T Nation

Need Help


Right now I'm on a 5 day split, but I have insomnia. I get 2-5 hours of sleep, waking up in the middle of the night every night. I was wondering If I'm overtraining because of my lack of repairing, also should I just stop training because of my sleep?


Why not just back off and see.

Did you always have such bad sleep patterns or did it only start when you started training?


I started having these problems when I moved into my fathers house about 5 months ago. Here are some reason which could be the cause.

  1. Accutane gave me insomnia.

  2. depression is a slight possibility. I don't feel like I'm depressed but this lack of sleep is tearing me down.

  3. This may sound weird but lately strange things have been happening in our house ever since I started reading the Bible. My brother says one night when he was aying in his bed he heard breathing behind his head. The same night our dad says that someone was knocking on his door and that he saw a black shadow moving along the walls. Also my brother heard one night when he was by himself someone whisper his name. Maybe they are messing with me now, who knows.

I can easily fall asleep, but I can't stay asleep.


Are you taking any supplements?


I don't mean to sound like an asshole. But none of that stuff sounds good... I don't believe in the supernatural or anything like that. That's just my opinion and the opinion of most science. This site is a site of science (in a way) in my opinion hearing things isn't good.


Nope not taking any supplements. Unless you count a protein shake as one.

I never had any problems with sleep until I got off Accutane, which states that insomnia is a side effect.


Sounds like a shitty deal...

I know what it's like, I've had insomnia at times.

I don't know what to suggest really. Maybe it's not the best plan of action but there are some sleep aids on this site.

Maybe they will help you out.


I will be schedueling an appointment with a sleep doctor, hopefully soon. Can you still build muscle with 3-5 hours of sleep?


Some people may be able to, but you will have to figure that out on your own. Make sure your food intake is up high enough to be gaining weight.

However, the BIGGEST issue here is the sleeping, and the possibility that you are living with schizophrenics. The sense that someone is breathing around you for a second is normal human pattern recognition gone awry... If your family is having consistent visual/aural hallucinations they need to be evaluated medically.

See the sleep doctor (an MD or DO I hope) and get that issue addressed first and foremost. This issue will go FAR beyond your training, and could seriously interfere with you entire life if not addressed.


I agree with Lonnie.

The last thing you need is to become Donnie Darko.


Alright deression is more then a slight possiblity if your on Accutane, sotret or any of the other generic brands. Seriously you need to immediatly stop your accutane treatment plan. I don't care how horrible your skin is that drug will wreak havoc to your body. While it is indisputable that no other drug comes close to accutanes ability to clear up acne, it is still not worth the vast array of possible side effects. I don't think that drug should ever should have made it past clinical trials.


Heres a link to user testomonials. If this doesn't make you think twice, you might want to reevaluate your priorities.

I used it for 2 out of the suggested 6 months I was told to use it.

  1. I had the worst mood swings on it. Was extremely angry at everyone. I become a complete dick and cared about no one. I would hole myself up in my room when there were guests at my house. I would eat dinner with my family and immediatly leave and just go to my room.

  2. Made my joints feel incredibly dry and brittle feeling. I had an injury during my wrestling season I attribute to accutane making my joints week. Ended up having my knee trained like 5 times in the season.

  3. Made me blood either really thin or clot up really easy never could tell. I got hit in the nose on it and it bled so much so fast but clotted up reall quick too.

Anyways my point is that drug is horrible and I dont care how bad your skin is its not worth it. It will permanently fuck you up. Discontinue as soon as possible.


I've been off Accutane for a couple of months now, I was on it for 5 months. Only problems I had when I was on it was dryness. Now apparently, I have insomnia, and minor scrapes and cuts turn to scars. I also haven't experienced any growth in a couple of years, I am 5'8 and my dad is 6'1 and his dad was 6'2. I'm 16, can I still possibly grow some more or am I fucked? I think I would have been safer and better off with my confidence If i took steroids instead.


There is still time to grow, but even if you dont you are not "fucked" if you are 5'8"...

Just grow WIDE and big with the weights and that wont matter at all.


Your going to need more then a couple months of a rebound to stabalize all your neurochemistry and everything else accutane fucked with while you were on it. Five months man that must of been a horrible time. The scarring is notorious with accutane as is stunted growth. I would suggest going to a doctor and seeing if there is any way they can help you.

Being shortsighted is no bueno when weighing the pros and cons of a drug like accutane. I know in highschool you want girls to touch your pee pee hosetz and you think no girl is going to touch your pee pee hosetez if you have acne but not true. And in 95 % of cases it goes away.

Get some melatonin supps maybe some tryptophan supps as well. That might help you sleep better. Or you can always tell your doctor you get extreme axiety and just start poppin xanax like skittles.


I should have looked more into Accutane before I started. Some of the side effects I've heard people got were not even in the Ipledge booklet I recieved, If I would have read that link you posted, I would have never taken it. Makes me feel worse when I see Lawsuits on Accutane on commercials.

