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Sleep advice?
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I usually wake up at least once per night. Sleeping solidly through the night is a tad rare for me. Sometimes I wake up and I just can't seem to get comfortable again... and I'm awake for at least an hour when this happens. Then I wake up in the am and feel like crap for the day.

Here's what I have tried:
melatonin, valerian root, magnesium supplement, shot of vodka (desparation), the stick rolling on my legs, foam roller, stretching, adjusting warmth/coolness level, eating some low fat cottage cheese, getting a drink of water...

I refrain from getting up and doing anything, because in trying this I just stay awake for good and then feel REALLY bad later.

I pretty much go to bed around the same time each night during the week and get up at the same time. On the weekends I might stay up an hour or two later but will sleep in 2-3 hours later.
I try to keep the bedroom cool and dark.

But like this week, this horrid sleep episode kept me from my morning run and I felt crummy.

Thanks for your suggestions.

I'm concerned that "this is just how it is" for me because my mom is the same way. She NEVER sleeps all the way through the night.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I purchased the Delta Sleep System CD about 5 years ago, and I think that has really helped me sleep better. It works better with headphones, but I've also had my iPod hooked up to some crummy speakers and that also worked.

Good luck!
Ann

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Proud member of the Timex Multisport Team
Check out my charity initiatives at my blog http://helpmetri.blogspot.com/
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I rarely have a problem going back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night, but i sometimes have a problem falling asleep. The one thing that works for me is to just take really deep breathes and think about breathing in and out. It clears my mind of anything, my body starts to feel heavy and bam I'm out!

You might try to keep a sleep log so you can connect things that cause you wake up. It could be related to what you ate, how much caffeine you had during the day, certain types/times of workouts, time of the month, stress etc. It probably seems completely random, but might not be.


Also going to bed w/o distractions will help you sleep better. No computer/tv in the bedroom etc. Sounds weird, but it's not just a problem for people falling asleep. If you wake up a little then you might start thinking about what you were doing before you went to bed and that can cause you to wake up more and not be able to go back to sleep. Where if you read a chapter of a book before you go to bed and finished the chapter then there's nothing else to think about when you wake up (unless you're dying to know what happens at the end of the book)
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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alcohol? cut that out...
dark, cool, room
bananas and milk
if you get up, no lights- lights can trigger your brain in to thinking time to get up
best of all for me is earplugs
good mattress
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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Hmmm......no suggestions but plenty of empathy. I am an insomniac. I wake up AT LEAST every hour, sometimes more. I take 1/2 sleeping tablet and I guess it must help some, but not a lot. I think some of us are just cursed with insomnia. I feel constantly tired and find work difficult after a particularly bad night. :( Sorry I have no solutions for you.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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is there anything else going on in your life health/stress wise? I am prone to depression, and though everything else seems ok, first thing to go with me is sleep...same pattern, I wake up between 3-4am...too late to do anything about it.

For me, exercise helps -well yeah its a tri forum!-but not late in the evening...also, if I work out a lot, I find I need a snack before bed or I wake up hungry.

The only sleep meds that have worked keep me zonked for half the day so I don't take any.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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Yep. Same trouble myself--wake up around 3 am, can't fall back asleep for 1-2 hours. Then it's really hard to get up on time. Started about 15 years ago and has been the same ever since.

I've logged my sleep patterns, and it looks as though it may be related to hormones, as it always happens on the second half of my cycle.

At this point, I've just come to accept it. I get up, read or browse the internet while I drink a cup of herb tea, then go back to bed an hour or two later when I feel sleepy again. If I can, I then sleep later until I wake up without the alarm, but that's usually not possible.

No coasting in running and no crying in baseball
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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A few years ago after a lot of traveling I had a whole lot of sleep troubles. So bad that it got to the point that I went to the doctor. I think it got to the point where I was so stressed out about not sleeping that that was what kept me up. I got prescribed Ambien, and I hate medication and was kind of scared of sleeping pills but just HAVING them in my possession I think relaxed me so I could sleep normally again. It took me a year to go through a month supply. I think sometimes when you get in that rut you wake up and just expect to be awake for hours instead of thinking, ok, I woke up, I'll just fall right back asleep. There really weren't any other major stresses in my life at the time, just anxiety over not sleeping.
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Re: Sleep advice? [GhiaGirl] [ In reply to ]
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I used to have trouble falling asleep until I started doing tris.
Now the problem seems to be staying asleep. erg.

There is no computer or tv in the bedroom. I don't use the bedroom for anything but sleep. If I do get up, I don't turn the light on. I think I shall have to start doing a sleep log. That might give me some more clues.

