The sound of silence

Sleeping David

The author’s husband

About six months after my husband and I starting a low-carb high-fat diet, I awoke to complete quiet. It was nearly 3:00 am, and I could only hear a clock ticking. My husband was lying beside of me, but there was no noise! The man who could wake a hibernating bear with his snoring wasn’t even breathing heavy. That’s when it occurred to me, “Was he breathing?”

I leaned over towards him but didn’t hear anything. Even though I didn’t want to wake him, worry began to rise up into fear, so I leaned closer. I felt his arm. It wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t as warm as my worry wanted it to be. I decided to feel near his face to see if warm air was coming from his nose or mouth. In the dark, as I propped up on my elbow with my right arm, I reached across to his face with my left hand, lost my balance, and accidentally popped him right in the face! He sat straight up in bed!

Now, when you wake your husband with a pop to the face at 3:00 am, he typically wants an explanation, so I exclaimed, “You’re alive!” He knew that already, so I had to explain that I woke to complete silence and had begun to panic. We had fallen into a pattern of me desperately trying to get to sleep before him because his snoring had gotten so bad that I could not fall asleep after him. Even when I did manage to fall asleep first, it was not unusual for his seismographic snorts and gasps to rouse me.

His snoring was worse when he slept on his back, so most nights I subtly tried to nudge him onto his side by pulling the covers or gently tugging or pushing. There were other nights when sleep deprivation left me less “understanding”, and I would utter a grumpy, “You’re snoring!” We even discussed sleeping in different beds at one point. After having lost about 40 pounds (18 kg) he was no longer snoring, and neither of us had even realized it until I awoke to silence.

A welcomed ‘side effect‘ of low carb

When we were both obese, we had adapted to an unhealthy life. Snoring, high blood pressure, waking to aches and pains, poor lipid panels, and tiring easily had become a “normal” part of aging. We once joked that getting old was not fun, but better than the alternative. We were in our mid-40s at the time.

What we didn’t attribute to aging, we attributed to genetics. My father in law had high blood pressure, so we just figured it was inevitable. With a low carb high fat diet, my husband’s blood pressure is now low normal after years of being high enough to require medication.

We began a low-carb high-fat diet to lose weight, but along the way, we gained a unique perspective about weight and health. As our bodies changed, our lives changed. We came to realize that while the additional weight was unattractive, eating low carb high fat was giving us far more than just weight loss. Obesity was the symptom and not the underlying issue.

When we addressed the underlying issue — inflammation, insulin resistance, metabolic disorders — the weight went away as our bodies healed. The pounds melted away.

Our hunger was managed such that we didn’t feel as if we were starving. Morning aches and pains abated. Our lives opened to bike rides and hikes and kayaking and longer periods of working in the yard. His blood pressure normalized. His snoring stopped.

We marvel at the better health we enjoy simply because we no longer eat sugar, starch, grains, or rice. We eat the most delicious foods of our lives—bacon, butter, cheese, and fatty meats. Our vegetables are roasted in fat or smothered in rich sauces. Although our portions are halved, our bellies are not grumbling. And most of the time, we sleep quietly in our bed without fear of the silence.


Kristie Sullivan

More

Low Carb for Beginners

How to Lose Weight

Earlier

How a Pumpkin Pie Spice Muffin Can Mean Freedom

Low-carb basics

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About Kristie

Obese for nearly all of her life, Kristie Sullivan, PhD, is passionate about helping others learn about all of the health benefits from eliminating sugar, grains, and starches. She focuses on eating whole, real foods that everyone in the family can enjoy.

You can learn more about her at her YouTube channel, Cooking Keto with Kristie. She also published a cookbook, Journey to Health: A Journey Worth Taking to help others discover how delicious and healthy a low carb lifestyle can be. Join her (and several thousand others) on the low carb journey at her closed Facebook group, “Low Carb Journey to Health (Cooking Keto with Kristie)”.

