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Thread: Sleep issues - A case study

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    What is your last meal before bed and do you normally drink most days of the week? 1 shot has helped me sleep in the past, more than that I sleep like shit. Lastly, do you have good blackout curtains? What is the condition of your bed?
    Typically I have tried to not eat 2 or 3 hours before bed as recommended by my GI (I have gastritis, esophagitis, GERD, etc.) but will typically have a protein shake mixed with water to try and facilitate any extra repair needed during the night. However I saw that Stan Efferding recommended some milk for casein and a fat source right before bed, something along the lines of stabilizing blood sugar and hunger pangs with satiety to prevent from waking up. Considering he seems to be of above average intelligence and was on the podcast I started trying it last night and it seems beneficial. I do not drink very often, perhaps 1x a week and typically on the weekend. I just got some blackout curtains and I believe they are helping. The mattress is a bit older but still in pretty good shape. The memory foam does help with comfort level but does seem to trap heat quite readily.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidCC View Post
    That has been my experience too. Although I haven't had great success with melatonin, I do better with .25mg that I do with 5mg. Larger doses leave me feeling terrible the next day.




    Another poster on here had some success with "Linear Progression for Sleep" a few years back:

    "Linear Progression" for Sleep: a trial of sleep restriction therapy

    I've been dealing with sleep issues for probably 20 years now. Usually not very serious, but every couple of years I experience a bout of insomnia where I sleep very little (maybe two hours per night) for a few weeks. It's a truly miserable experience. Presently I find that I am waking up for a couple of hours in the middle of almost every night. According to my Fitbit I am averaging about eight hours of sleep, but it is taking me about ten hours to do it.

    Like you, I've had very limited success with OTC sleep aids. I too find that they lose their effectiveness after just 1 or 2 nights. I am not even a little bit interested in prescription sleep medication. I've read that they basically anesthetize the brain and render you unconscious but don't really provide any restorative sleep. I have a friend who has been taking Ambien every night for years. Watching her is like watching Night of the Living Dead. She is going through life like a zombie.

    I've read that cognitive behavior therapy might be the best bet for serious relief - at least better than medication. I've found a few CBT apps that claim to provide some benefit, but I haven't been able to find an in-person therapist. Maybe if you live near a big city.

    Finally, nasal strips are a godsend.
    It is good to know its not just me, my friends and family think its ludicrous and can't fathom not being able to sleep when they want to. I have been tempted to get a Fitbit or similar technology to track my sleep, but fear that getting good numbers on it will be another source of stress and thing for me to worry about. I have heard good things about CBT in general, but did not know it was useful for this. It appears that there are some practitioners in my area, so should a combination of the other factors not fix it I'll give it a shot. Thanks

  3. #13
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    Dec 2019
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    9/12:

    A little behind posting these on account of school. Sleep was much better - ~8 hours which hasn't happened in a calendar year. Perhaps this was due to the lack of sleep the night before or microdosing melatonin does have an effect.

    9/13:

    6.5 hours total with around 45 minutes interrupted due to waking up during the night. Melatonin intake continued and some milk/peanut butter due to hunger pangs. Sinuses were also flaring despite regular allergy medication and nasal spray with breathing heavily affected. Purchasing nasal strips tomorrow.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawns32428 View Post
    Typically I have tried to not eat 2 or 3 hours before bed as recommended by my GI (I have gastritis, esophagitis, GERD, etc.) but will typically have a protein shake mixed with water to try and facilitate any extra repair needed during the night. However I saw that Stan Efferding recommended some milk for casein and a fat source right before bed, something along the lines of stabilizing blood sugar and hunger pangs with satiety to prevent from waking up. Considering he seems to be of above average intelligence and was on the podcast I started trying it last night and it seems beneficial. I do not drink very often, perhaps 1x a week and typically on the weekend. I just got some blackout curtains and I believe they are helping. The mattress is a bit older but still in pretty good shape. The memory foam does help with comfort level but does seem to trap heat quite readily.
    Casein or egg white protein are great sources for bedtime protein. I've heard people sleep well with this approach too. I have a memory foam mattress with a cooling feature. Changed my life so I recommend exploring other options. I have blackout shades with blackout curtains over them. It really darkens the room. A weighted blanket goes real far too.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawns32428 View Post
    This post has a two-fold purpose: 1) To try and fix my terrible sleep 2) To serve as a resource for other people that are experiencing similar issues and hopefully help them.

    Disclaimer: I am aware there are many posts on this forum about this topic and having read them all, hope to condense much of the useful information I have found from them to one resource.

