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Cannot Sleep Without Raw Beef: But Why?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by aaron_c, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    Hi Everyone,

    Three years ago, a friend told me about how eating raw beef helped her sleep. Shortly thereafter, my own insomnia got worse. I was already taking most of the sleep aids available, and the ones I wasn't on I had mostly tried too, but with poor results (details later). So I tried eating about a sixth of a pound of raw beef, and it worked! I was able to sleep, and woke up feeling rested. Since then, I have wondered: What is it in raw beef that allows me to sleep? Here is what I know so far:

    The stuff that I took to sleep when I began (before I was taking any kind of mfolate, B12, lecithin, glutathione, CoQ10, antioxidants, ATP, or B-complex) is similar to now. But then I took more chinese herbs. Now I take GABA up to my bowel tolerance, a relatively small amount of some chinese herbs called "peace pearls," about 40 mg of lithium, about 300 mg of magnesium, and 200 mg phosphotidylserine (plus some other phospho stuff, a "complex")

    I have experimented with replacing the beef with melatonin (failed) and raw eggs (failed). Eating cooked meat does not help with sleep. I can sleep ok for one, maybe two nights without eating raw beef, but past that my sleep is horrible in spite of anything I might take.

    I had thought maybe it was caused by my ACAT +/-, that it was an issue with my body needing esterified cholesterol in lipoproteins that would (I hoped) bypass the normal mechanism for taking up cholesterol, that requires they be unesterified. I thought maybe the lypoproteins would be broken down in digestion, and this might account for it all. This was why I took the raw eggs, which apparently does help some people with sleep. But not me.

    So what is it in raw beef that helps me sleep? Anyone got any ideas? Has anyone else had good results with raw meat for sleep?
    WoolPippi and Wayne like this.
  2. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I don't have answers but it's interesting. I might consider trying it. Is it conventional beef? Ground or not?

    Cooked meat and starches and some other foods help a little. I need to eat right before trying to sleep. I still have insomnia so it's not a fix.
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There are so many factors in raw beef that might be involved that its hard to have certainty. This will range from hormones to essential fats, both of which can be destroyed by cooking.

    Do be careful with ground beef especially. It can have a high bacterial count, and more easily goes off.
  4. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Yes, really, never eat ground beef raw. All the bacteria are on the surface of the meat, and when it's ground they can use the nutrients inside the meat (because of the greater surface area) to multiply and make you sick.

    Otherwise might as well keep doing it.

    I can't sleep on an empty stomach, but I've never had a midnight jones for steak tatar.
  5. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    Hi Everyone

    Thanks for your concern. Since it came up, here is how I try to minimize risk:

    1. I only eat meat that has been frozen for two weeks. According to the FDA, this will kill any parasites or their eggs.
    2. I unfreeze the meat just prior to eating. I thaw out one pound packages just enough to cut them into single-serving portions, then refreeze them, and take out one portion when I want to eat it. Then I put it in some water just short of hot and let it sit there for maybe five minutes. Then I squeeze it out, rip it up, and put it in my burrito.
    3. I eat meat only from a local farm whose raising and butchering practices I trust.

    I do best if I eat it for lunch, since my digestion is poor, and eating it for dinner sometimes means I am still digesting it when I got to sleep (so I sleep more poorly).

    The meat is ground, but I've been doing this for maybe three years now and haven't had a problem yet. I do ground beef because it is cheaper.

    Ya, I've thought it might be a hormone thing, but I just don't know what....any ideas Alex?
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There are too many ideas @calebtrask, and not enough facts. For example, how much more B12 does raw beef have than cooked beef? How about essential fatty acids ... cooking damages them and they become unavailable for hormone synthesis, which really means a lack of the class of hormones called eicosanoids. Raw meat has a lot of the protein in undenatured form, which might have consequences too. We know that undenatured whey protein is treated differently in the body to denatured whey protein, and triggers glutathione synthesis. It might be the same for other beef proteins.

    Too many ideas, too hard to figure out what is what without a lot of work. If you have something that works for you, then its a big plus, and more than many have.

    There are lots of factors in raw beef that I have not even touched on. It would take a whole lot of research to find all of them that are known.

