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needing to eat before bed to have better sleep - why?

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Hi,

Ever since my CFS symptoms started - I've noticed that I need to eat before bed in order to sleep. Even if I eat a large dinner, and eat enough calories during the day, my sleep will be poor if its been more than 2 or 3 hours since I ate. And I don't just eat a snack before bed, I need a full on meal with lots of carbs, fats, and protein. If I do this, I will have much better sleep - it works better than sleeping pills for me.

Does anyone have this problem? Why does this occur? I seem to get hungrier the more I eat at night - until a point when my body says OK - then I go to sleep and quality is much better (though still poor compared to pre-CFS). Sometimes it takes quite a bit of food for me to feel satisfied. Of course there is the problem of eating late at night contributing to dysbiosis, but I cannot seem to find any other way to get good sleep. Huge meal before bed = more effective than 10mg Ambien for me.

During the day - my appetite is not that great, it seems to act up more at night (and this is not due to undereating during the day cause I still make sure I get sufficient calories).

Also, this hunger seems to increase when I am taking methylation protocol supplements.

Frequent meals or high protein (I am already eating high protein) does not help.

Thanks
 

justy

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Hi Uni. i know that Dr Myhill says that some people with M.E don't sleep well due to night time Hypoglycaemia waking them up, it can also cause insomnia. I took her advice and ate a small high protein snack befiore bed (usually half a banana and a handful of almonds) this worked like a treat but took a while to kick in. Funnily enough for me the one thing B12 is doing is making me sleep like a baby.
My husband also suffers from terrible insomnia and he has also started the snack at night and it cured his night waking and pacing.

I think extremes of hunger are also common in M.E - not sure why but i think there was some research yb Nancy Klimas focusing on something thta controls appetitie that has gone awry in us.
All the best, Justy.
 

SOC

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I have the same problem. Although I take both a sleep inducer and a sleep maintainer, I frequently can't fall asleep if I don't have a small snack before bed. I definitely sleep better with the snack, too. It doesn't have to be much for me, though -- a banana and a handful of almonds, like Justy said, or a single piece of bread. It's not that I'm hungry, either.

I've been thinking it's my own little weirdness. My PCP thinks it's just a bad habit. "Eating before bed is NOT recommended. It just piles on weight. Use some self-control and you'll find the desire and habit will fade." :rolleyes:
 

anniekim

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I always have to have a snack just before bed regardless of how much I've eaten during the day. I wish I didn't have to as could do with losing weight but I just need it. Retro eyes indeed to the pcp who claimed a bed time snack is just habit. They really don't have a clue about this illness, do they....

At my worse when I was bedridden, I had to eat a meal before bedtime, despite eating an evening meal. This may have been though partly due to the high dose of sleep medication I was on at the time

Since having m.e, I really struggle with hunger and need regular fuelling, am sure it is part of the m.e. my carer does those snack and shake meal replacements from time to time when she wants to shift a few pounds. I know this would be impossible for me as I can't cope with low calories, just get weak and shaky. Interesting klimas has done some research on our appetite controls going haywire, oh for a pill to reduce it. I really feel for those with prader willi syndrome who are constantly hungry. I feel my m.e, though not as bad as these people with it, gives a small insight into battling with constant hunger. I try to eat protein with every meal and so on, but my big appetite remains....
 

Sushi

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True for me too. Maybe because blood is diverted away from the head and to the digestive tract? If I don't snack at bedtime (I am not usually really hungry then) I sometimes have to get up in the night and eat in order to fall back asleep.

Weird ones, aren't we?!
Sushi
 
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I can't even imagine trying to go to bed without a snack. Even when I was healthy it was a bowl of cereal, now its a protein shake with oats and a piece of toast at the least, sometimes a bowl of rice in addition. This is to even get me to sleep. I have to have this in addition to having had a large dinner in order to not wake up multiple times in the night to eat. I'm keeping the same weight, since none of it is heavy food or junk food. If i'm not mistaken, going all the way from dinner to the following morning's breakfast without eating would have a detrimental effect on blood sugar. I personally would feel like I was dying from about 10pm onwards if i tried to do that and that does not help sleep. :p It has to be a substantial snack, and then usually something when I wake up between 2am and 5am.
 

sianrecovery

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me too - i have a banna and some almonds - bannas are good for tryptophan too - I think Dr Myhill's probably right - blood sugars plumet and wake us up otherwise
 

heapsreal

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if u eat carbs before bed with little protein this can help drive tryptophan into serotonin. If u eat protein with many amino acids competing against each other etc then less trypto is able to convert to serotonin. If u follow a low carb diet, it can help alot to take 1000-3000mg of tryptophab before bed but several hours after food, others find 5htp works too.
 

taniaaust1

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I too seem to sleep better if I eat something just before bed. (I used to wake up in middle of night when I was sleeping better time hours to get a snack otherwise).
 

