I have been vegan for 4 and a half years. I ate a low fat raw vegan diet of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables nuts and seeds, thriving the entire time.
About 2 months ago I started developing insomnia. I was anxious and only sleeping for 2-3 hours per night. I thought this was due to completely changing my life, having recently left my job and also due to anxiety over my upcoming trip. This had continued, with some sleep improvement of getting 4-5 hours per night over the last few weeks.
I have been traveling in Guatemala for the last month and a half and have started including oats and rice in my diet as finding enough quantities of various fruits is not possible here. The sleep problems have been basically ruining my trip.
I have been monitoring my sleep and wake cycle for the last 2-3 weeks and have noticed the same interesting habits occurring:
I go to bed around 9pm-usually I’m asleep around 9:30-10
Wake up at 12:30am-12:45 to pee, then go back to sleep
Wake up at 2:45am-3:30 to pee again, then can’t go back to sleep because I’m mildly hungry. But even if I eat a few bananas or a Larabar, I still can’t get back to sleep unless I use a pharmaceutical (1/4 of an Ambien, but I usually only do this once/week out of desperation-sometimes this doesn’t even work)
As someone who is used to being hydrated, and waking up to pee, I don’t really mind. However, lately I have refrained from drinking liquids after 5-6pm particularly to avoid waking up to pee and hopefully sleep through the night; but I still wake up at these two times to pee.
I thought for awhile that maybe I haven’t been eating enough on my travels, but for the last few days i have been stuffing myself silly to rule this out. I still wake up at 2:45-3:30. The sleeplessness has been persisting for a long time, I know my body wants sleep, but it keeps waking up. I suspect my body knows it needs a/some nutrient/s that I’m not getting from my diet, so it wakes me up to try and find it.
Is this what makes long time vegans cave in and eat animal products? Am I failing to thrive?
I use a b-12 spray, but no other supplements. I’m used to thriving on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables as has been the case for years. Should I go to the health food store and buy multivitamins, spirulina, ashwaghanda root, etc. ?