T Nation

Heavy Lifting and Insomnia


#1

I'm no powerlifter, ality sleep when this problem arises?


#2

Magnesium and zinc and if I train really close to bed-time a couple milligrams of melatonin. If you go use melatonin regularly, rotate occasionally with valerian instead. Don’t underestimate chamomile tea either. The stuff works. It doesn’t make you go to sleep but it makes it easier when you decide to.


#3

Stop training at least two hours before bed is the first thing. Then, always have a scheduled time to wake up, regardless of when you fall asleep. You body should adjust to that time pretty quickly. If you still have trouble falling asleep, you can look into things like melatonin. Personally, if I have 12 hours or so to sleep, I’ll take some benadryl (Diphenhydramine) before bed. That puts me out like a light, but I have a hard time waking up in the morning as well. Also, you can’t take that before bed for longer than 3 or 4 days, your body adjusts and it stops having the drowsiness effect.


#4

Supplement well at night. That’s normally the best option. ZMA if that’s the issue. ElitePro if you want to cover a broader base.


#5

[quote]gkeeper24 wrote:

What have you guys found to be the best way to get quality sleep when this problem arises?[/quote]

Ambien, xanax and tylenol pm cocktail or lots of Serequil. Although its easier to tranquilize a rhino then to put me asleep


#6

Cold showers do work. Really.


#7

I forgot epsom salt baths. Those relax me quite a bit. They seem to help with the PL niggles and pains and just plain ol’ simple DOMS too.


#8

I used to pop a small handful of melatonin before I realized that shit was fucking with my moods and making me depressed and shit. So I completely quit and haven’t taken a damn thing to help me sleep since. I’ve found that being consistently active throughout the day helps fatigue me to the point where I need to sleep but don’t feel like shit, as opposed to sitting around and then having a big training session or the like.


#10

Do you have ADHD or something of that disorder?


#12

[quote]gkeeper24 wrote:
Has anyone else suffered from some type of adrenal fatigue, nervous system issues, or cortisol issues?

If you haven’t, then it’s difficult to explain what I’m experiencing. Regardless of the time I train, I’m wired at bed time (and most of the day). It feels like my body is in constant flight or flight mode. I could take 2 benadryl, 2 valiums, mealtonin, valerian root, and 5htp, and I’ll still will wake multiple times throughout the night and never really get restful sleep.

I just bought some phosphydtylserine, which is supposed to be good for blunting cortisol. I am now taking a high dose of magnesium as well. If anyone else has experienced and overcame this problem, let me know how the fuck you did it lol. [/quote]

I’ve had something similar, maybe not quite as bad as you, but when I was doing doggcrapp training, a lot of sets taken to failure, that seemed to mess with my sleep and I would wake up a lot and not be able to go back to sleep. I still have that problem from time to time, though my training is not as intense now.

Melatonin helps me a bit, but the two other things I have added that seem to help are magnesium (not magnesium oxide since it gives me diarrhea) anywhere from 200-400mg and Vitamin C. For some reason I have to take magnesium earlier in the day or else it keeps me awake if I take it right before bed. For Vitamin C, I just get a trader joe’s 500 mg tablet (one that contains bioflavinoids) and cut it in half. Plus I am trying to eat more greens and fruits, as I notice better sleep than when I eat crappy food for a majority of the day.

Coincidentally Chad Waterbury on his site just posted an article recommending magnesium and Vitamin C for those experiencing sleep problems on his training program. Try adding Vitamin C
and if all else fails take a melatonin right before bed and one in the middle of the night the next time you wake up and can’t sleep, which is what I do once in a while if that happens.


#13

I have no idea what you’re going through but I’d give chamomile tea throughout the day a try.


#14

I try to do a number of things to help me sleep better.

Going for a long walk with my dog helps ease my mind and give me some vitamin d too if its sunny.
I try to stop eating at least 2 hours before bed, but more like 3.
I turn all the lights off and turn on F. Lux on my laptop(awesome app!) and darken my TV in the evening.
Use a softball for myofascial release and do a little static stretching.
Drink 2-3 bags of chamomile (sleepy time) which I take my vitamins with including ZMA.
Then I take a contrast shower and I’m off to bed.


