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Supplements/Herbs For Staying Asleep?

Coach,

Are there any supplements/herbs you’d recommend for staying asleep? I have my pre-bed routine down pat, so I rarely struggle to fall asleep. However, I tend to wake up at night with a pronounced difficulty for falling back asleep as I tend to feel wired and amped. I presume that this is a consequence of me working out in the morning before work and that my body starts preparing for that activity. The issue is less pronounced when life affords me to work out at other hours but I still tend to be wide awake for at least a solid hour in the middle of the night (usually more) whatever the season.

For falling asleep, if I feel the need, I’ll have some herbal tea (chamomile, passionflower or a blend with valerian root, lavender, chamomile and licorice root). I routinely have magnesium or ZMA before bed. I have plenty of carbs at dinner. My caffeine intake is concentrated to the early AM and I’ll occasionally have some green tea before mid-afternoon. In extreme cases I’ll have melatonin. I take my vitamin D supplement at lunch to not affect my circadian rhythm negatively.

There are research suggesting that carbs from sugar disrupt sleep efficiency (cause wakings) and I’ve read somewhere on this forum that there’s dose relation - up to 50 grams of carbs pre sleep is good, more - not so much, if I recall correctly. I’ll search for sources

I usually eat 4-5 hours before bed, but please check.

This could be why you’re waking up. Your blood sugar is likely dropping.

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If you are waking up at the same time pretty often
Have a look at this chart, there could be a correlation:

https://thechalkboardmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/chinese-body-clock.jpg

Also are you blocking light at night?

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Maybe that’s the case, maybe some complex carbs closer to bedtime will help.

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Like some other guys mentioned, carbs can be an issue. In the sense that 1) You consume them way too early, 2) Perhaps more high glycemic index carbs, which give you a big spike in blood sugar that helps you fall asleep but also goes down much quicker and 3) Maybe the total amount of carbs of that last meal is to much, when you balance the ratio more towards protein and fats your system will take it longer to digest.

Above things can make cortisol go up sooner… which will wake you up in de morning. Normally at a later time, but in your case in the middle of the night.

Another thing that might be into play is your circadian rhythm. I don’t know for how long you’re having these issues. But it might be that you are a morning person and this is rooted in your system. There are some hacks for this, mostly come from treating jetlag systems.

So, experimenting with adding a pre-bed snack might be prudent. I’ll explore adding one 2-3 hours before bed and borrow some carbs from my dinner.

Absolutely. Usually pitch.

Any recommendations?

Maybe, they certainly help with winding down for the evening, as you acknowledge in 2.

White potatoes mostly, with a hefty serving of vegetables and meats. Small amount of fat.

A long time. The issue is far more pronounced when entertaining morning workouts. It is lessened somewhat on rest days where I do not have a workout scheduled but I still wake up fairly early. If I go on a long vacation my circadian rhythm favours a different schedule that suggests a certain type of night-owliness.

To elaborate, postulate summer vacation. I’ll gladly fall asleep during the day, with ease, on a beach with the sun high and plenty of hustle and bustle around me. I’ll have the highest degree of mental sharpness during the dead of night - starting at 23 and peaking at 2 AM and coming to a deadhalt at 4 AM.

Contrast that with now, which is bed at 22, workout at 6:30, leaving bed at around 5:30/6:00. Office work between 8-17.

I have a feeling the only reason you are able to fall asleep easily is because you are supplementing with melatonin.
If you didn’t supplement melatonin, could you fall asleep normally?
And by blocking light, I mean are you blocking light before bed as well? Like not using phone or tv and not having bright lights out?
When you get up in the middle of the night are you getting up to the bathroom or something?

Most of the time I can.

I do more often than not use my phone and my TV but with brightness turned all the way down, and night light turned on. I’m not actively watching the TV and tend to listen to it more so than anything.

I do get up to visit the bathroom but I do so in the dark. Never turn the lights on - I know where the room is well enough that the spillover light from the street outside is enough. After dinner I light candles, and just use the bare minimum amounts of electronic lights to get by. Should arguably cut the TV and the phone but again, falling asleep isn’t the problem (staying awake to bedtime can be). It’s just waking up in the middle of the night that is suboptimal.

Try getting some blue blocking glasses
I litteraly swear by these.
Also try this for a week if you want and report back:
Get up at sunrise and watch the sunrise for as long as you have time for.
Then at night wear blueblocking glasses from sunset till you go to bed.

If you suspect it is blood sugar swings, I would get a hold on a freestyle libre or Dexcom meter continuous blood glucose monitor, and use it for the recommended time to see if your blood sugar significantly decreases in the night.

What are you overall calories like? Are you eating to gain, drop fat?

Any particular ones that you like?

We’ve entered the start of winter here, I live far up north so it’s still dark when the work day starts and it’s dark again when it ends. If I got up at sunrise I’d already be late. Summer is the opposite, the sun never sets. It’s a weird place.

I’ll start by just having some carbs later on and seeing how that goes but I’ll look into the prices on these. Might be interesting since I’m such a data nerd.

I’m gaining. Roughly a 200-500 calorie surplus daily.

Well I think the gold standard are for sure raoptics.com

If you want simple, non attractive but highly effective then


Or

What time do you get up? What time do you start work? And what time is sunrise?

I’m not liking how mechanical this reads, but I guess that is the curse of routine,

  • Alarm rings at 6:00 AM (I’m usually awake before this)
  • Gym session starts at 6:30 AM
  • Work starts at 8:00 with some leeway, by now the sun is peering out.

I’ll have a look at the glasses, cheers, but I thought the people that needed them were people that had a hard time going to sleep?

100 mg of L- theanine powder is working good for me. I’ve used it for a couple of months or so.

So as you know our bodies work on a circadian rhythm. Not only people who suffer with sleep problems have to control their circadian rhythms. Just like keeping a good sleep schedule and not eating in the middle of the night.
You must control your light environment.
When the sun is down you avoid light and when the sun is up you try to get as much natural light as possible.
Since you work out in the morning under artificial light, it’s a bit more complicated. But I would suggest that if you are working out while the sun is not out then I would wear blueblocking glasses while you work out. Also try to be outside within 30 minutes of sunrise even for just 5 minutes, take a bathroom break and go outside if you can.

I don’t have sleep problems but ever since I started to wear blue blocking glasses and watching sunrise everyday ive been sleeping like the best baby sleep ever possible.

I use CBD oil, no THC in it. I sleep all night

CBD helps me as well, although I find it more effective to have THC with it.

I’ve been on a cycle of easily falling asleep, sleeping soundly, but waking up early (like 5 am) and not being able to go back to sleep.