I don't do caffeine EVER any later than 3-4pm, since I know that affects me - I rarely do it anyway (not a coffee drinker), unless I've had an especially bad sleep night. I also know alcohol affects me, so I avoid that in the evenings during the week... and unless I know I can sleep in the next day.
I have even refrained from drinking liquids within an hour or two of bedtime.

I could see it being stress, or too much on my mind... when I do wake up I try to relax and repeat to myself "Relax" or if I wake up and worry, I tell myself "Relax and go to sleep, there is nothing you can do about that right now".

It's just frustrating because of the effect it can have on my workouts, and thus my training/racing goals.

I'm going to give the sleep log a shot.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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My daughter has lots of trouble falling asleep, so we've been to a sleep clinic recently. They suggest the following (most of which is common knowledge):

- have a sleep routine that you do every night so your body knows you're getting ready for bed
- keep the lights low at night
- don't work or watch TV in your bedroom - you should only be sleeping and having sex in bed
- when you are trying to fall asleep, don't keep looking at the clock and counting the hours until you wake up - that only activates your brain and stresses you out; make sure you can't see a clock from your sleeping position
- if you don't fall asleep right away, get up. if you lie in bed awake for hours, then you are just reinforcing that behavior. Get up and do something - write out a list of to-dos, do a puzzle, read. After a bit of time, go back to bed and try to fall asleep again.
- go to bed and wake up within an hour of the same time every day of the week - this one is one of the most important items
- make sure you have a good mattress

You didn't mention why you can't fall asleep again. Are you physically uncomfortable? Is your head going through the 100 things you have to do the next day?
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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determination wrote:
I used to have trouble falling asleep until I started doing tris.
Now the problem seems to be staying asleep. erg.

There is no computer or tv in the bedroom. I don't use the bedroom for anything but sleep. If I do get up, I don't turn the light on. I think I shall have to start doing a sleep log. That might give me some more clues.

I don't do caffeine EVER any later than 3-4pm, since I know that affects me - I rarely do it anyway (not a coffee drinker), unless I've had an especially bad sleep night. I also know alcohol affects me, so I avoid that in the evenings during the week... and unless I know I can sleep in the next day.
I have even refrained from drinking liquids within an hour or two of bedtime.

I could see it being stress, or too much on my mind... when I do wake up I try to relax and repeat to myself "Relax" or if I wake up and worry, I tell myself "Relax and go to sleep, there is nothing you can do about that right now".

It's just frustrating because of the effect it can have on my workouts, and thus my training/racing goals.

I'm going to give the sleep log a shot.

It sounds like it's stress related- you have a lot on your mind, and it's waking you up at night. Try leaving a notepad by your bed, and writing down all of those little things nagging you right before bed. If you do wake up, and find your mind racing, write those things down.

For me, my brain is always listing off the things I need to do, and I am always afraid I will forget them. So, if I have a notepad by my bed, I can write stuff down and not have to keep it racing through my brain.

If I can't fall asleep, I focus on deep breathing, and counting backwards from 500. I try to go really slow, and focus on the number, so I don't just race backwards. This way, I am forcefully clearing my mind, and eventually (usually around 410) I will fall asleep.

Goodluck!
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Re: Sleep advice? [DawnT] [ In reply to ]
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Lately it seems like I am unable to get comfortable again. So I keep shifting around.

In the past it's been too much on my mind. But NOT recently. It just feels like I can't get comfy or be still long enough to fall back asleep.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I've praised acupuncture in the past, so here I go again! :) I go to an acupuncturist regularly, and swear by it; I started waking up every night at about the same time, told her about it, and she prescribed an herb for me and now I'm right as rain. In fact, last night I woke up when my husband woke up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I couldn't get back to sleep, took the herb formula (it's a tincture, so quickly absorbed) and was fast asleep shortly thereafter, with no "groggy" feeling in the morning. If you can find a reputable acupuncturist in your area, I say it's worth a shot. What can you lose?

Studies have also backed up my experience (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19922248). Good luck - I know this can be so frustrating and debilitating. :(
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Re: Sleep advice? [DawnT] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
- don't work or watch TV in your bedroom - you should only be sleeping and having sex in bed


did you tell her the second part of that? LOL

maybe she's born with it, maybe it's chlorine
If you're injured and need some sympathy, PM me and I'm very happy to write back.
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I was going to suggest valerian. That works for me.

maybe she's born with it, maybe it's chlorine
If you're injured and need some sympathy, PM me and I'm very happy to write back.
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I go through terrible insomnia cycles, mine are definitely stress related. I have a circular set of worries that goes on and on, over and over in my head.


