T Nation

Living With Insomnia

I’ve had this condition most of my adult life. I pretty much live on less than four hours sleep a night, for weeks at a time. A couple times a month I will crash and sleep like a rock for twelve hours.

When I was in my twenties I was on some kind of sleep medication, but the side effect were to much to handle, twitching and lose of appetite. When I found beer, alcohol induced sleep with zero side effects, six pack a night and I slept like a baby. Problem was a six pack turned into an eight pack, you get the idea. It really started messing up my workouts, not good at all.

About ten years ago I found, one of a few good workout partners. He turned me onto meditation, It didn’t cure my insomnia but I learned to lay in bed and meditate. This really helped me enable my body to relax into an amazing state of relaxation. I still only sleep small amounts at a time, but my body was able to recover from my workouts. Pretty much changed my life, I’m not that grumpy asshole I used to be. I find my life is a lot more enjoyable now.

I still get frustrated not being able to sleep, I remember trying naps. What a F’n mistake, zero sleep at night. I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to medication, I like the natural way if I can. Anyone out there living with problem, got any secrets. One more rep!

I’ve had bouts with it in the past… all I can say is that the times when I can’t sleep, there are tremendous things going on in my head. Maybe not conciously, but subconciously.

I advise you to take care of yourself mentally and try to get closure on anything that might keep you up at night. For me, it was the death of a very close friend, and it wasn’t settled until I visited his grave for the first time three years later. My sleeping problems ceased after that.

It’s all mental. Whatever is going on in your head is what’s keeping you up… there are no cures otherwise as far as I’m concerned.

You can’t try to sleep. Sleep is rest, and rest is the opposite of effort. Cover up your alarm clock, lay down, and put aside all that shit you need to do and enjoy the fact that you can get comfortable and just lay there. You don’t have to sleep, you don’t have to do anything, just give yourself as much time as you can, 9+ hours would be great, and just lay there.

I have gone through it and the longer I go without sleep the more my mind races and it gets even harder to sleep. If I take an OTC sleeping pill one or two nights it helps get me on track.

Insomnia sucks.

The first step is to determine whether your condition is nonsomnia or insomnia. If your current sleep cycle, as unorthodox as it may be, leaves you physically and mentally fresh, then don’t worry about it. Sleep patterns can be quite variable. However, if you feel that you constantly in a sleep-deprived state, then that is a horse of a different colour.

In which case, I can commiserate as a fellow insomniac. My advice is to talk to a doctor immediately. I also had issues with prescribed sedatives until I saw a specialist who prescribed me Imovane (I think the generic name is Zoplicore…or Zoplicone, I forget). This leaves me well-rested, with the only side effects being a bitter taste in the mouth upon waking.

However, if you want to avoid pharmaceuticals, try taking Melatonin and Valerian root. If the insomnia is becoming severe (several days without any sleep) smoke a joint. Seriously. It may slightly interfere with REM, but it will provide sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. Good luck.

[quote]Dirk Gently wrote:
The first step is to determine whether your condition is nonsomnia or insomnia. If your current sleep cycle, as unorthodox as it may be, leaves you physically and mentally fresh, then don’t worry about it. Sleep patterns can be quite variable. However, if you feel that you constantly in a sleep-deprived state, then that is a horse of a different colour. [/quote]

Thanks Dirk Gently. That about describes me. The lack of sleep doesn’t really effect my day to day activities. It’s more the frustration of laying there awake for hours. There are only so many things one can do in a day. Tried the joint smoking, works for a bit and then it’s back to normal or should I say abnormal lol. Eight hours, my kingdom for eight hours.

Thanks everyone, I alway appreciate sound advise. I’ll look into all your ideas, thanks again. One more rep!

“Insomnia? Well, you’ve got to sleep it off.”
G. Marx

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:
“Insomnia? Well, you’ve got to sleep it off.”
G. Marx[/quote]

LOL! I’ll work on that.

If your lack of sleep does not affect your day, maybe you just do not need that much sleep. Or perhaps, you need to try a different sleep pattern. There is some interesting stuff in this forum.

www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1890569

I take OTC sleeping pills and Ambien. My life is much better now. All the herbs roots and sups were a big waste of money.

I hate to be a T-Nation product pusher, but ZMA doesn’t help you go to sleep, but it helps put you in a deep sleep once you do.

Sonofabitch, last night it struck for the first time in months. Didn’t sleep at all… I’ve been awake for 30 something hours, and work sucked ass.

I hate when that happens.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I’ve had bouts with it in the past… all I can say is that the times when I can’t sleep, there are tremendous things going on in my head. Maybe not conciously, but subconciously.

I advise you to take care of yourself mentally and try to get closure on anything that might keep you up at night. For me, it was the death of a very close friend, and it wasn’t settled until I visited his grave for the first time three years later. My sleeping problems ceased after that.

It’s all mental. Whatever is going on in your head is what’s keeping you up… there are no cures otherwise as far as I’m concerned.[/quote]

This is to frigg’n weird, my mind has blown apart. Last night, well early this morning I had a dream. I won’t go into the details, mainly because I can’t remember them. Anyway my brother has in my dream which really blew me away, since he’s been dead 32 years.

