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Jane Anderson

Gluten and Sleep - Why The Two Don't Seem To Mix Well

By January 27, 2014

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A reader emailed me over the weekend about insomnia -- he's got it in spades, he says, and wanted to know if going gluten-free would help him (he's not on the gluten-free diet but he's considering it due to other symptoms).

I told him I thought it was possible gluten was impacting his sleep, even though his doctor had never mentioned sleep problems as a possible celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity symptom. I don't think physicians are much focused on this, but it's truly an issue for many of us.

I never had trouble sleeping prior to going gluten-free. But these days, when I get glutened, I'm lucky if I can sleep at all -- I either get near-complete, wide-eyed insomnia or (when I do finally nod off) restless sleep broken by vivid nightmares.

These always seemed to me like really weird symptoms, but it turns out I'm far from alone: lots of people with both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity report sleep-related problems when they accidentally ingest gluten. There's even medical research backing this up (which many of our doctors clearly haven't read).

My article Gluten and Sleep explains what you may experience if you get glutened. It also offers some tips to help you snooze more restfully. Pleasant dreams!

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutGlutenFree.

Image Getty Images/David Roth

January 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm
(1) Aeriol says:

If one truly has celiac disease they will probably sleep most of the time or at least want to. You are groggy and exhausted at all times. While eating gluten the only thing I wanted to do was to go home to bed and sleep. After being off gluten, dairy, corn and soy for about 18 months and healing my gut the groggy foggy brain stuff was completely gone. My energy was up and I needed much less sleep. So I doubt this man’s problem is celiac.

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