Francelle

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I have a cup of hot milk just before bed because I take a handful of tablets and don't want them on an empty stomach.....otherwise I have no hunger pains or appetite triggers now since developing Gastroparesis (severe delayed gastric emptying). I eat (liquid food only) by the clock now. A sad end for a previous food lover!! Hehe!
 

u&iraok

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I don't have a snack right before bed but I eat a big dinner with some carbs and I think it lasts up till bedtime. If I eat right before bed I don't feel that great. They say you're supposed to eat a big breakfast, a medium lunch and a small dinner but the opposite works for me. I always wake up hungry in the morning and the earlier I get up the hungrier I am. Maybe that's why I always wake at 4:00 or 5:00, coz I'm hungry. I wake two or three or four times during the night but that's the most wakeful time. Maybe I'll try to eat before bed and see if that changes.
 

Whit

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Haha I do this too. I didn't think it was CFS related though but I guess I didn't always feel such a need. I drink a huge mason glass full of Lassi (blended yogurt drink with fruit and honey) right before bed. I use St. Benoit whole fat yogurt, which is from a small local farm here. It's the perfect thing before bed for me. Also helps get more protein and healthy fats into the day.
 
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I thought funny food and sleep stuff was just me! For years, I mean, a decade or so, I was half waking up a d eating in a semi sleep state. It was unnerving, waking in the morning and surveying the damage in the kitchen - for one doesn't tend to tidy up when one is half asleep! Lol. Thank goodness I like the same foods asleep as I do awake, usually it was leftover vegies from dinner or fruit, yoghurt, that sort of thing.
That symptomology passed, thank goodness, although it could return any day, I suppose. I don't really know why these funny food things happen to us, it's just really good to know that it's not just me being weird haha :)
 
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ok cool, its definately not just me lol

i get weird looks from my family and used to from my roommates when i would be eating full meals at 12 or 1 am in the morning

anyways, it may not be healthy, but its helps me sleep much better, and for me, thats probably healthier!
 

Calathea

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I go through phases of needing to snack before bed. I think it's completely normal with this illness.

A good place to cross-post this would be the 3 Fat Chicks weight loss forum, regardless of whether or not you're trying to lose weight. There are some extremely knowledgeable people on there, many of them with fibro or ME, who may be able to help you work out what's going on with the hunger and so forth.
 

u&iraok

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Haha I do this too. I didn't think it was CFS related though but I guess I didn't always feel such a need. I drink a huge mason glass full of Lassi (blended yogurt drink with fruit and honey) right before bed. I use St. Benoit whole fat yogurt, which is from a small local farm here. It's the perfect thing before bed for me. Also helps get more protein and healthy fats into the day.
What kind of fruit do you use? I love mango lassis but that would be too much sugar for me.
 
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I've tended toward being a night owl, sleeping best between 2 and 10 AM. Even then, once or twice a week I had trouble falling a sleep. Lately, I've been taking Glycine at bedtime [away from food]. Glycine is a brain calmer. It helped me fall asleep instead of laying there thinking. I started cautiously with 1/4 of a 500 mg caplet. Then I went to 1/2 a caplet. I'll probably up it to 500 mg. soon. My research indicates I need it. So that's probably why it helps.
Here a link that gives some info:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x/full
Blessings to you!
 
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Almost 8 years have passed. So: is there any new information on this topic?
For me, this topic is of particular importance, because my CFS began with a constant desire to eat, which intensified in the evening. I have to eat before bed, despite the fact that I had a full breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I do not, then my dream will be shallow, and the next day I will feel sleepy, and my CFS will increase. On the other hand, eating at bedtime worsens my digestive problems, which also torment me.
Judging by the results of the tests (did several times), I do not have hypoglycemia, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and worms. I don't move much, eat enough, and at the same time I am thin: my weight is 59 kilograms and my height is 1.71 meters.
It is also interesting that in childhood my appetite increased during every cold (which is not normal).
Why it happens? Is it possible to extract useful information from this?
By the way, vitamins, sedatives and other medicines do not help. The exception is Zoloft: it improves sleep and eliminates the constant desire to eat. But, unfortunately, it turns me into a non-initiative vegetable (I already have problems with initiative). So this medicine does not suit me.
Any ideas?
 

Seadragon

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Almost 8 years have passed. So: is there any new information on this topic?
For me, this topic is of particular importance, because my CFS began with a constant desire to eat, which intensified in the evening. I have to eat before bed, despite the fact that I had a full breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I do not, then my dream will be shallow, and the next day I will feel sleepy, and my CFS will increase. On the other hand, eating at bedtime worsens my digestive problems, which also torment me.
Judging by the results of the tests (did several times), I do not have hypoglycemia, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and worms. I don't move much, eat enough, and at the same time I am thin: my weight is 59 kilograms and my height is 1.71 meters.
It is also interesting that in childhood my appetite increased during every cold (which is not normal).
Why it happens? Is it possible to extract useful information from this?
By the way, vitamins, sedatives and other medicines do not help. The exception is Zoloft: it improves sleep and eliminates the constant desire to eat. But, unfortunately, it turns me into a non-initiative vegetable (I already have problems with initiative). So this medicine does not suit me.
Any ideas?
I'm not a doctor so no expert in these things but wondered if you may be low in serotonin if Zoloft helps with this issue.

Not sure what you could try except maybe experiment with foods that may help increase serotonin levels such as oily fish, nuts and seeds, turkey, eggs etc. That would depend on if you have dietary restrictions of course.