T Nation

Insomnia Help

[quote]dirtman wrote:
Update,

Since I was so tired when I got home from work. I passed out at 7:30ish. And I slept till 10:30. Went back to sleep after being awake for 10 mins. Then slept till 1am. Awake for 2 mins or so. Then kinda slept till 3am.

Its going to be a long day.[/quote]
When do you work out?

I had this problem years ago, so now I just get up at 4 am every day and workout then. By 9 pm I am ready for bed and sleep like the dead.

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]dirtman wrote:
Update,

Since I was so tired when I got home from work. I passed out at 7:30ish. And I slept till 10:30. Went back to sleep after being awake for 10 mins. Then slept till 1am. Awake for 2 mins or so. Then kinda slept till 3am.

Its going to be a long day.[/quote]
When do you work out?

Normally in the morning. After work I walk with my dog, hate cardio. Sometimes I workout after work. But not lately.

I had this problem years ago, so now I just get up at 4 am every day and workout then. By 9 pm I am ready for bed and sleep like the dead.[/quote]

I normally wake up very early. So I can relate.

Naps are the devil and for baby’s. Never sleep during the day or nap like you did.

Do you play with your phone, or computer when you wake up? I find ignoring these attention holding devices helps going back to sleep.

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
I normally wake up very early. So I can relate.

Naps are the devil and for baby’s. Never sleep during the day or nap like you did.

Do you play with your phone, or computer when you wake up? I find ignoring these attention holding devices helps going back to sleep. [/quote]
Or rub one out that always helps

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:
I normally wake up very early. So I can relate.

Naps are the devil and for baby’s. Never sleep during the day or nap like you did.

Do you play with your phone, or computer when you wake up? I find ignoring these attention holding devices helps going back to sleep. [/quote]
Or rub one out that always helps[/quote]

LOL, correcto senior!

I started waking up at 4 am in HS. My boss always said it makes for a long day when you get up on time…lol

I’ve suffered the exact same problem for years. Going to bed at 11, waking at 3am, and tossing and turning for 2 hours before just giving up and getting up. I tried Trazodone- that worked for a week. I tried Ambien- I quit that after a month. I’m too young to become reliant on sleeping pills.

The first thing you have to do is take a second to evaluate why you aren’t sleeping, and be honest with yourself. Is it physiological, or is it psychological? Does your body not want to sleep, or are you waking up with your mind racing and thinking of all the stresses you’ve got in life. Physiological is a fairly easy fix. Psychological is a bit more difficult.

Here’s whats worked for me. A lot of it is redundant to the above responses:

-New pillows and the most expensive mattress I could afford. By far the biggest factor in my ability to sleep well now. You spend a third of your life in bed! The quality of rest you get has an impact on EVERY aspect of your life. If you spend $10k+ on a car, you can spend $3k on a top end mattress!

-Quit boozing and smoking
-Pump my AC to 68 degrees when I go to bed. This is proven to be the optimal sleeping temp for humans. Being able to wrap myself up in a blanket helps with comfort, and you don’t wake up in the middle of the night to throw the covers off your legs.
-Supplement with ZMA before bed. This seems to work better for me than melatonin.
-If you do wake up in the middle of the night DO NOT look at the clock or your phone. The blast of light will tell your brain its time to start waking up.

-If you don’t fall back asleep within 20 minutes then GET UP. Drifting in and out will only make you groggier later. If you’re up at 3am and don’t have to be at work til 8am; go to the gym, go on a run or a hike, take the time to cook a special breakfast, or even prepare that night’s dinner. DO NOT turn on the tv. DO NOT sit at the computer. Eventually your internal alarm clock will readjust and you will make up this lost sleep by going to bed earlier. Maybe you are meant to be an early riser. There is some research that suggests that our brains are hardwired to be either night owls, or early birds. Maybe you’ve been fighting what your body wants to do naturally for all these years.
-NO NAPS. This one is big. Like someone else said- naps are for babies.

Good luck

15mg Melatonin and 2 oz of booze. When you wake up in the middle of the night repeat the Melatonin and booze.

You will stop seeing the shadow people (the strange things you are seeing out of the corner of your eye)and you will start seeing other weird things instead. Don’t be concerned. The hallucinations aren’t real and won’t hurt you.

No caffeine after noon and cut any soda you drink out completely (any sugary drink really, including OJ). I also personally like Z12 and Elite Mineral. Both keep me out most nights.