10 Comments

  1. Barbara
    Thank you giving me a chuckle this morning! I can relate so well to the snoring issues you were dealing with, and they seem funny now, but at 3 AM when you're woken out of a sound sleep by a spouse who is snoring up a storm, the last thing you want to do is laugh. I've thought of recording all the variations, just so he can better appreciate how disturbing it can be! Thank goodness he got a special mouth guard that has made sleeping the whole night through a reality, most of the time! Also love the picture of the two napping buddies! Cheers to the unexpected side effects!
    Replies: #6, #8
  2. Juan
    I have dealt with chronic sleep apnea for many years prior to getting treatment. I am still using a machine to help me sleep each night and prevent the snoring. I still cannot sleep with out my autopap machine and if I do, I might as well not sleep at all. Since I started LCHF my sleep numbers are improving. With a little weight and water loss I was able to lower my pressure levels to levels lower than when I weighed less.

    With treatment the number of apnea events drop to as high as 3 events per hour and as low as .2 events per hour. The average person can stop breathing up to 5 times per hour and not have apnea.

    I am hoping to one day rid myself of the machine and all the related costs (masks, cleaning supplies, hoses, filters, etc..).

    My sleep doctor has said losing weight might allow me to lose the machine.

    Still a long way to go, but I am determined to get there, and this article gives me a little more added hope that I will reach my goal of unassisted sleeping.

  3. mojca
    My husbant was also snoring when he was in any other position than on the side. Unfortunatelly he doesn't want to follow me into the LCHF way of life. So last week he had a mild heart stroke and had 3 stants implanted. And now he is not snoring anymore. No matter what position he is sleeping in. I'm very suprised and happy, although it's not a LCHF side effect.
  4. Deborah
    Kristie, it's so great to keep up with you on your FB page and now here on DD. You are a true inspiration for me as I battle two decades of obesity. I'm wracked with terrible feet/ankle pain and I know it's all due to the extra pounds. People like you and Andreas give me hope.
  5. Tamarah
    Kristie,, thanks so much I had to literally laugh out loud at your story,, It was great . I am so happy for you and your husband. I still at times have to listen to the wretched noise of snores in the night,, as my husband has not opened his mind yet. and probably will not ever . He has already been diagnosed with a fatty liver and I can on believe that T2 diabetes is next,, Maybe then he will see things my way . But until then he will just keep doing what he is doing,, slowly killing himself.
    have a great day
    Tamarah
  6. Tonya Gron
    OK I am not sure how to post a general question on here lol. My question is I am on my 3rd day of low carving and before I signed up I saw the ad for HALO Top ice-cream, wondering if I can have this when I get a sweet tooth?
  7. Darlene b
    Wonderful story skillfully and powerfully tells the 365 degree impact on your lives. When will ADA, AHA and Web Md as well as other websites stop shilling for the pharmaceutical and food industry. Google is to blame too for participating in skewing the search results to direct people to horribly misinformed groups purporting to care about our health!
  8. Laura
    I did record my husband's snores, lol. I have quite a few examples saved on my iPhone. But I won't be doing that anymore because he went low carb at the end of March and has lost 35 pounds and no longer snores! It's wonderful! Like Kristie, I couldn't sleep and thought about separate bedrooms. What a wonderful, unexpected side effect.
  9. C
    Hi Kristie - loved reading your story! It relates so closely to my husband and I (although I am now the worse snorer and have mild sleep apnoea) - and it gives me hope. We are only on day 3 of our new LCHF diet, and hope we can get the same results you both did. We are only 53 & 56, but already have too many 'aches & pains' and health issues that we shouldn't have. Hopefully this diet can reverse many of these issues - and hopefully we can eventually end up sleeping in the same bed again! Thank you for sharing your story.
  10. Joann
    Hi Kristie...my husband is the snorer in our famy....until I became a snorer with weight gain. He uses a CPAP machine but I refused to! With my 65 lb, and counting, weight loss, he is the one to check out whether I am breathing...because I sleep so quietly! My motivation for this WOE was to take care of my knees...but now I am proud of this "side effect"! And my knees are in much better shape, too!

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