T Nation

Trouble Sleeping


#1

Hi everyone.

I’m not sure if this is the right forum to post this as this is only partially related with supplementation but here we go.

Although I have hardly ever had problems falling asleep in the past, I once had an episode a few weeks ago.

At 3 am my mind was active, although I had been trying to fall asleep since 11 pm and I was feeling very uncomfortable in bed as I was getting waves of hot that I can’t really find a way to accurately describe. I tried turning off the radiator in my room and slightly opening the window but nothing changed, and that night I ended up changing bed and sleeping shirtless and sheetless (mind you, it was November and otherwise very cold).

I tried supplementing melatonin after that and I virtually never had problems since. Except for some nights, like this one: I’m lying in bed and finding it impossible to fall asleep even though I’ve always had very regular circadian rhythms. Melatonin doesn’t seem to be doing it and I still find the bed uncomfortably hot.

Also I get emotional over it because I always feel like if I don’t get at least 7 hrs of sleep I’ll be in trouble with recovery and muscle growth etc. so I’m really stressing over this and as the clock runs I get more and more nervous.

Any advice?


#2

TL;DR occasionally you can’t sleep. Big deal. Drink a coffee and move on.

Seriously, how does any adult with a job, family, study or a combination thereof manage to get at least seven hours of sleep a night? If I get five hours unbroken sleep I’m laughing.


#3

What’s up with the no chill response my dude?


#4

A trifle blunt I suppose…

I think it’s just a pretty stupid question TBH. Yes, sleep is important, but my experience has been that compared to nutrition and sensible programming it comes a very, very distant third. I mean, sure, if all you’re getting is three or four hours sleep week in week out for months and months that’s a concern and your performance will suffer (not to mention your health, sanity, etc).

But, if you get at least five hours a night, even if it’s mostly broken into two or three blocks because you wake up I don’t see how it’s going to be a massive issue at all. I haven’t found that, certainly.

Don’t get me wrong, I try to get as much sleep as I can, but it’s a case of when I can I do and when I can’t, I don’t worry about it.


#5

Mark pretty much summed it up, if it goes on for ages, then do something about it, but hey, most people have a lot of shit going on, and when you finally stop the day your mind will race


#6

Have I misread or did you say you had one night where you couldn’t sleep so you went on melatonin?


#7

@MarkKO prob just had a bad night sleep. Haha

Well this is just going to turn into a downward spiral. The more you stress about not sleeping the less likely you will sleep well. Get your stresses worked out. There are plenty of tips on the interwebz about sleeping so try a few, namely reducing computers and lighting around bedtime.


#8

lel

Y u so helpful tho…


#9

Hardly that helpful! Haha Just common sense. Also I had a great night sleep. Also several beers. Also I’m just a helpful kinda guy. Also I like Jatz branded biscuits with camembert cheese on them for a tasty afternoon snack…


#10

One night of bad sleep doesn’t affect my training/performance much. Subsequent nights of bad sleep definitely does though, running much more so than jumping/dunking. A few years of chronic sleep “deprivation” when I had a “high stress software engineering job” which had many late (or even sleepless) nights involved, made me feel like I was going to literally die - got to the point where, when trying to fall asleep, sometimes my heart would race… was nuts. That’s when I knew I had to get out of that situation.

Running morning and night seems to always help me fall into an ideal sleep schedule. Once I cut out the double sessions though, I start reverting back to falling asleep later, and lose some of that progress. When I was doubling up my runs, I eventually got on that 9-10 PM to 5-6 AM life. Once i’ve backed off my volume & went back to 1 session, i’m back on ~12-1 AM to 8-9 AM life.

I don’t take sleep aids (melatonin) though. Have taken them before but i’d rather get less sleep without an aid, than more sleep with an aid.

To fall asleep earlier, cutting all of the artificial light & staying off of the computer/tv really helps IMHO. I also like to take a hot shower with just a “night light” on, then lightly stretch - again with only a “night light”, kind of allows me to zone out and get into sleep mode. I guess the key here is: ritual can be important/effective.

pc!


#11

It’s no fun laying there awake when you want to be asleep.

Sometimes after a really strenuous lower body workout I have trouble falling asleep. I don’t get major, muscle-tearing tight, paralyzing cramps. But my hips and thighs feel stangley tight and I can’t relax or get comfortable.

Other times, I get the fidgety hot waves because I’m a little dehydrated.

