Need help with sleep management on TRT

People on low carb diets often have problems with sleep. But I doubt taking a tryptophan supplement will help.

The release of insulin after carbohydrate is digested indirectly helps an amino acid, tryptophan, get into the brain. Once there, tryptophan is converted through a biochemical process into serotonin. However, when more than small amounts of protein are eaten along with the carbohydrate, this process is blocked.

You could try having a carb snack an hour before sleep.
I have considered a carb backloading type of deal, just haven’t done it yet. Right now keto/IF during the week and 1 huge nasty carb meal on the weekends. Considering adding a half cup oats before bed.

Taking melatonin does not cause you to develop a tolerance to it according to all the studies they have on it so far.

Antihistamines are some of the most popular and most used drugs in the world. It sucks to have to take a drug to get good sleep, but if you have to take one, antihistamines are probably the best choice available.

As for strength training on keto. Many people eat 15-50g of carbs 30-60 minutes before their workout or they do cyclical keto because of the incredible energy demands that ketones are not able to supply. The research that shows muscle gain on keto is on people that never worked out before. If you strength train 3xweek you might want to try incorporating some carbs on training days. Especially if you are hitting it hard. I was on keto and strength trained 3xweek. I started working with a nutritionist and adding some carbs is one of the first things they suggested.
FDA approved nutritionists definitely want us all to add carbs back in, but the truth is once fat adapted (which takes a couple to several months, not simply ketone adapted) then strength can regained and even improved past previous non-keto efforts. A ketogenic diet of some kind is definitely best for me but I only use it for maintenance and cutting fat. I add plenty of carbs back in when it’s gains time. But the sleep thing is a problem and will have to add some carbs in before bed so I can sleep adequately.
 
Right now keto/IF during the week and 1 huge nasty carb meal on the weekends.
This is exactly what I was doing. I didn't eat until noon, stopped eating after dinner around 7pm. Did strength training 3xweek, 30 minutes fasted cardio the off 3 days, 1 day of full rest. Had 1 huge nasty carb meal on Sunday. Insomnia hit me hard after a month of TRT. Never had problems before.

Been working with a nutritionist that specializes in treating insomnia. Almost all her clients are on a whole food keto or very low carb diet with slightly higher protein than on keto. If you are strength training on keto there is a very good chance you are starving your body, especially if you do IF as well.

When you starve your body it prioritizes food over sleep. The vast majority of people with anorexia have insomnia. Keto + IF + strength training for a long time can put you in the same boat. It definitely did for me. My nutritionist has me eating more calories and some more carbs (I eat 100g net carbs a day now), especially before strength training. My sleep is much better, but my nutritionist says it typically takes 3-6 months of eating healthy and eating enough before my sleep will return to normal.

Don't know if this will work for you, but your situation definitely sounds pretty similar to mine.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter #144
Update: been on EOD schedule for 6 weeks, getting blood work done in 2

I am still sleeping like shit. I’d say 3/7 nights are pretty good, the other 4 are terrible.

I had some success initially taking pregnenolone at night but that effect has tapered.

I’m currently taking a low dose of melatonin ~ 1-2 mg with combo of extended and instant release. Some nights I fall asleep Fine, others I am up until 3 am and toss and turn all night. I’m considering trying L glycine for deeper sleep.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
People on low carb diets often have problems with sleep. But I doubt taking a tryptophan supplement will help.

The release of insulin after carbohydrate is digested indirectly helps an amino acid, tryptophan, get into the brain. Once there, tryptophan is converted through a biochemical process into serotonin. However, when more than small amounts of protein are eaten along with the carbohydrate, this process is blocked.

You could try having a carb snack an hour before sleep.
I tried a tryptophan supplement, it does seem to help. But I also eat some carbs shortly after taking it. Along with Progesterone.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
It could be that those that are on a keto diet for a while, they don't get this negative effect of tryptophan not entering the brain and lack of sleep. But maybe just a low carb diet that is not keto more often causes too much protein and blocks tryptophan.

It could also have something to do with the timing of carbs / tryptophan.
 
I’m currently taking a low dose of melatonin ~ 1-2 mg with combo of extended and instant release. Some nights I fall asleep Fine, others I am up until 3 am and toss and turn all night. I’m considering trying L glycine for deeper sleep.
You might want to try a higher dose of melatonin and also experiment with the extended vs instant release. I'm at 6mg instant release melatonin right now and it works pretty well for me. 3mg and lower did nothing.

One of the melatonin manufacturer sites says to start at 1mg and go up until you are either sleeping solidly through the night, are really groggy in the morning, have nightmares or get headaches. If you reach that point, then go back down. They suggest going as high as 10mg.

Also, have you tried up to 1500mg tryptophan, 500mg GABA, 200mg L-Theanine, 400mg magnesium glycinate? Those work for some people.
 
It could be that those that are on a keto diet for a while, they don't get this negative effect of tryptophan not entering the brain and lack of sleep. But maybe just a low carb diet that is not keto more often causes too much protein and blocks tryptophan.
I was keto for 2 years prior to starting TRT. 1 month after starting TRT I got horrible insomnia which I never had in my life before. I started working with a naturopath and a nutritionist and they switched me to a low carb diet that is not keto and I am sleeping much better.
 

DragonBits

Well-Known Member
I was keto for 2 years prior to starting TRT. 1 month after starting TRT I got horrible insomnia which I never had in my life before. I started working with a naturopath and a nutritionist and they switched me to a low carb diet that is not keto and I am sleeping much better.
That's interesting, the combination of TRT and Keto gave you insomnia. I don't think that happens to everyone?

