware of its effect on sleep, a lot of people suffering from insomnia or inconsistent sleep during the night, started practising the keto diet.
The Keto Diet And Sleep
Having enough sleep is essential for proper body functioning because it helps us gain energy, relax, and be fresh for the next day. The lack of sleep, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. And while most people consult doctors or take over-the-counter medicines, some of them turn to the keto diet because it’s easy to get used to and it doesn’t limit the food as much as other diets. In fact, there are a lot of sweet keto-approved desserts you can eat, such as keto chocolate shake.
Although most of us are confused about the effect of food on sleep quality, the keto diet works its magic on ensuring better sleep. It’s because of its low carb intake which leads to low levels of glucose. And the low levels of glucose affect the entry of L-tryptophan into the brain.
L-tryptophan is essential for the production of serotonin – the happy hormone – which converts into melatonin, the sleep hormone. Although some people experience insomnia at the beginning of their keto diet, it passes once their body gets used to the ketosis. When it passes, the sleep quality improves because there aren’t blood sugar roller-coasters during the day. Moreover, those who practice this diet feel more awake during the day and sleep deeper during the night.
How Does The Keto Diet Improve Your Sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), quality sleep is when people:
- Fall asleep in 30 minutes or less
- Wake up once or not at all during the night
- Fall back asleep in less than 20 minutes even if they wake up.
- Sleep for a minimum of 85% of the total time spent in bed.
Due to its low carb intake, the keto diet speeds up the early stages of sleep and allows people to enter into the deep stages faster. That ensures better sleep for a shorter time. So, even if you sleep less than 8 hours, which we usually do, you will get a good night rest and feel as fresh as if you slept a lot more.
You might not believe it, but 50-70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Some typical sleep disorders are insomnia, sleep apnea, sleepwalking, narcolepsy, and the syndrome of restless legs. The keto diet may help improve the markers of sleep quality, relief the symptoms of some sleep disorders, and boost your energy in the morning.
According to study which put children with therapy-resistant epilepsy on a keto diet for 3 months, the diet helped reduce the frequency and strength of seizures. It also improved their sleep by increasing their REM sleep and preserving slow wave sleep, which consequently improved their quality of life. Additionally, some of the children, who continued their keto diet for an additional 12 months, had their daytime sleepiness significantly reduced and their REM sleep time further increased, according to the researchers.
As it can be seen, keto diet has more health benefits that most of us are aware of. Not only it helps with weight-loss and improves the brain functioning but also increases sleep quality. However, if you want to maximize the keto diets’ efficiency on sleep, you shouldn’t eat too late because your body will spend time digesting the food, hence disrupting your sleep. Also, you shouldn’t drink coffee after 3pm so that your body has time to process the caffeine until you go to bed.