We were super close, he was one year younger and we did everything together. In our mid teens we were pulled apart by various curcunstances. The next time I saw him he was in a hospital bed in a coma from a brain anurisum. He never woke up. The last image I have of him is with his head shaved and a huge scare on his head. I was seventeen at the time.

Anyway in my dream my brother received a head injury and had his head shaved and a huge scare, but he was still alive. I woke up and didn’t really think about it cause the dream was so f’n weird. I went back to sleep and the dream repeated. When I got to work I was tell the guys about my dream. All of a sudden all the pieces started coming together. The head injury, the scare and the fact he was still alive, living in my head.

I know I never dealt with it at the time and now 32 years later my head is just reeling with emotions. I think you pocked a hole in the dam for me. This is going to be rough for awhile, but thanks this is definitely something I’m going to have to resolve. Bless the FightinIrish.

I think I might be on the same boat as you are. It doesnt amtter what time I sleep at,My body is fully awake at 3. To telly ou the truth,Im fucking terrified because most of the day Im really tired. I hate it when I drive now.

i’ve tried lunesta (suffered with the taste of butterfly crap in my mouth in the AM), ambien, valerian, etc. etc.

meditation definitely helps, though not a cure for the danged insomnia.

i finally sleep much better now - although no matter what i wake after about 5 hours. some days i am just plain ass tired - which may explain why i am never without any Spike.

i sleep with a lavendar satchet under my pillow - that seems to help. on really bad nights, i tell myself - ok, we just ain’t gonna sleep - next thing y’know, i’m sleeping. that works sometimes. most nites i think about the next AM’s workout - get my mind busy on that & somehow that helps me to drop off to sleep.

one thing i’ve not tried yet - one can get desperate sometimes y’know - old folk remedy - cut up a yellow onion (has to be yellow i am told) & put in a glass jar by the bed. when you wake up and can’t drop back off, take a whiff - supposedly something in the onion will put you back to sleep (the smell?).

i feel for you. you are not alone in this sleepless club.

[quote]streamline wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
I’ve had bouts with it in the past… all I can say is that the times when I can’t sleep, there are tremendous things going on in my head. Maybe not conciously, but subconciously.

I advise you to take care of yourself mentally and try to get closure on anything that might keep you up at night. For me, it was the death of a very close friend, and it wasn’t settled until I visited his grave for the first time three years later. My sleeping problems ceased after that.

It’s all mental. Whatever is going on in your head is what’s keeping you up… there are no cures otherwise as far as I’m concerned.

This is to frigg’n weird, my mind has blown apart. Last night, well early this morning I had a dream. I won’t go into the details, mainly because I can’t remember them. Anyway my brother has in my dream which really blew me away, since he’s been dead 32 years.

We were super close, he was one year younger and we did everything together. In our mid teens we were pulled apart by various curcunstances. The next time I saw him he was in a hospital bed in a coma from a brain anurisum. He never woke up. The last image I have of him is with his head shaved and a huge scare on his head. I was seventeen at the time.

Anyway in my dream my brother received a head injury and had his head shaved and a huge scare, but he was still alive. I woke up and didn’t really think about it cause the dream was so f’n weird. I went back to sleep and the dream repeated. When I got to work I was tell the guys about my dream. All of a sudden all the pieces started coming together. The head injury, the scare and the fact he was still alive, living in my head.

I know I never dealt with it at the time and now 32 years later my head is just reeling with emotions. I think you pocked a hole in the dam for me. This is going to be rough for awhile, but thanks this is definitely something I’m going to have to resolve. Bless the FightinIrish.[/quote]

Good luck friend. It’s a long, hard road, but you’d be amazed some of the things that you forget about that literally keep you up at night. Time to do some diggin.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

Good luck friend. It’s a long, hard road, but you’d be amazed some of the things that you forget about that literally keep you up at night. Time to do some diggin.[/quote]

We’re diggin, seems I like to learn the hard way, but at least I learn. I’ll post any sleeping progress or mile stone discoveries.
Stay strong Bro, this is for life!

[quote]sugarfree wrote:
I hate to be a T-Nation product pusher, but ZMA doesn’t help you go to sleep, but it helps put you in a deep sleep once you do.[/quote]

Oh boy does it do that.

I do feel pretty stuffed in the mornings though because I have to get up really early and my head is just fogged because i was so deep in sleep.

That’s really my problem for not getting more than 8 hrs though. Great product.

[quote]Sxio wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
I hate to be a T-Nation product pusher, but ZMA doesn’t help you go to sleep, but it helps put you in a deep sleep once you do.

Oh boy does it do that.

I do feel pretty stuffed in the mornings though because I have to get up really early and my head is just fogged because i was so deep in sleep.

That’s really my problem for not getting more than 8 hrs though. Great product. [/quote]

Aside from the morning grog, any other side effects. I sure could be interested cause I also wake up lots. I wouldn’t have a problem hitting the sack really early if I new I wasn’t going to wake at 3 am with eyes like frigg’n saucers. My kingdom for eight hours!

Nah no side effects at all that I’ve noticed.

You owe it to yourself to at least give it a go and see for yourself. I don’t take any artificial vitamins except for this and vitamin B the morning after drinking.