T Nation

maximize sleep

I prefer to use 3 mg of melatonin one hour before I go to sleep. Kava kava is a great for easing muscle tension and relaxing, but doesn’t really make me drowsy. Valerian root is kind of a cross between the two, helps to relax me a little and produces mild drowsiness. Avoiding high amounts of carbs in the pre-bed meal also may help ease you into sleep mode.

I may be wired bass ackwards, but I have noticed I sleep SOUNDLY if I have a small cup of coffee before I go to bed.

i tryed my melatonin for the first time last nite, 3mg and i had been tired like all day. I was deadtired, with the melatonin, still couldn’t sleep.

I read ‘FLEX’ magazine.

A hot bath followed by a cup of chamomile tea followed by a couple of tabs of st. johns wort or 5-HTP. If this doesn’t work then I get up and take a Tylenol PM. Also try this breathing technique designed to relax the nervous system. Breathe in deeply through the nose on a count of 4 seconds. Hold for seconds and blow out slowly through the mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat 4-8 times.

Having your three college courses be Discrete Mathematics, Calculus, and Fundamental Physics has one distinct advantage. Pick up either of the three textbooks. Lie down in bed and try to absorb the information. You will fall asleep in less than seven minutes guaranteed. :0)

thanx for the ideas guys!

lol Harkonnen. have tried various doses and brands of Melatonin. They did nothing for me. ZMA does nothing for me. Valerian Root does nothing for me. Kava Kava does nothing for me. Even Ambien did nothing for me when I had a prescription for it. What has occasionally worked for me has been Benadryl and recently 5-HTP a little. Even when I take 5-HTP at night and don’t get the greatest night’s sleep, I still seem to actually have energy during the day. I would assume that what sleep I am actually getting while using 5-HTP is of the deeper variety.

Taking about 900mg of Sodium Usniate knocks you out pretty good. Really takes the fat off too. I’m not the healthiest thing, but either is binge drinking…


Hey ryan,

Sometimes you have to be patient with the Melatonin. My body is wired all wrong so my sleep cycle is all wack, it thinks I’m supposed to be awake at night and asleep during the day.

Melatonin was the only thing that has ever worked for me, and I was skeptical as hell when I tried it. It took two weeks before it kicked in the first time I used it, and then after that, it started working regularly. I thank God so much for that stuff, it has literally changed my life and is something I can’t live a normal life without.

Try taking it the same time every night for a few weeks and if it doesn’t work for you, maybe try something else. Just be consistent with it.

Oh, one thing that I have found out, is to not eat any oil close to bedtime (olive oil, flaxoil, fish oil, etc) these are all stimulants and will keep you wired.

I’ve found milk is pretty good before bed, it neutralizes the acid in your stomach and is very soothing, plus some of the milk protein can make you a little dreary.

Oh, one other thing I have found useful, for those of you that like to get a meal before bed, is to put the melatonin under your toungue until it dissolves, wait about fifteen minutes until you can feel it take effect, and THEN eat your last meal, and THEN hit the sack.

If you take the Melatonin with a meal, it will render it completely ineffective.

Personally I can’t sleep without a full stomach, an empty stomach makes me toss and turn.

Try some Benadryl. Believe it or not, this was suggested to me by a doctor.

Well, this is a little different then what everybody else wrote. I actually bought one of those “Sounds of Nature” type CD’s. The one with rain falling… I turn that puppy on while I’m laying in bed, and I’m out for 10 hours. My buddy suggested it to me, and it definitely worked.

flax and fishoiL keep you wired? damn, i have flax everynight before bed, P+F Meal. Tonight i will not though because i will train at night. I will try letting the melatonin disolve under my tongue as well. I have been taking it like an hour and 15 mins before i go to sleep, even though the box says 30 mins. Im trying to avoid morning grogyness.

I cannot believe the number of responses and noone has mentioned L-Theanine. This is really good stuff…it doesn’t make you sleepy but nice and relaxed. I take this w. ZMA nightly. Also I second the nod on the sounds of nature tapes/CD’s. I have one with a rainstorm as well as an ocean surf, and it’s about as relaxing as anything.

So many suggestionss from everyone, and they’re all good.

For me, L-Theanine works well–and it does wonders for keeping me asleep through the night.

Benedryl, great at making you feel sleepy, but could make you tired in the A.M.

While not legal for human consumption in the USA, powdered L-Tryptophan in milk works wonders if you don’t mind the taste (A couple of sleepless nights and you won’t). It usually takes approx. 45-60 minutes to kick in .

Melatonin just never worked well for me, so I can’t give it a thumbs up.

Also, don’t overlook the small things:

  1. The power of suggestion. In your mind say “I Want to Yawn.”–see what happens.
  2. Approx. an hour before bed, write down anything that comes to your mind, i.e. things to do.
  3. Try not to watch TV or use your computer before bed. The brightness from both of these sources tends to detract from my tiredness. In addition, both of these sources seem to force some people to stay awake longer, i.e. going to bed after the show is over.

I hope this helps.