T Nation

Sleepless Nights


I've had a hell of a time trying to sleep at night lately. Every time I lay down I feel like my mind is racing...sometimes I dont sleep for 36 hours.....and it is truly fucking with my weight training. Anyone who has any tips or advice for insomniacs, I appreciate it.


see a doctor or psycholigist, honestly, IMO.

and in the meantime, melatonin and whatever that shit in turkey is called...man i cannot remember.




I take melatonin and ZMA at night. It has really helped me get sleep that I would not be getting otherwise.


In order of importance-
1) see a doc
2) ZMA, Melatonin, Valerian Root
3) Make a deal with yourself. Write it all down. Then it is out of your head and waiting for you when you wake, on paper. Then sleep.
4) Turn the clock away from the bed and no matter what don't look at it.


I deal with racing mind insomnia all the time. This trick was apparently proven to put people to sleep and has worked very well for me. Starting with the letter "A", try and think of every word that you can that begins and ends with the same letter. Then move on to "B" and so on. Don't let yourself give up on a letter until you are sure you have them all. I don't think I have ever got past eight letters without falling asleep.


fuck how do you do that even awake?!


lol dont worry your little head owen.

Talk to the docta and get some sonoma or something. I had a brief bout with insomnia, i found that to overcome it I consciously think about thinking about nothing. Just like try and force yourself to not think about anything. Pretend you're watching nascar.


Wack-off a few times. Always works.


Take a break from training.


Sex before bed always works for me....nothing beats a bj and a backrub.

Talk to a Dr about getting a perscription for some sleep meds-amitryptiline works for me-10 mgs and I can seelp ten hours but feel fine if rousted in 7 or so-you are never grogged out-just relaxed and not uptight about sleeping.


a few times?? I can't abuse myself like that...I'd roll over and fall asleep on myself.

The last few weeks I have the problem of sweating at night and waking up like 3 times a night.


Crack One Off.

Learn to relax at night - take an hour or two to just unwind and be in a quiet place. This really helps sometimes.

Take a bath at night. Relaxes the old body.

ZMA works well aparently, although I wouldnt know.

Put some headphones in and listen to music.. then sit back, and relax. I've never got past about 4 tracks when I'm listening to the right music.

And yeah, seeing a doctor would quite possibly be a great idea. Any additional stress? Have you started doing other active things? Think about all the things that could effect you mentally. If you cant think of anything, take a week off as someone said - maybe you're overtrained?

Thats just my two cents.


Thanks for the advice fellas. I tell you, I have cracked like three out in times of sheer desperation (I'm 21 I can do these things), and it hasnt worked. Ill try a couple of these things that you suggested, especially the word deal.

I dont believe its overtraining, as I am on that Westside for Skinny Bastards program, which actually involves less lifting than I am accustomed to.

The only thing I can say is that a guy who was like my brother passed away in January. It's been kinda like "Rescue Me" as far the psychological stuff goes, but the sleeplessness only started in the last month. Either way, I'm headed to the doctor and/or the psychologist on Thursday, as much as I despise the thought of talking to a psychologist. Any of you guys dealt with this kind of thing before? Thanks for the tricks, they're going to help me out.


You're in NJ? In the past month, the weather has been so hot and humid that I was hardly sleeping at night, which was screwing up my days and workouts. I bought A/C for the first time; just a unit for the bedroom; made a huge difference.

Assuming you live in the modern world and already have comfortable sleeping conditions, here's another one that works for a lot of people I know (like me): read something. When your mind is racing all over the place, you have to focus it on some single thing to shut out all the emotional detritus. Pick a favorite book, settle back in bed, have just enough light to read by, and even if sleep eludes you for awhile, you're at least getting some mental exercise, maybe learning something. Print out several T-Nation articles and read them.


This is good advice. T-Nation always puts me to sleep.


The weather has been INSANE the last week, especially working outside. But the reading is a good idea.


Hey. I'm a major insomniac, also. I'll go 3 full days without sleep. Then when I finally sleep (the 4th night) it's for 8-9 hours, I wake up, I'm fine.

One (and only) benefit to my insomnia is that my house is very clean by daybreak.

I have had ZERO insomnia since I started taking ZMA. Within a few minutes I am totally gone. Now, if I take the ZMA, and then choose to participate in other activities (TV, sex, whatever), I don't pass out just because of the ZMA. I do have to lay down in order for it to work. But it does work.

The past week I've been planning things for a weekend trip (we leave Thursday) and typically, I'd be awake for 3 days straight before I sleep. (Screwing up my weekend, inevitably!) However, ever since I started ZMA a few weeks ago (2 or 3), I can go to bed with my mind racing, jumping all over the place, knowing I have this and that left to do for the weekend, etc. I STILL SLEEP.

Get ZMA.

And yes, see a doctor, also. sounds like you have some stress in your life.