"Vegetarian month" and trouble falling asleep at night

Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by Pantrolyx, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    For quite some time, I have reflected on the ethical and enviromental imlications of modern agriculture. Finally, I decided to try a month without meat consumption, which happens to be this month.

    Not eating meat is not really challing thus "far". I have, however, had increasing difficulties falling asleep at night for the last ten days or so. And sleep deprivation is obviously not ok .Of course, there may not really be a causation here, but then again, I may have overlooked or underestimated some nutritional details.

    Has anyone had similar experiences? Or does anyone have some plausible, physiological explanations to why skipping meat could cause such problems?
  2. Kalle Videnoja

    Kalle Videnoja Double-Digit Post Count

    Do you know if there’s been a change in your calorie intake or macronutrient distribution?
  3. Bauer

    Bauer More than 500 posts

    I have not experienced this. You might try some bedtime fruit (banana or dated work great).
  4. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    I don't measure calories, but I'm confident that my intake is lower than last month.
  5. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    Will do, I am fond of both fruits and have become a big fan of smoothies based on bananas and frozen berries. :)
  6. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Make sure calories are keeping up, and you're getting enough fats.

    Have done veg off and on a number of times, it never interfered with sleep.
    Dekapon likes this.
  7. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    I guess I'll try to eat even more almonds and cashews, then, in spite of the latter being shockingly expensive here. :)
    Dekapon likes this.
  8. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I was a vegan for a few years and didnt have this issue. Iirc it should be the other way around, since sleep hormones depend on carbs or something like that. Are you eating fruit?
  9. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    Yeah, I eat/drink fruit and berries every day, as well as a lot of lentils and vegetables.
  10. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Olive oil and walnuts.
    Chrisdavisjr likes this.
  11. Dekapon

    Dekapon Triple-Digit Post Count

    Didn't have that when I went vegetarian. And now when I'm eating 90% vegan-food I sleep a little better.
    Have you replaced the meat with a lot of cheese? Fatty cheese like halloumi, cheddar or feta might affect digestion.

    If I had to guess I'd say it's just stress, maybe because summer almost over? Don't think going back to eating lots of meat makes you sleep better.

    Have you tried chamomile-tea before bed? Helps me sleep easier with about 3%, probably 2% of those is placebo... but still. :cool:
    Jacques van der Merwe likes this.
  12. ali

    ali Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Tryptophan.... a precursor to melatonin.....maybe? Maybe being very much the emphasis here.
    Quite possibly a biological reductionist view.....tryptophan to serotonin to melatonin. Perhaps, if you are nor getting sufficient essential amino acids....tryptophan being one.
    What's changed other than less meat? Eating times, did you eat before bed and not now? Or the opposite?
    Are you getting enough protein generally?
    I eat a lot less meat, veggie/vegan daughters and the end of the world issue. Can't say I notice any sleep problems but I eat more protein snacks than perhaps I used to.
    If anything I probably sleep better.
    But that maybe has nothing to do with diet......it's difficult to tease apart all the factors.
    Caffeine? Alcohol?
    I've mostly sacked both of them. Good zzzzzzzzs.
    Camomile tea convert here too!
    pet' and Dekapon like this.
  13. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    I do not know in English, but in French, we make a difference between "vegetarian" (basically no meat but egg, fish, honey) which can also be called (still in French) "flexitarian" and "vegan" (no animal consumption).

    Therefore, do you eat fishes (or eggs, shellfishes, etc...) ?

    There are plenty of factors which can interfere with sleep:
    - light (so melatonin, serotonin), from both screens and light bulbs
    - stress
    - types of carbs you eat before going to bed
    - level of physical activity
    - number of meals and their timing

    Kind regards,

  14. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    I may be guilty on adding some cheese, yes. Like, name one pasta dish whose taste can't be markeldy improved by adding cheddar og parmesan? :)
    Yes, I have tried chamomile-tea, will try it tonight again.
    Dekapon likes this.
  15. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    Yeah, I a up early, travel a significant distance to work and back, and drink far too much coffee. All those things are constant, though, and has not changed the last couple of weeks.
    When it comes to alcohol, I don't drinkt too often, nor do I binge drink when I actually enjoy a beer or two. Working as a bouncer contributed to label me as "old and boring" when I was in my mid-twenties, haha!
  16. Pantrolyx

    Pantrolyx Triple-Digit Post Count

    Yeah, we have the same distinctions in Norwegian. :)
    I have not turned vegan, but I do stay away from fish as well this month. As for getting enough protein, I haven't made any conclusions, but I guess that my intake is a bit too inconsistent from day to day.
  17. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    No such thing...
  18. Jacques van der Merwe

    Jacques van der Merwe Triple-Digit Post Count

    From personal experience, and witnessing others do the same, new vegetarians end up consuming a lot more carbs and fats, and perhaps sugars as well (fruits, fruit juice etc.) If the body is not accustomed to this sudden change, it can interfere with sleep. This is typically because they are under prepared in finding suitable replacements for their regular diet and fill up on cheeses, pastas, etc.

    My advice would be to try and eat cleanly as possible by following something like Dr. Geiger's daily dozen checklist.
    Pantrolyx and Dekapon like this.
  19. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    As time goes on, vegan cheese substitutes become better and better tasting. You might try someplace that carries a lot of these things and do some experimenting.

  20. Jacques van der Merwe

    Jacques van der Merwe Triple-Digit Post Count

    Run away @Steve Freides, run away!

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