T Nation

Carbs and Sleepiness


#1

I get close to ten hours of sleep a night. I'm a deep sleeper (my kids screaming and crying dont't wake me up at all). I still feel tired all day. I could take a three hour nap no problem (if I didn't fear getting fired).

I've tried adjusting my carb intake but that doesn't seem to help.

(A) does/has anyone else had this problem? and what did you do to correct it?
(B) should I adjust my carbs down further? On an average day, I probably take in roughly 200 grams. I eat about 3,500 calories a day by the way.


#2

how tall are you, what do you weigh, do you exercise?


#3

I’m 5’10", weigh about 175lbs, bodyfat ~ 9% to 10%, and I exercise six days a week. Three days a week I do weights for roughly 45 minutes to an hour. I usually do one compound pulling movement, one compound pressing movement, a leg exercise, and some ab work. The other three workout days consist of either HIIT for 20 to 30 minutes or 1:30 of Yoga.

I’m not big by any means nor am I as big as I would like to be. But family, work, etc. keep me out of the gym more that I would like.

An insights regarding diet or my general condition would be helpful.


#4

If the problem persists, contact your doctor. It could be alot of different things. Thyroid or adrenal issues, chronic fatigue, under eating, sleep apnea just off the top of my head.


#5

Thanks for your help.

I’m pretty sure it is not sleep apena because I sleep very, very deeply and don’t have any breathing problems. I thought about the thyroid and adrenal issues, but I don’t have some of the other tell-tell signs. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a possibility.

Right now though I think it might be an under eating problem. I eat a fair amount, but I do find myself always hungry. I’m afraid to up my carbs because of the effects of carb induced sleepiness when you have a heightened insulin resistance. Do you think it would be a bad idea, to up carbs/fats/proteins across the board and try and get my caloric intake to around 4500? That is what I’ve been thinking. It seems like my body is just trying to conserve energy for my workouts.


#6

That’s what I would do, albeit a little at a time, say 500 calories a day for a week, and see how your body reacts. Possibly even break your meals up, depending on how many you eat a day.


#7

Well, personally, I get a lot sleepier when I eat a good amount of carbs. Recently I’ve been transitioning from a keto diet to about 300 grams of carbs pwo and I’ve noticed I’m a lot more sleepy during the day and less sleepy at night, like it’s hard for me to get to sleep. When I am low carb I have tons more energy and I sleep just fine and wake up refreshed unlike recently, waking up and wanted to go right back to sleep. Anyone else feel this way?


#8

Perhaps you’re better at running on fats rather than carbs.


#9

[quote]DUD wrote:
Well, personally, I get a lot sleepier when I eat a good amount of carbs. Recently I’ve been transitioning from a keto diet to about 300 grams of carbs pwo and I’ve noticed I’m a lot more sleepy during the day and less sleepy at night, like it’s hard for me to get to sleep. When I am low carb I have tons more energy and I sleep just fine and wake up refreshed unlike recently, waking up and wanted to go right back to sleep. Anyone else feel this way?[/quote]

I have that wake up and want to go back to sleep feeling all the time.

What you describe is what I’m afraid of if I increase my carbs (i.e., making my situation worse). I am hoping that others have had this problem and found solutions.


#10

Also, are you getting enough fiber? Intestinal backup can leave you tired.


#11

This is what I would do…

  1. Blood work. You could be deficient in any NUMBER of areas. Get a comprehensive test done.
  2. I find High GI/GL carbs can make me tired (white rice, Surge, etc.) can try changing it up a bit.
  3. Maybe LESS sleep? I know if don’t set an alarm I will almost always wake up 9hrs later, if I get more than that, it’s as if my body goes into hibernation mode for the whole day…and I find it tough to get, and then keep going.
  4. Take time off from training. When I was Triathlon training, I would train pretty much 7days a week, and often 2x per day…I did get a little more fit, but I mostly got more injured and was tired constantly.

Hope that helps!


#12

[quote]m00se wrote:
3. Maybe LESS sleep? I know if don’t set an alarm I will almost always wake up 9hrs later, if I get more than that, it’s as if my body goes into hibernation mode for the whole day…and I find it tough to get, and then keep going.
[/quote]

I am no sleep expert, but this is the most logical start. A year or two ago, I conducted my own little sleep study over the course of a few months. I documented a few attributes daily after varied sleep times. Anything ranging from 5 hours per night to 12. I did it different ways, where sometimes I would go while with the same amount of time (ex. 2 weeks at 5 hours) and also tried to stagger it, where a single week may look like 5/7/10/12/5/6/7.

After it was all said and done… I realized that I am 100% more alert when I sleep between 6-7.5 hours. Anything more than that, and I started to run the risk of being in a massive sleepy daze all day. At 10 hours… I was taking way more naps than at 6.5-7. I know that goes against some common knowledge out there, but it’s just what worked for me.

Turned out that in the end… more is not always better. Try sleeping less and see what happens!

Also ran a low carb diet for 9 months recently… slightly improved overall energy… but the biggest difference was less crash after meals.

-Jim