TRT made me allergic to a couple of medications that I had been taking with no problems prior to TRT.
 
Thread starter #150
Last night I took 3g glycine on top of my 1 mg melatonin, 20 mg pregnenolone and 400 mg magnesium glycinate

I slept the deepest I have in a week or so. We’ll see how it goes tonight
 
That's interesting, the combination of TRT and Keto gave you insomnia. I don't think that happens to everyone?
Ya my buddy and I both started TRT around the same time and he was on keto too. He had no problems at all with insomnia.

My guess is that most people have no problems on TRT. The ones that do have problems either quit or are on this forum...
 
Last night I took 3g glycine on top of my 1 mg melatonin, 20 mg pregnenolone and 400 mg magnesium glycinate

I slept the deepest I have in a week or so. We’ll see how it goes tonight
That's awesome. Hope it keeps working for you. If not, I would definitely try upping your melatonin dose 1mg a night until you sleep great consistently. That what my doc had me do.
 
Thread starter #153
That's awesome. Hope it keeps working for you. If not, I would definitely try upping your melatonin dose 1mg a night until you sleep great consistently. That what my doc had me do.
Last night slept great as well.

Just 1 mg of the melatonin still though. Do you find melatonin any less effective over time? What brand and what time do you take your melatonin?

I was taking an extended release in conjunction with instant but find that I sleep and feel better with just instant release
 
My ability to fall asleep was always below average but once asleep, I stay asleep. Started to add alot of structure to my day, Waking up at dawn, optionally low/moderate dose of coffee/tea and vaping marijuana to help training, train, and then eating 1 big meal (weed helps make the meal more pleasurable) for the day with my trt, 3500iu vitamin d3, and 120mg magnesium glycinate. I find negative effects of caffeine and weed go away after awhile when you get used to a low-moderate dose and get a good strain. The meal is usually non-processed most of the time and it’s my only meal most of the time, but I allow myself 1 additional small snack/meal a day only if hungry. Drink water as desired (40-100 ounces a day).

I didnt do it to improve my sleep, but it did. Once in awhile when my eczema gets bad, I find this routine improves my eczema so i follow it at times in my life. Sort of like intermittent fasting and an intermittent routine. Analyzing the routine, it’s probably very close to how our ancestors were and how we were designed. Wake up at dawn for more daylight to maximize chance of hunting success, hunt for the exercise, eat the meal, and naturally minimize artificial light at night that suppresses melatonin since you’ll be in bed earlier instead of later.

However, it is a bad schedule to be social in urban areas. Main reason I dont do this forever as a lifestyle instead of intermittently as needed. Most people wake up later and often socialize during dinner/lunch. If I ever decide to do this forever instead of intermittently, I’d compromise to make the routine more socialable by waking up alittle later, train, and then maybe eat my biggest meal around lunch/dinner instead of right after training.
 
Last edited:
Update: been on EOD schedule for 6 weeks, getting blood work done in 2

I am still sleeping like shit. I’d say 3/7 nights are pretty good, the other 4 are terrible.

I had some success initially taking pregnenolone at night but that effect has tapered.

I’m currently taking a low dose of melatonin ~ 1-2 mg with combo of extended and instant release. Some nights I fall asleep Fine, others I am up until 3 am and toss and turn all night. I’m considering trying L glycine for deeper sleep.
Get some magnesium glycinate, Pure Encapsulations and take 4 before bed. With an extra 2g glycine and it should help quite a bit.
 
Last night slept great as well.

Just 1 mg of the melatonin still though. Do you find melatonin any less effective over time? What brand and what time do you take your melatonin?

I was taking an extended release in conjunction with instant but find that I sleep and feel better with just instant release
That's great news. Hope the trend continues for you.

I have been on instant release and have found it to be very effective for as long as I've taken it. I take 2 3mg of Now brand melatonin every night roughly 15 minutes before I lay down and I'm usually out in 15-30 minutes. I sometimes wake to use the bathroom one time but if I do I go right back to sleep.

My doc suggested I try half instant, half extended release, so last night I tried a 5mg dual spectrum by Nature's Bounty. It's half instant, half extended release. I slept well and didn't wake to go to the bathroom, so I think I will keep giving that a try for a bit. If I get the same or better benefit from 1 less mg then might as well.
 
Last edited:
My ability to fall asleep was always below average but once asleep, I stay asleep. Started to add alot of structure to my day, Waking up at dawn
You might want to try one of those SAD lights (search on Amazon). You just shine it on your face for 15-30 minutes when you wake up (while eating breakfast or watching youtube). It simulates the sun and resets your circadian rhythm. A lot of people that struggle getting to sleep but sleep great once asleep really benefit from the SAD light.
 

Dansk

Active Member
You might want to try one of those SAD lights (search on Amazon). You just shine it on your face for 15-30 minutes when you wake up (while eating breakfast or watching youtube). It simulates the sun and resets your circadian rhythm. A lot of people that struggle getting to sleep but sleep great once asleep really benefit from the SAD light.
You can also just use the sun. Circadian Rhythm regulation is huge in my opinion. That's why the use of blue-blockers in the evening has also been recommended. Sun in the AM dark in the evening.
 
I take a little more than 1/4 pill of Zolpidem ER 12.5 mg before bed. It helps me sleep for about 5 hours. I keep 1/4 pill next to the bed with water. When I waked up I chew the 1/4 pill and fall back to sleep quickly. It last about 2.5 to 3 hours. So now I am finally getting 8hrs of sleep. Works pretty good.
 
Top