    Of course depending on farming practices it might be from artificial hormones or antibiotics. This can be tested by switching to organic beef for a while.
    WoolPippi likes this.
  7. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Interesting. I've been eating only beef for awhile now, but it's cooked. It helps my sleep in that I have a problem with stopping breathing and then my heart races and wakes me up (some kind of central sleep apnea?). I've done a sleep study and because the problem is intermittent, it didn't show up and I don't have obstructive apnea. My doc said it was either apnea or acid reflux, which I don't have. I've caught it on a pulse oximeter - you can see episodes where my oxygen goes way down.

    I believe my sleep problem is due to B12 deficiency, based on when and how the problem started and what helps. Eating only beef and taking methylcobalamin both help this problem. When I'm able to get past metal detox and raise up my B12 supplementation, then the problem should be solved, and then I'll go back to a mix of meats.

    If it's B12, then salmon should also be able to be used, as it's also high in B12. Chicken and pork have lesser amounts of B12. I take high dose pharmaceutical grade fish oil, and have for many years prior to the problem. EFAs seem to be independent of the problem.

    The B12 from the beef seems to absorb well - as well as sublingual B12. You might be getting only 8mcg over 3-4 servings in a day, but it seems to do the trick.
  8. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    Thanks Alex,

    I understand that it will take a lot of research...that's what this is for!

    I really appreciate your suggestions. Some of them I can at least partially eliminate:

    I take maybe two teaspoons of fish oil every day, so it seems unlikely it is the omega 3 content of the beef. And I almost always have a salad with a decent bit of salad dressing, the oil being either sunflower or olive, either of which have a bunch more omega 6's than omega 3's. So fatty acid content seems unlikely.

    The beef I eat is 100% pasture raised, no hormones, no antibiotics, the sort of "it would be organic but they are too small to pay for the organic label kind of thing." And even if they did add something to the cows without my knowing, I have used beef from one or two other sources--for only a week or so each time, but it worked just the same.

    I take 10 mg of B12 daily. I haven't been taking MethylB12 until lately, though... I think I'll wait a bit before I test that out, though. But that's a thought.

    The bit about undenatured proteins sounds interesting too....although one would imagine that their effect would be indirect: Like undenatured whey protein, a guess at of the main reasons it works better than denatured whey protein at raising GSH is that it contains glutamylcysteine, which is a (direct, I think) precursor to glutathione. This is great, because it opens up new vistas in terms of possible answers to my basic question: What am I deficient in that raw beef helps with?
  9. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    Hi Caledonia,

    How much mB12 do (did?) you need to take to sleep well? When do you take it? Is it something where you can build up levels and then go for a while without taking any but still sleep well? And did you sleep well the first night you took mB12, or did it take a while to have an effect?

    Thanks so much for posting. It's really enjoyable to pick this apart, even a little, with the help of others.
  10. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Have you ever eaten raw beef in the daytime to see how you feel? I am curious if you get a small boost in energy or what.

    The same beef does not help, if you cook it? You said cooked did not help, but I wanted to check it was the same beef you tested.

    Do you put anything on the beef or eat or drink anything with it?

    Your friend does not have clues?
  11. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    The acidity in your stomach "cooks" the meat by breaking down the molecules. Try dripping some lemon juice on it to see if it changes color. It won't turn brown, but it might turn white. When I used to make ceviche (marinated raw fish) I could see the difference.

    Repeat: Don't eat raw ground beef, and don't refreeze it. Freezing won't eliminate bacterial toxins.

    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09300.html
  12. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    Hi Sick,

    Uh, I think you are talking to me? If so, then like I said above, I usually eat the beef for lunch. I don't get more energy, but if I don't eat it I feel this kind of dry sensation in my chest and maybe arms. Inside my body, not outside. This corresponds with an increasing inability to sleep. Eating raw beef cools pretty much entirely this within maybe forty minutes or an hour.

    Ya, I have tried cooking that beef--no dice.

    I usually put my beef in a burrito. I fry a teff tortilla in coconut oil, then add salsa and half an avocado. Sometimes I add salad dressing (weird, I know) or jalapenos.

    No, my friend doesn't know. At one point I tried to get on the paleo message board she saw it on, but they didn't get back to me and I can't find it now. But they didn't have answers either.