#15

I have never really had a terribly hard time falling asleep, and definitely have never experienced the kind of thing you’re talking about. But for what it’s worth… I think a lot of people underestimate the effect that electronic screens and artificial lighting can have on falling asleep. Don’t know if it applies to you, but too many people do things like watch tv or text, right up until they go to bed. Something as simple as shutting off you phone, tv, computer, an hour before you go to bed and laying in bed with a book can help you relax, start to feel sleepy, and pass out naturally, instead of going from “overstimulated” to “laying in the dark wondering why you can’t sleep” in a matter of 5 minutes. Again, not sure if it applies but it definitely wouldn’t hurt. at the very least, it would get you reading more, which we all could use haha


#16

[quote]tattoo’d’popeye wrote:

[quote]gkeeper24 wrote:

What have you guys found to be the best way to get quality sleep when this problem arises?[/quote]

Ambien, xanax and tylenol pm cocktail or lots of Serequil. Although its easier to tranquilize a rhino then to put me asleep [/quote]

Maybe it’s hard to go to sleep because you cram a bunch of awful shit into your body?


#17

x2 on ZMA and melatonin. Don’t take melatonin everyday though.

Also, light aerobic activity or even something as stupid as 20mins of stretching right before bed has been shown to promote better, deeper sleeping. Don’t forget to turn all of your electronic shit off as well.


#18

Elite Pro/ZMA and 2 Z12 on MT stomach before last meal. 15g of glycine in last swallows of peri-workout also.

Made a significant difference to my sleep.


#19

[quote]gkeeper24 wrote:
Has anyone else suffered from some type of adrenal fatigue, nervous system issues, or cortisol issues?

If you haven’t, then it’s difficult to explain what I’m experiencing. Regardless of the time I train, I’m wired at bed time (and most of the day). It feels like my body is in constant flight or flight mode. I could take 2 benadryl, 2 valiums, mealtonin, valerian root, and 5htp, and I’ll still will wake multiple times throughout the night and never really get restful sleep.

I just bought some phosphydtylserine, which is supposed to be good for blunting cortisol. I am now taking a high dose of magnesium as well. If anyone else has experienced and overcame this problem, let me know how the fuck you did it lol.[/quote]

I know what you mean, I have the same problem, and unfortunately none of the answers in this thread is likely to be much use (from my experience). Most people don’t have a clue what it’s like, bless their souls. :slight_smile:

Not lifting as heavy may help. NSAIDs may help a bit (take a longer-acting one like Naproxen (Aleve) so it will last through the night and use up to double the OTC dose). A stronger painkiller with a calming effect like Tramadol may be helpful if NSAIDs don’t do the trick, and so may a benzo like Xanax, as long as you can restrict it to occasional use.

As for PS, if you have some kind of adrenal insufficiency, it makes no sense to me to take something that will suppress cortisol even further. That’s the opposite of what you want, isn’t it?


#20

My CPAP puts me right to sleep…I even wear it for naps now…its awesome.


#21

Melatonin is a hormone the body produces. Nobody should be popping a handful of melatonin.

I suggest you workout as early as you can, say if you get out of work at 5pm you go then and not at 10pm and try to sleep at 11pm.

And eat well after so you wont feel hungry in bed.

Avoid doing work in the bedroom, at any point during the day if possible.

Also, dont watch TV / have bright lights on /use computer /get excited an hour before going to sleep.

You can try stop using stimulants like caffeine and see if you can sleep better. Especially if you workout in the evening and take these typical “preworkouts” with 300mg caffeine (3 cups of coffe) they will keep you awake, seriously. If you are an addict it will probably take around 2weeks to get rid of lack-of-caffeine-drowsiness.

Just try to relax and get to bed at the same time everyday - that’s the most crucial thing, and dont think about work at bed. Getting a steady sleep cycle will help alot more than dosing melatonin, but it may help in the start to get the sleep cycle.


#22

I had this problem last night, so I am glad to see this thread discussion.

I finished my workout at 630, ate dinner around 730, took a shower around 8, got into bed with a book around 830 and felt drowsy but I just couldn’t fall asleep. Around 10pm I took melatonin and felt VERY tired within half an hour, but still couldn’t fall asleep. I think around 12am I finally passed out.

The other week, I had the same problem after lifting. I remember foam rolling and stretching about 20 minutes before laying down and I felt like that had woke me back up and I tossed and turned until almost 2am. Really frustrating when I know how important getting a good night’s sleep is after a hard workout.

Def interested in some of these other supplements mentioned.