You mentioned that you fall asleep easily, so I’m assuming stress isn’t really an issue. Do you feel stressed when you wake up or no?

What kind of lifting are you doing? Plain old lifting is OK but sometimes I get my deepest sleep whenever I do some conditioning as well earlier in the day, be it sprints or just getting an epic sweat going from high intensity stuff.

Anyways, I would focus on making sure your serotonin and GABA levels are adequate before sleep. I would look into the following supplements:

Magnesium glycinate, 400 mg (like in Elitepro)
Bacopa, 300mg at 45-50% bacosides (increases serotonin transporter [SERT] expression, and Tryptophan Hydroxylase activity)
Methyl B-12 in the morning, at least 1 mg (plays a role in melatonin production)
Z-12 is honestly pretty amazing IME. Phenibut (GABA agonist), 5-htp (solid serotonin pre-cursor), and theanine (increases GABA and calms the brain chatter).

Make sure you have the co-factors to produce the adequate neurotransmitters, namely serotonin/GABA. Do you take a multi?

Look into supplements that increase BDNF and NGF… couple things that come to mind are Curcumin and ALCAR. This is not something I can substantiate by studies but just from personal experience.

Another good thing to do is do a brain dump in the evening… anything on your mind, or anything that bothers you, just write it down on a notepad. It’s supposed to be a good way to kind of empty out your working memory.

In summary: if I was going to recommend you two supplements to try and get your sleep in order, it would be magnesium glycinate and bacopa.

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
You mentioned that you fall asleep easily, so I’m assuming stress isn’t really an issue. Do you feel stressed when you wake up or no?[/quote]

No real stress to speak of, but I do have restless legs when I fall a sleep.

[quote]
What kind of lifting are you doing? Plain old lifting is OK but sometimes I get my deepest sleep whenever I do some conditioning as well earlier in the day, be it sprints or just getting an epic sweat going from high intensity stuff.[/quote]

My training is weights every day, with a day off every 4 or so. I sometimes do cardio or walk with my dog.

I do a split so I can focus on volume. And I will relate every workout into the next.

[quote]
Anyways, I would focus on making sure your serotonin and GABA levels are adequate before sleep. I would look into the following supplements:

Magnesium glycinate, 400 mg (like in Elitepro)
Bacopa, 300mg at 45-50% bacosides (increases serotonin transporter [SERT] expression, and Tryptophan Hydroxylase activity)
Methyl B-12 in the morning, at least 1 mg (plays a role in melatonin production)
Z-12 is honestly pretty amazing IME. Phenibut (GABA agonist), 5-htp (solid serotonin pre-cursor), and theanine (increases GABA and calms the brain chatter).

Make sure you have the co-factors to produce the adequate neurotransmitters, namely serotonin/GABA. Do you take a multi?[/quote]

I take a multi-vit and vit D3 in the morning. I also hit a protein drink post workout. Or after dinner sometimes.

[quote]
Look into supplements that increase BDNF and NGF… couple things that come to mind are Curcumin and ALCAR. This is not something I can substantiate by studies but just from personal experience.

Another good thing to do is do a brain dump in the evening… anything on your mind, or anything that bothers you, just write it down on a notepad. It’s supposed to be a good way to kind of empty out your working memory.

In summary: if I was going to recommend you two supplements to try and get your sleep in order, it would be magnesium glycinate and bacopa. [/quote]

Whats BDNF and NGF?

PB Andy has some good advice.

I have gone through the exact same thing on many occasions and it boiled down to one thing: I had a lot on my mind. I would wake up at 3 or 4am and then start thinking about shit and couldn’t shut it off. Sometimes the stress in my life was evident, other times it wasn’t until after-the-fact. But that was always the case.

The best advice I can give is don’t stress about not sleeping. I know that sounds ridiculous, but if you let it, it will feed on itself. Just know that while it sucks now, it will pass.

And during those times I go through this, I would use a single Z12 or a half a Bacopa (Himalaya brand). It’s not like either of these work miracles, but they definitely help. I also find one Z12 will help for several nights. Not like it dopes me up for days-on-end or anything, but I usually don’t need it on consecutive nights. (For the record, I take ZMA and melatonin every night). I get a bit of a groggy feeling the next day from the Bacopa, but not the Z12. In fact, the Z12 makes for better sleep, so even if I still get too few hours, it feels like I got more than I did.

