Gluten induced insomnia?

Can Gluten Cause Insomnia?

Can Gluten Cause Insomnia?

I have suffered from insomnia (the waking and not being able to get back to sleep kind) for about 12 years.

I have tried everything and had little success. A year ago I went to a naturopath who suggested a vegetarian diet (I had been a vegetarian for 10 years at that point) was not good for my blood type (o).

I was skeptical but desperate and decided to try following the blood type diet which involved eliminating a lot of the gluten in my diet. The result was a minor improvement in sleep.

Lately my sleep reverted back to very bad and I in questioning what had changed I realized I had tired of granola (oat based) and started eating bread again. It was at that point I googled wheat sensitivity and insomnia and started to wonder if gluten could be the problem.

Insomnia is often linked with depression but it felt the other way round, I don't feel depressed but my energy is low and my mood is low on account of the lack of sleep.

Anyway I am testing the theory out by going gluten free but my question is how long should I give it before I am likely to see a change (assuming it is a gluten sensitivity)?


Photo by Alyssa L. Miller

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Gluten Induced Insomnia
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Francesca,

It is certainly worth a try. Gluten simply causes lots of crazy things and ANYTIME someone has something that they have tried everything for and it's not resolved, then I suggest a trial.

I would imagine that if you are VERY strict and stay on a Gluten Intolerance Diet, then you could see results within 2 weeks, but definitely give it 2 months if you are not feeling better after the two weeks.

And while you say that you have tried everything, most people have NOT tried high dose magnesium. Have you tried High Dose Magnesium therapy for your insomnia? You can see how to do it on my Magnesium Dosage page.

And particularly, you should take an epsom salts bath before bed. See the Epsom Salt Uses page for more information about that.

Are you exercising and/or have you tried getting a LOT of exercise to make you tired? Substances like Melatonin, Lemon Balm, etc. like in these Sleep Supplements from Longevity Plus can work wonders. Are you completely off of caffeine and all stimulants like chocolate?

Let me know how it goes, because one BIG reason that you could have insomnia if you have tried all those and the gluten doesn't work, is that you have an adrenal gland RHYTHM problem. Your cortisol level is supposed to be highest in the morning and taper off to almost nothing at bedtime.

If your cortisol level is increased in the evening, that can cause insomnia and there IS something that you can do about it. There are specific herbs that will bring your cortisol level down when taken at specific times, but you MUST have a high cortisol level (measured with an Adrenal Function Test) because you don't want to lower your cortisol levels if they are already low at night!

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Health Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune

I'm now gluten free and sleeping
by: Anonymous

I have suffered from insomnia, day time sleepiness, and afternoon fatigue for many years. It was an endless cycle of having a hard time waking, being tired all day, fatigue and sleepiness in the afternoon, and then, around 9 pm, I would be wide awake with full energy.

I recently went on a 28 day cleansing diet where I removed gluten, eggs, dairy, vinegar, yeast, and processed sugar.

In less than a week, I began to see a difference. I started feeling sleepy around 9 or 10 pm and noticed my daytime sleepiness and fatigue were gone.

I've since added most foods back into my diet. I have remained gluten free and my sleep pattern is relatively normal. I've tried eating gluten or junk food on a couple of occassions and I always have trouble going to sleep.

It's been a big adjustment, but I will stay away from gluten the rest of my life. Oh, and as a side note, another big change I've made is to cut out processed sugar as much as possible. I now use evaporated cane juice to sweeten and for baking.

I hope you find a solution for your insomnia. Good luck!

Try going glutin-free and sugar-free
by: Kimber

I've had chronic insomnia for many years. Recently I changed docs and one of the things I was told to try is eliminating sugar and most grains from my diet. After a week my blood pressure is lower (I had chronic hypertension) and I'm sleeping better. It's a hard diet to follow, but the results are so worth it.

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