I've been taking Ativan lately because I'm going through a particularly difficult time stress wise. It works like a charm though.


When I do lay awake at night, without taking Ativan, I just keep my eyes closed and lay still. My thought is that even if I'm "awake" I'm still resting. I focus on breathing and relaxing my body. If I really can't break the worry cycle I'll write down what it is I'm worrying about. I also remind myself that I don't have to solve the problem that night.


I love to read and sometimes I'll turn on the light, very low, and read. I keep my light on a dimmer just so I can do that.


I also recommend getting a cat. I swear mine has a plot against me. She snuggles up against me when my alarm goes off in the morning. Makes it impossible to get up because she's so damn warm, fuzzy and cute.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jen

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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How old is your mattress? I had this problem last year about waking up specifically because I was uncomfortable. We finally caved and got rid of our 12+ year old mattress and the new one made a world of difference in how well I sleep.


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Re: Sleep advice? [lilpups] [ In reply to ]
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How old are you? I started having difficulty with waking up every 2-3 hours a few years ago. Turned out is was related to hormones and peri-menopause. Once we balanced my hormones the night sweats and sleep problems went away.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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if i dont workout i have weird dreams!
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I second the acupuncture suggestion. Also try Lemon Balm- you can buy as a tincture at a health food store, just one dropper-full under the tongue or in water is amazing. Not only do I sleep well, it also takes away that weird background static-y feeling of anxiety the next day.

PM me for more....this is my specialty at work.
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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I will add another tally mark to a good mattress.
I had a 10 or 12-year old one and I tossed and turned all night, plus my back would be sore half the time.

I purchased a Tempur-Pedic, which I returned (but I know lots of people love them) for a Sleep Number and haven't looked back. MUCH better and consistent sleep.

Plus I recently cut my cable television in lieu for the free digital TV. Since you have to buy a digital box for every TV, I haven't bought one for the bedroom yet - and don't think I will. I used to sleep with the TV on (low volume) every night, all night because I live alone and get spooked by noises. But the cable was cut a month ago and I am sleeping better than ever.

Now if I could just get the dog to sleep in his own bed ;)

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Re: Sleep advice? [lisac957] [ In reply to ]
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lisac957 wrote:
I will add another tally mark to a good mattress. I had a 10 or 12-year old one and I tossed and turned all night, plus my back would be sore half the time. I purchased a Tempur-Pedic, which I returned (but I know lots of people love them) for a Sleep Number and haven't looked back. MUCH better and consistent sleep.


Oh man same here.... 12+ years on an innerspring mattress and we changed over to a tempur-pedic and have never looked back... we actually call it "the dead bed" now because we literally sleep like the dead on it.

I too had the same sleep issues for about a year in my life and found out that I was very early peri-meno and ever since we got all that BS leveled out my sleep patterns are way better and much stronger. I also (like many women) suffer from "too much on the damn brain" often so when those times come around I usually use 1/4 of a .25 mg Xanax and that usually turns the TV off in my head of all the things I still need to do and I rest clear through till morning with no hang over. I have a great female doc who told me "you have the same thing as nearly every other middle aged woman.... its called worry, so start with 1/4 and if in 20 minutes you don't feel your anxiety ease then take another 1/4". Seriously, I rarely make it past 1/4 and the 20 minutes *lol* and dosing that way I only get one 30 day Rx filled twice a year.


On the more "natural" side I hear banana's and warm milk with honey in it works well too...

I am an avid cyclist who is also the co-owner and buyer for Low Country Multisport a performance specific F.I.S.T. certified fit studio and repair shop in the beautiful Lowcountry of South Carolina. And, I just happen to be married to a retired Marine who is completely addicted to the iron distance. "lord help my wallet!!"
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Re: Sleep advice? [lilbluebirds] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting this thread....
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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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- Do not disturb your sleep routine. Try to maintain time to go bed & getting up.
- Donít eat anything at least an hour before going to bed
- Try taking shower before going to bed.
- Read some books (no TV, computer please)
- Cut down alcohol intake.
- Try meditation. It helps a lot!
- Check you mattress/pillow needs to change?
Hope you will find way to get good sleep!

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Re: Sleep advice? [determination] [ In reply to ]
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tryptophan has been working well for me, no side effects and sleep 6-7 hours straight instead of waking up every couple of hours..
Also the product formerly known as Recovox, now Primal Calm, has been helpful, even though it says it is 'non-drowsy'.
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