So, I guess, More water.


#12

Here we go. One more night of not being able to sleep.
It’s 2am at the moment and I’ve been trying to sleep since 11pm.

I’m starting to think I might have some condition and I’m profoundly frightened by the idea of having to spend other nights like this. It’s turning into a nightmare…

I’m not going to school tomorrow because there’s no way I’m waking up at 7am, but I’m still trying to figure out how the heck I’ll fall asleep.

I tried manipulating temperature, taking a shower, listening to music in the background, nothing seems to do it. When I lie in bed, my head keeps going and doesn’t stop. I’m not able to un-focus and just let go.

I’m really scared. I’m thinking that might have to do something with anxiety or maybe there’s something that is worrying me at the moment. Maybe it’s that since that bad experience with sleep, now when I go to bed I’m in the wrong mindset and I’m nervous…

After talking to my father on the phone (I’m alone at home} I started crying desperately. This is affecting me psychologically more than I’d want.

I just wish someone could help me with this.


#13
  1. Calm down
  2. Sounds like my brother. Your mind focusing on something in particular?
  3. Have you tried meditation? focus on slowing breathing
  4. look at this, might help
    https://www.elitefts.com/education/the-candle-protocol-for-deeper-sleep/

(take all the above with a grain of salt, not remotely experienced at this stuff)


#14

How long have you been training really hard for? Are you getting near the time to dial things back a little?

How long have you been using High Intensity methods like Rest Pause and Drop Sets?

They are pretty strenuous. C. Thibadeau has been mentioning lately how they can elevate stress hormones and disrupt your body.

Trouble sleeping is Number 2 sign of Over Reaching too long in the gym.


#15

I’m not sure about a single thing.

There’s something that is leading me to think that I might be anxious about my relatively new girlfriend, and if I’m not mistaken the first episode actually happened when I was already seeing her. However there’s no logical reason why I should be so worried about her.

What’s making me freak out even more is how lonely I feel this night: last night I had troubles similar to now but she couldn’t sleep either so we went on texting till 1.40am and that probably calmed me down. Now I am all by myself.

@FlatsFarmer I’m on week 4 but have only been using intensification techniques for 2 weeks.
Should I try and push less in the gym?


#16

OP what time do you wake up generally? Do you sleep in late on weekends?

Personally I’m with @MarkKO, I don’t know how anybody gets the 8-9 hours a night we’re all told are essential to avoid destroying your body. I get 5-6 a night during the week and a little more on weekends, no melt down as yet…


#17

I wake up at 6.40am during the week, 10.30am during the week ends.

I usually go bed no later than 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, whereas I try to be lying by 11pm on week days.

However, while sleeping 7-8 might not necessarily be a requirement, as you said, the situation I’m describing here is different.

I ended up falling asleep probably somewhere around 6.30am this night and I woke up one hour ago.

Even after canceling school I still kept lying in bed awake and I felt so helpless.


#18

Do you make this decision often? Given the general decision making going on, I kinda feel that you do…

You should go to school, it really is a privilege you shouldn’t piss up a wall because your tired. Plus if you’re there, you’re not here and we can only deal with so much of… umm… you.

On a related note: my dad used to come in at 6am and tell me it was time to wake up.

If you weren’t up within 15 minutes, the light goes on.

Another 15 minutes and he’d come in and sing really, really badly and loudly.

Then he’d start tickling your feet and if another few minutes went by it was a glass of water from the fridge in the face.

Then he’d go to work.

I never picked up how odd this was until now haha At least he didn’t just drag me out of bed by the ear!


#19

Not at all. I just felt like getting at least some resemblance of sleep would be more important than a single day at school.

And given that I probably fell asleep somewhere around 6 am, had I had to go to school, that would’ve meant a NO SLEEP night. I don’t want to have to cope with that.

I’m doing very well at school and an extra day off isn’t a big deal to me.

I’m not sure about what you mean with your second sentence tho. If I interpreted that correctly well, if my presence here on the forum is that big of an annoyance to you, you know you can just ignore my posts don’t you?

I never needed any sort of that.
When my alarm goes off, I’m up and in the shower in a matter of minutes (5 at most) and I’ve never had any problems waking up (quite the contrary, in fact).

Plus I’m virtually always alone at home so I wouldn’t be able to get any help waking up even if I needed to


#20

It’s a community service.