Got 3 hours and 30 minutes of sleep last night, woke up not even tired. I have a twin brother and we both do the same routine and I find it strange that he gets on average 8 hours every night and I on average get 3-5 and he doesn't progress any faster than I do. I know because I write everything down.


I also need some critique on my diet, so here it is.

Organic washington apple - 80 cals
Grapes - 90 cals - 1g protein
Peanut butter and jelly sandwhich - 520 cals - 25g protein
2 eggs - 140 cals - 16g protein
Yoplait light yogurt - 100 cals - 5g protein
Peanuts - 170 cals - 8g protein
Shake - 375 cals - 37g protein
Cheese - 110 cals - 7g protein
Shake - 160 cals - 30g protein
Turkey burger - 200 cals - 35g protein
Italian sausage - 210 cals - 19g protein
Green beans - 30 cals - 1g protein

Calories - 2185 / Protein - 182

16 years old, 142 pounds, 5'8


Well Nitrochicken I must commend you for the attempt to organize your diet. But really your not eating hardly enough. The rule of thumb that I have heard is 20 calories per lb so at 142 thats 2840 calories. According to that your 600 calories shy of what you should be hitting. I would eat even more then that like 3500 calories if I were you. Eat everything in sight man and larger portions. Do two shakes a day instead of one. Throw olive oil on a couple of meals a day. Carry around a jar of peanut butter and take a scoop or two every hour. Little tricks like that can help increase caloric intake a ton. At 16 man you need to eat way more. I would eat more protien too but thats just me.


I doubt it's the Accutane. You didn't get insomnia until you quit taking Accutane. You are on a five day split. That is too much. You said you aren't making gains either. Sounds to me like you and your brother are severely overtraining. When you lift you probably feel weak and drained. You probably have no reason to be depressed but you feel emotionally tapped. You think it's the Accutane because that was something you read about in the side effects.

I have overtrained more than a few times in my life. It's kind of scary, but it's fixable. You need to rest and take time away from the gym. I had insomnia for a long time. I would search on the internet trying to figure it out. It wasn't until I took a long break from training that I got better. It's a great feeling almost like a cloud is being lifted out of you and life begins to look like high definition tv. My mood is back and the CNS is restored. It all comes on in a days time, seriously. All of the sudden I could sleep and my legs and body felt loose.

Even to this day if I do super heavy leg workouts I get weak sleep. I can track it for about 7-8 days then I'll get sleep again. If I overlap the training while I'm wiped out the insomnia last a lot longer and it doesn't go away until I take a break. It took me like 3-4 months until the insomnia got better. It was worth it because now I can make gains again. You should google "training frequency". They only thing I took was a high quality multivitamin. Otherwise all of the sleepaids would just mess me up. I never took them. No gains and insomnia are like two of the top side effects of overtraining.


I never really post, but since I have first hand experience, here goes...
I took Accutane for six months when I was a teenager and it was the best thing I could have done for my acne. After two years of trying everything in the book, Accutane cleared everything up and it has remained that way for the last 15 years. I have read all of the info about accutane being horrible, but like everything else, it just needs to be monitored while you are on it (ie, liver function tests while you are on it).

As for the lawsuits/suicides/depression link, you need to understand the demographic using the drug. What I mean is it is used by teenagers, and what teenager isn't depressed/suicidal at some point or another. Throw a bad case of acne on top of that and no wonder one could "link" accutane with suicide/depression.

I just wanted to let you know that for every accutane horror story you hear, there is another 1000 success stories. Whenever I go see my dermatologist, I am always so thankful to her for finally putting me on accutane. I am now 28 and have no regrets with accutane and I am sure when you look back you will feel the same.

As for insomnia/not growing, it sounds to me like you need to eat more, a lot more. I highly recommend you spend the next few years bulking up and working on basic programs like starting strength, etc and see what works for you (5 days a week is pretty intense at your training age and weight). I also was extremely skinny in highschool and didnt bulk up until college. You have the ability to get started younger, do not waste your time.

Stick with the big basic exercises(squat, deadlift, press, row)get in the gym lift hard and fast, get out of there and go home and eat, rest and recover. Drink a gallon of milk a day, utilize olive oil/oatmeal in shakes, eat a large meal 2.5 hours prior to training and another within 90 minutes after training.

Calories need to be at least 3000 per day, but at your age i wouldnt be suprised if you need at least 4000. I would not worry too much about the quality of the foods until you build 30 pounds of muscle. Keep protein high, I found that something magical happened at the 300 grams per day mark.

Read the articles on this site to determine a plan of action and then go out and execute. My only advice is to bulk up and get on a Basic beginner program.

Good luck to you and your goals!


from what you've said i'd suggest 2 things

1 stop reading the bible, start reading dawkins

2 have your father and brother examined by a psychiatrist or mental health nurse, they sound like the are suffering from schizophrenia.