    I did find "Bioactive Substances in Meat." Anserine sounds interesting, being carnosine plus a methyl group, but also unlikely. Maybe it's creatine--I just learned today that I am homozygous for some kind of mutation in the enzyme that would make it. Other than that, it seems to indicate that there are a number of peptides that might be formed during digestion, but little study has been done on them as of yet.
  13. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    Hi Irene,

    I appreciate your concern. And thanks for mentioning the marinating--it's a good option for anyone who wants to be more careful than I am. How long do you envision marinating it? Actually, the last time I wasn't able to get beef from the source I prefer, I did marinate the meat in apple cider vinegar.

    I had the same concerns that you do when I began this, but I suppose the price of ground beef vs steak kind of broke me down. Plus I saw my friend do it for a while without getting sick. I think the health of the animals and the practices of the butcher make a world of difference in raw meat safety, particularly with ground beef.

    In the end, it is a risk. But I've been at this every day for three years, and I haven't gotten sick from it yet. I suspect we will just have to disagree on the relative safety of my raw ground beef.
  14. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    I don't know much about marinating beef to eat raw. I stopped making ceviche after I found a live worm in it. The marinade didn't kill it, even though the fish itself was opaque, like cooked fish.

    Personally, I would eat only beef I had ground myself, but I realize other people have different priorities.

    Info about steak tatare:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak_tartare
  15. physicsstudent13

    physicsstudent13 Senior Member

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    were you tested at a sleep lab with EEG and oximeter? I was and mysteriously developed central and OSA apnea. the only thing that really helps is klonopin and the asv
  16. aaron_c

    aaron_c

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    I'm going to assume you were talking to me...

    No, but my problem is falling asleep due to...I don't know, a feeling that I can't get to sleep. A dry feeling in my chest. Sleep apnea doesn't seem to be an issue for me. Sorry!
  17. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Sorry, I didn't see this. If you want to get someone's attention, you should put an @ sign before their name like this @calebtrask and they will get an alert.

    I'm doing 16mcg of methylcobalamin and 4mcg of adenosylcobalamin. That's the max I can do without triggering enough metal detox that I feel worse. I have to divide it up into 4 equal doses throughout the day or that same amount will also trigger metal detox.

    As that is a very low dose, I can't build up enough B12 to have any B12 stores, so I'm still very much borderline. If I skip a dose, or eat chicken instead of beef, symptoms will come back, so I try to be vigilant about maintaining this.

    Whenever the metals are finally detoxed, then I should be able to ramp up the dose considerably and finally dig out of this hole.
  18. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    hi
    I slept through the night and had raw steak for dinner last night. I thought of you straight away!

    Your insomnia is different from mine, I fall asleep easily but wake up after 4,5 hours and never get to REMsleep. I blame neurotransmitters that do not get ushered away properly (due to MAO A for which I'm ++ as are you)

    My steak was organic, slightly warmed in coconut fat. Raw with plenty cow fat and required a lot of chewing and saliva (which ME people usually have shortage of due to low cortisol)(which also causes too weak stomach acid)

    I know the stomach roof is full of hormone triggers that signal straight to the brain. And as the raw food slowly works through our digestive tract it may trigger some more neurons in the brain that help us sleep?

    6 to 12 hours after indigestion might very well be the time our CFS-stomachs need to break the food down and the small intestine to surge in brain signals. That coincides with the time passed between your beef lunch and usual insomnia (noon and bed time) and my steak and usual insomnia (7PM and 3AM)

    I'm going to join your experiment, I feel fantastic today. Cheers.

    ps
    I take 2 x 75 mcg Lithium and 2 x 200 mcg Magnesium and 500 mcg mB12 and 400 mcg Metafolin
  19. physicsstudent13

    physicsstudent13 Senior Member

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    I really want to try this since nothing has really worked for me. I hope I can cure my sleep apnea. I have terrible central apnea with 75% oxygen so maybe I will try this. the CA seems related to having too many arousals from sleep which can cause some kind of breathing cycle problem or possibly a seizure like disorder like PLMD. the steak tartare sounds great. I'm going to a university medical center since for years I've seen these docs who couldn't cure me or just charged my insurance.
    We should keep researching this, it might be something hormonal in the beef which is supposed to help in hormone production, maybe it's increased melatonin or GABA?

    I also get little REM sleep and almost no stage IV sleep so I feel pretty miserable the next few days
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  20. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    I think GABA only rises at the start of REMsleep? not at the first sleep (which is when Celebtrask lies awake).
    I ponder what hormones both sleepstages have in common...

    I feel for you!

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