    Some background info:
    M 25 6' 218 Currently running a 4-day compressed Texas Method after re-running LP post-covid.
    Lifts are not particularly related to this but for anyone's curiosity - SQ 5x370 DL 5x400 BP 5x270 Press 2x190. Training for 4 years, serious about strength acquisition for ~2. ~3500-4000 calories/day 220g P

    Serious sleep issues began 1.5 years ago around which a close family member passed, I moved away from hometown/family for university, and decided to prepare to enter a competitive professional school (medical). The closeness of these events to the sleep issues beginning makes it difficult to discern which - if any - contribute to the sleep issues and general anxiety I have. I average probably 5-6.5 hours/night, wake up frequently (perhaps once to urinate and the rest for no apparent reason), and am generally groggy in the mornings. I can get quite tired - to the point of nearly falling down while standing up - but when I go to lay down I cannot "seal the deal" and my mind races for hours. I have made pretty consistent progress in my training despite this, which I primarily attribute to stubbornness and discovering an old thread on a similar topic where Rip advised to overeat/caffeinate before training to counteract these effects.

    Things I have tried: Melatonin 10 mg did nothing 20 mg had an adverse effect. OTC sleep aids will work for perhaps 1-2 days and my body will become accustomed to them and they will no longer work/cause extreme lethargy the next day. Klonopin does the same. Ambien can help with the sleep but I am quite useless the next day and I am worried about dependence on pharmaceuticals plus long-term side effects. Generally good sleep hygiene has marginally improved sleep but not dramatically - getting up at the same time everyday, dark room, ear plugs, limiting liquids before bed, training early in the day (when possible) and avoiding caffeine later in the day (when possible). Traditional therapy has proven largely pointless. The Amazon product Dodow - which trains proper breathing patterns by showing a contracting/expanding light on your ceiling - had no effect. I read in some article on sleep habits for weightlifting performance that planning the next day in your mind while laying down is useful, and it surprisingly helps me a bit.

    Things I plan to alter one at a time to determine efficacy: I have read on other posts where micro-dosing melatonin is more beneficial for some people than regular dosing. Sleep restriction - not allowing yourself to try and go to bed until midnight or so ( to force your body to become tired enough for sleep I guess?) was useful for another fellow. Stimulant-free pre-workout (i.e. no caffeine) has been reported to be useful, especially for later in the day training sessions. Memory foam mattresses apparently collect heat so I can try to remove mine, although the wife is not a fan of this so we'll see. Nasal strips to potentially help clogged sinuses at night. Reading a boring book after not being able to sleep for 30 minutes or so.

    Will begin changing a variable and report back.
    I had sleep apneaa 4 years ago ,because my jaws didn't grew as they needed to grow. After having both jaws operated and moved back to place, i still had sleep problems so i decided to chack it. I read on the net and came across articles about the blue light that coming out of the screens. You have it everywhere today and looking on the screen all day can cause headaches, hard time falling asleep, sometimes you feel angry all the time. So what i did? I opened blue light filtering on all the screens i stareing on them all day' from the moment i wake up and till i go to bad. Now i fall asleep much easier, have no headaches, etc...

  6. #16
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    Dec 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Santana View Post
    Casein or egg white protein are great sources for bedtime protein. I've heard people sleep well with this approach too. I have a memory foam mattress with a cooling feature. Changed my life so I recommend exploring other options. I have blackout shades with blackout curtains over them. It really darkens the room. A weighted blanket goes real far too.
    Do you have a certain brand on the mattress you recommend? The volume of options is exhausting and I know not all mattresses are created equal.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jyri Kosonen View Post
    Those major life changes surely are a big factor but have you considered the possibility of sleep apnea? There is one guy at my gym who is pretty much your size and age, not fat by any means, and he was diagnosed with sleep apnea and prescribed a CPAP device. Loud snoring would be an obvious indication but some people don't even snore and still get the diagnosis. Even very short breathing obstructions at night may interrupt and badly disturb your sleep.
    I'm 49 and / 91 kg ( 200 lbs) and I have battled bad sleep since my divorce a couple of years ago, did gain some extra weight due to the stress of it all but was able drop about 6 kg (13 lbs) and got my waist to under 100 cm (40"). That took mostly care of the snoring but the sleep issues just would not go away so I had sleep tests made. It turned out the EEG showed that I might wake up dozens of times a night so the amount of restorative deep sleep was very small. Now I need a CPAP and mouthguard to keep my airways open. My sleep still isn't stellar but the apneas are gone and the amount of deep sleep doubled compared to the first test.
    I am not an expert on sleep apnea by any means but from my understanding it typically affects those with rather thick necks and snoring is noted. The wife says I do not snore and have an average at best neck thickness, although still trying to deadlift my way to a bigger one.

  8. #18
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    A death in the family has disrupted my reporting but still have tried to adhere to the sleep schedule. Have been averaging 7 hours the past week which is a godsend and enough to where I no longer feel reporting is necessary. The things I feel were most effective were dropping the thermostat to 68 degrees, eating some peanut butter and drinking a moderate amount of milk before bed (although if one has issues with frequent urination this would obviously be contraindicated), a louder fan for white noise, microdosing melatonin, increasing the limit on screen time to 1.5hrs before bed, and getting up consistently at the same time everyday and still training through lack of sleep.

  9. #19
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    Depends on how much you want to spend. I hear Purple mattresses are affordable and comfortable to sleep in. Get yourself a weighted blanket and drop the thermostat to 66 degrees and see what that does. Also black out your windows as well. I'm sorry for your loss and hope that you manage as best you can.

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