Bottom line: it will pass eventually. You just need to get over the hump and then you will be back to your usual pattern.

[quote]iammikewatts wrote:
naps are for babies.

[/quote]

So are boobs but I keep on enjoying both.

I am 52 yrs old - my insomnia problems started when I was about 40yrs. I have consulted numerous doctors, googled endlessly and tried just about every solution offered(into the $000s of dollars) - far too many to recount. What did greatly assist, and has done for 18 months now, has been 2 caps of Z12 30mins before bed on an empty stomach (note: I have absolutely no attachment to Biotest.)

understand the cost issue, and fortunately I am in a position where I can afford it, but ultimately it became costs vs. sanity/marriage/being able to perform my job etc. I also think a low carb diet does not help, and excessive HIIT is a problem. I know I should be correcting the cause of my issue, but after 10 yrs of poor sleep, I just wanted to sleep - and Z12 definitely helps me do that - often up to 9 hrs uninterrupted. I sincerely wish you well

Try different sounds- I sleep well with natural sounds, you can find them online for 8 hour plus lengths on youtube as well. I like the rain, ocean, crickets etc… There are things like ambient and white noises that help as well.

Try making your sleeping area just for sleep- so no tv, no work distractions, just the things to help you sleep.

The sups already mentioned like zma and mag are good.

If it’s kinda legal where you live, Pot/ indica is great.

Very hot bath, then cold shower to get body temp down, then warm blankets works like a charm.

Don’t lay down in your bed until you’re sleepy. Don’t let yourself lay there for hours on end… It’s likely your mind is running.

Update

I slept last night. I waited till I was passing out almost at 10pm. I then took melatonin before I put my head down on the pillow.
I also looked at Jay Cutlers video yesterday on how he sleeps. Fans. He has a bunch of them all over the place in his room.
So I did the same thing. I passed out into oblivion.

It was the best sleep ever!! I still feel a bit foggy this morning. But I slept and I am feeling refreshed and not so sleep deprived insane.

Now the real trick is to repeat the results. I will update tomorrow.

I really thought I was loosing my mind there for a bit. Amazing what one night of sleep can do.


Read this, it should help.

[quote]dirtman wrote:

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
You mentioned that you fall asleep easily, so I’m assuming stress isn’t really an issue. Do you feel stressed when you wake up or no?[/quote]

No real stress to speak of, but I do have restless legs when I fall a sleep.

[quote]
What kind of lifting are you doing? Plain old lifting is OK but sometimes I get my deepest sleep whenever I do some conditioning as well earlier in the day, be it sprints or just getting an epic sweat going from high intensity stuff.[/quote]

My training is weights every day, with a day off every 4 or so. I sometimes do cardio or walk with my dog.

I do a split so I can focus on volume. And I will relate every workout into the next.

[quote]
Anyways, I would focus on making sure your serotonin and GABA levels are adequate before sleep. I would look into the following supplements:

Magnesium glycinate, 400 mg (like in Elitepro)
Bacopa, 300mg at 45-50% bacosides (increases serotonin transporter [SERT] expression, and Tryptophan Hydroxylase activity)
Methyl B-12 in the morning, at least 1 mg (plays a role in melatonin production)
Z-12 is honestly pretty amazing IME. Phenibut (GABA agonist), 5-htp (solid serotonin pre-cursor), and theanine (increases GABA and calms the brain chatter).

Make sure you have the co-factors to produce the adequate neurotransmitters, namely serotonin/GABA. Do you take a multi?[/quote]

I take a multi-vit and vit D3 in the morning. I also hit a protein drink post workout. Or after dinner sometimes.

I dunno how do the separable quotes or whatever, but BDNF is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, and NGF is Neural Growth Factor.

[quote]BeefEater wrote:

[quote]iammikewatts wrote:
naps are for babies.

[/quote]

So are boobs but I keep on enjoying both.[/quote]

Gentlemen, I think we’ve just cracked the code here.

Update:

Got some sleep last night again for the second night in a row. But only 6.5 hours. I had the same setup with the fan on low and a melatonin before my head hit the pillow. I didn’t get to bed when I wanted too because I had to get a car out of storage and give it some TLC.

Still groggy in the morning. But its nice to get some sleep. Tonight same bed time 10 pm no excuses.

Since this started I suspended training for a week. Just to give my body a break. Going to continue this weekend.