Hack my morning tiredness, why can't I wake up?

by 260 · October 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Since pretty much birth, I've been a night owl - and hated getting up in the mornings. Since going paleo early this summer I have been feeling so much better - all around. Better skin, less bloating, better digestion, better mood, a tiny bit of weight loss - but i still, dread waking up every morning and just feel so tired when I do-despite an 8 or 9 hour night of sleep. Here are the things that I do:

-I make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep about 90% of the time..sometimes even 9 or -9.5. -My room is very very dark, and actually doesn't even get light in the AMs (I live in a studio/loft style apartment with no bedroom windows) -I eat paleo 85-90% of the time, and supplement with vitamin D

Does anyone have any recommendations to improve my mornings? or any insights as to why I'm so sluggish, tired, and GRUMPY in the mornings?

Also, I don't take birth control and am on a TNF inhibitor that seems to control my symptoms from an auto-immune disease.

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9 Replies

288 · September 27, 2011 at 08:10 PM

I was exactly the same...until I started getting meticulous about light exposure. A friend sent me this article on how to become a morning person and it seriously changed my life. I installed f.lux (a free program that shifts your computer monitor to the red spectrum as the sun sets), bought a timer and hooked up a full-spectrum lightbulb so that a light automatically turns on in the morning to wake me up. I no longer need an alarm and am no longer exhausted in the morning.

2954 · September 27, 2011 at 04:52 PM

Leptin reset also worked for me. No matter how much sleep, I still couldn't get out of bed. And it wasn't because I was tired! So I was confused...

After leptin reset I now eat a huge break fast at 7am, a lunch at 2 pm, and that's my last meal. If I do this, I get in bed early, sleep well, and wake up quickly and easily without alarm.

Also I can't wake up if I cheat with wheat.

1472 · October 18, 2011 at 12:01 AM

Could be untreated sleep apnea. Going Paleo doesn't cure everything. I've lost 100lbs and still have sleep apnea. It is how your throat is built not the rumor you hear about how much you weigh.

Get a sleep study. Untreated sleep apnea is a killer.

Good Luck


1771 · September 27, 2011 at 07:10 PM

Eating low carb paleo reset my leptin before even hearing about paleohacks... Definitely try the leptin reset protocol, it seems to have helped a lot of people.

From what I remember, it's cortisol and prolactin that are out of sync - your cortisol levels should be higher in the morning and I think the prolactin kicks in about midnight (correct me if I'm wrong please).

I found that breastfeeding seemed to have a helping hand too - probably because of the prolactin thing.,

And, FWIW, I was exactly the same, I rmember being a kid and my mam having to wake me at around noon to get out of bed on a weekend. I couldn't sleep before 1-2am when I was younger either. Even when put to bed as a kid, I wouldn't be able to sleep and used to watch the world go by for a few hours lying in bed. This only changed when eating paleo. I also have an autoimmune condition that has remitted with paleo.

1529 · September 27, 2011 at 04:37 PM

Try eating paleo 100% of the time for a while. Report back with results.

0 · October 17, 2011 at 09:49 PM

I have a similar experience with getting out of bed in the morning & getting going in the morning, even after adequate sleep. You could order a saliva test to check hormone levels...(cortisol/ serotonin/ etc). I've been tested and turns out that my cortisol levels upon waking are less than 1/2 what they should be (which basically means I have adrenal fatigue). There are herbal supplements that can 'replenish' the adrenals, but it may take time. I am still working through this issue, hoping to see light at the end of the tunnel.

24412 · September 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I've struggled with the night owl thing my whole life. There do seem to be a small percentage of people who are genetically hard-wired that way, I may be one of them. I do come from a long line of night owls. Light exposure early in the morning helps, a lot, but I've never felt like it fully reset me, and one dark morning and I was back to sleeping in until noon.

I've been trying to do the leptin reset, but have been having trouble with convincing my body to go to sleep. I usually get a really good second wind around 11pm, and can work all night at that point. In the past I have used Ashwagandha tincture at about 9pm with good results as long as I get into bed and turn down the lights, it is possible to fight through the sleepiness it induces pretty easily if I don't get into bed though, so that takes some initial discipline.

This week I accidentally figured out that if I ingest a good amount of Celtic Sea Salt in a broth first thing in the morning it gives me more of a jolt than caffeine ever has. I actually find it hard to get through a full cup of 1/2 caff. now, I've been a caffeine fiend forever. I don't know exactly how it works, but stimulating the adrenal glands with the salt is probably helping with proper cortisol secretion. I've started getting tired when it gets dark too, which I haven't figured out yet if it is the lack of caffeine or just that my adrenal glands are winding down properly now after all their hard work early in the day.

One last thought here. I'm finding it somewhat difficult to let go of "night owl" as an identity. "Morning person" is a phrase I've often said with derision. It is a family tradition to stay up too late, perhaps it is a dumb macho thing. It feels deeply ingrained in who I am. So I know even though I am getting tired earlier than before, I'm going to need to have a bit of a showdown with that part of myself in the very near future.

77340 · September 27, 2011 at 05:35 PM

You do this:

  • Remove wheat if you use it.
  • Use Piracetam before sleep and entire day, Coenzime Q10, Fish oil, vitamin C.
  • Do cold shower in the morning to boost your adrenalin
  • Eat at least 30g protein in the morning.

77340 · September 27, 2011 at 03:58 PM

Check out and see his leptin reset. That seems to help quite a bit. It's eating 50+ grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking. It turned my Mom from someone who needed sleeping pills into someone in bed at nine and up with the sun. Took about a month for her to see those results. Nothing short of amazing!

Also, bright light in the morning will help kickstart your seratonin production and help you wake up.

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