My wife has commented that I am sleeping much better since starting my low carb lifestyle. I sleep deeper and do not wake up as often during the night to use the bathroom. My insomnia has stopped and I am able to fall asleep easier. So I decided to dig into the research and see if there was any relationship between low carbing and sleeping. This is what I found.
Apparently, both sleep restriction and sleep apnea are associated with insulin resistance. Who knew? Read the linked article, but it is a function of bodily hormones such as cortisol and leptin. Especially for sleep apnea, there are many possible cures, including a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) mask and machine for sleeping, surgery, and other oral appliances. Or, you could try following a low carb diet. Sleep disorders have been associated with high blood pressure and, as mentioned above, insulin resistance. A low carb diet has a dramatic effect on lowering both blood pressure and insulin resistance (making you more insulin sensitive). Of course, if you are on high blood pressure medication and drugs/insulin for type I or II diabetes, you will have to work with a physician to get your medication adjusted if you follow a low carb diet.
A high carb diet leads to insulin resistance, and so do sleep disorders. Both of these conditions are common with people who are overweight. And a low carb diet can apparently solve both problems in many people. Listen to this podcast with Terry Brown, M.D., a specialist in treating sleep disorders with low carb diets for more information (it is about 45 minutes long).