T Nation

Sleep Disorder


I am 40, been lifting for years, eat right, but one thing that's slowing progress is an inability to get enough sleep. I went to a doctor and he prescribed Amitriptyline. It helped for a year but it doesn't work well anymore.

I'm off in the evening so I have plenty of time to lay down and sleep, but it's not happening. Anybody have any suggestions? I'm in administration and my mind is usually occupied with work.

Thanks for any help.


Sorry to hear about your dilemma. May not work for you, but what works for me is to read or to do some light excercise. Usually I'll read a novel or something until I get tired, or you can always try a warm glass of milk. If all else fails, there's always hypnotism.


My wife is on medications that interfere with her sleep, so she also needs to take something to help her sleep.

You do need to find out if your problem is mental, physical, or caused by medicine, but it sounds mental if your mind is constantly active.

Try the following:
Go to bed at the same time every day, and get up at the same time 7 days a week.

Do no other activity except sleep and sex in bed.
Avoid any stimulating activity 30 - 60 minutes before bed.

TV and computers can interfere with sleep patterns, so avoid before bed also.
Take ZMA 30 minutes prior to bed.
Learn to meditate, or do self hypnosis. (Very similar activities.) This trains you to quiet your mind.

Melatonin may help also, but I don't know enough about it myself, so research it if interested. I do know the drug companies are working on a synthetic form that has side effects.

If you keep with sleeping pills, you may need to switch them up from time to time.

I have also heard the book Power Sleep is good.


Have you tried ZMA?

Doesn't have the same effect for everyone, but it knocks me out!


The most important thing for me is sunlight. It is hard for me to get enough due to work circumstances. But what I've found and studies back up is that sunlight in the early morning helps to fall asleep and sunlight from 4:30 to 6:30 aids in alleviating sleep disturmbances once you've fallen asleep.

Melatonin has shown to be effective for travelers but not so much for keeping your sleep patterns regular.

Meditation is also very helpful to stop the mind from racing before bedtime.


ZMA might help as could melatonin (try 1 mg 1st). Dunno what type of sleeping habits you have but I know people that keep the tv on and or lights on during sleep dont sleep very well. Also people that tend to keep lights off before they goto bed (basically living in a dark house) can mess up sleeping habits.

Any type of stimulant within 6 hours of going to bed can keep you from sleeping as well. I know a few people (1 of which suffered from insomnia) who have those air de-ionizers, the things that change the polorization in the air of the room. They say they help a ton as well


Sleep disorder may come from overtraining...


I had the same problem, and barely slept for a year...the only times I slept was when I was drunk. I was going nearly insane from going three days without sleep..think "Fight Club" kind of stuff.

I've found it to be mental. Go online and look up relaxation texhniques, or even to the self help section of the bookstore. This was the only stuff that ever worked for me. When you have the ability to relax, and let stress go, you'll drift off. For most people though, thats incredibly hard. You can condition yourself to do so though.


I hate to say just a supplement like ZMA or GABA would fix a sleeping problem, but it might just help. I would concentrate on getting tired before going to sleep, trying meditations, listening to relaxing music, or doing an evening HIIT session around where you live (that worked for me, for a while).


Thanks a lot for the replies. I will try the ZMA as well as other suggestions.


The medication he has given you is not the best for treating insomnia, but more towards depression problems.

For insomnia it is best that you ask him to give you benzodiacepines, such as diazepam, alprazolam, loracepam.