T Nation

Getting Low on Sleep


Hey guys,

This isn’t really “training” related, but the topic will probably affect my training at some point.

Here’s what I need help with:

I wake up at 3am, and deliver newspapers until 5:30 (pays pretty well, otherwise I wouldn’t be waking up at such an ungodly hour). I go lift till 7am, come home, shower and eat, and then go work a construction job from 8-5. I come home, eat dinner, and do schoolwork and chores. I don’t do much on weekday nights. I usually get to bed around 9. I know 8-9 hours is the “sweet spot” but that’s tough for me to get, as getting to bed around 6pm-7pm is pretty much impossible, and I need the money I get from the newspapers.

I don’t feel super tired most days, but I do have days where I’m exhausted.

Any ideas or opinions regarding my sleep schedule? Is 6 hours enough? This isn’t permanent - I’ll be quitting the construction job for a much easier one with shorter hours sometime this summer. Any supplements that would help providing I start feeling like crap? Any good foods that would help with anything? Any tips at all? Just stick it out until I’m done with the job?


The Most Important Part of LEAN Bulking

u said that you feel good and not tired doing this so you can continue till your construction job is done ? this kind of Schedule need alot of discipline ! you need to sleep everyday at 9 pm and not doing out one day with your friend or u will pass out


Sounds like you’re doing a solid job of managing all this.

I recently started using ZMA (3 weeks) and that has actually helped with sleep quality.


Sorry I took forever to reply. Been busy lately. That link was very helpful in giving me some tips, and interesting to read as well. Thanks.

Mind explaining the reasoning behind the “Being tired and exhausted is perfectly ok, being sleepy is not.” to me? I’m assuming it has to due with something like being sleepy means you’re not alert and not getting good sleep, whereas being tired just means you need more sleep?


Is there a brand of ZMA you’d recommend? It’s been a while - has it continued to help? What is your sleep schedule like?


I just picked up whatever the local “health” store was selling. It’s on my walk home from work to the train station.

I wake up at 4am three to four days per week and 6:30 the other days. I aim for a 10pm bedtime. I have a young child so my sleep times and length is very variable. I feel I get deeper sleepa with the ZMA.

I probably should have thrown the fitbit on to see if it showed a difference before/after… ahh well.


Matthew Walker is a sleep scientist and was a recent guest on the Joe Rogan podcast (in fact theres a thread about it here on TN GAL). He was describing all of the risks and increases in chance of getting chronic diseases from a lack of sleep and especially at a younger age while the brain is still developing. In very regretful and concerned tone, Joe mentions how he had a newspaper delivery job when he was around 18/19 yrs old and wonders what damage it did to him.

But hey, fuckit, GET DAT CHEDDAR!