T Nation

Improving Quality and Duration of Sleep


For the past couple years I’ve been having a lot of trouble staying asleep. I fall asleep fine, but usually end up getting up 2-3 times during the night to use the bathroom and have trouble falling back asleep. My doctor has prescribed 100mg of trazodone (an SSRI) to help with the issue but I think it has mainly helped me fall asleep and not stay asleep.

I also take ZMA and 1.25-2.5 mg of melatonin before bed, and eat of meal about 30-60 min before going to bed that consists of about 3/4 a cup of greek yogurt, 1 scoop of whey protein, 1/4 a cup of nuts, and half a banana- macros work out to about 40g of protein 20g of fat, 20g of carbs

I usually train in the middle of the day or the morning so I have most of my carbs around training and my nervous system isn’t firing before I go to bed.

Is there anything wrong with what I’m doing before bed that is messing up my sleep in terms of nutrition/supplementation? Any suggestions to what I could do to improve my sleep quality and length of time spent asleep?


Have you tried skipping the meal before bed?

Have you tried tapering down your liquid intake toward the evening, so that most of it’s earlier in the day?


If I skip the meal before bed I wake up extremely hungry. Currently trying to lean bulk and I have quite a high metabolism. The only liquids I have in the evening is a glass of water at dinner (around 6-6 30) but nothing after that


how much caffeine do you take in? Once I go above 200-250 mg my sleep quality starts to take a hit.

you should be hydrated for sleep but not so much that it causes you to wake up and urinate. waking up to pee at night (if it is not due excess water) can indicate a prostate or insulin sensitivity/pre-diabetic problem.

are you sleep in a pitch black room? eye mask or black-out shades? use blue-light blocking glasses 1-2 hours before bed?

ZMA is fine but check out Elitepro Minerals, the glycinate form of magnesium can work a lot better for people.

you don’t need that much melatonin. check out the examine.com page on it. 300-500 mcg should be enough.


Coincidentally I’ve been having trouble with sleep as well, everything was in line, no blue light before bed, black out room, etc., but I was also eating a very similar meal before bed, greek yogurt with protein and nuts or PB. Recently, I cut out the yogurt, and have a protein shake (8oz almond milk with protein) and nuts, and I have been consistently sleeping better. You’re eating a pretty decent meal shortly before bed there, so digestion could be keeping you up. Definitely eat before bed, maybe try cutting the yogurt and adding another scoop of protein instead or something?


Yeah a lot of people say with melatonin tat if they wake up they cant get back to sleep.

Try z12 form biotest here…

These something to try also, the last couple will knock you out all night for sure…


Two things that worked for me:

Don’t eat within 2-3 hours before bed and take the recommended dose of ZMA as directed.


I usually have a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, so usually about 250 mg but thats it. Yes my bedroom is blacked out pretty well. Blue light glasses might be something I could invest in as well.

I’ve heard so much mixed stuff on melatonin so I’m going to try and cut it out. I’m down to taking on 1.25 mg per night and I’m going to continue to lower it since its providing me with no benefit.

Thanks for this!


Thats a good idea…just adding more protein instead of yogurt and mixing it with a bit of almond milk. Maybe the yogurt is just a bit too heavy to digest before bed. You don’t find that having that liquid before bed is making you wake up at all?


Yeah for me I think it was the yogurt. Bummer because it’s a tasty meal before bed, but I think it was causing me some sleep issues.
Unfortunately I almost always wake up once to use the bathroom throughout the night no matter what I do, I think the amount that I drink throughout the day (about 2 gallons) makes me wakeup even if I stop drinking after dinner. But, drinking the shake before bed hasn’t caused me to wake up more than usual, once in a while I sleep through the night, and I do notice I fall asleep much faster, and have a better quality sleep overall. I also take two Z12’s, very helpful.


I know I look forward to that meal every night haha. But I will definitely try this shake instead.

I read that 5-HTP or tryptophan shouldn’t be taken with an SSRI like trazodone, so I don’t think i can take Z-12