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  • Sleep troubles and my job: any help is appreciated!

    Hi folks,
    Need some help with my sleep issues (don't we all? Haha). So here's the sitch: I work a 4/10, which means I have a 4-day workweek, but those 4 days are 10 hours long. The idea of NOT being woken up from blissfully comfortable sleep by the horrific, repetitive screech of digital chirping has me practically foaming at the mouth, but realistically, if I leave my brain up to its own devices and allow myself to wake up naturally, Iíll be out of a job. I'm set to get up at 5am so I can be out the door no later than 6:30am (I start at 7am, which means I'm sitting at my desk before sunrise). A few things I want to point out before you respond: 1) I won't leave my job (unless Mark is hiring customer service worker bees... LOL). I like my job, and it's low-stress except for the schedule, so quitting, like in all areas of my life, is not an option. 2) I haven't yet tried Natural Calm, but I will be getting it if I can't reign in the sleep demon, but it's not getting to sleep I'm having problems with, it's staying asleep. 3) I can't afford an expensive "sunrise" alarm, or any other kind of technology as an alternative to my alarm (and no, sadly, I don't own an iPod). My job pays me well enough, but not that well. Oh, and I work until 6pm, so going to bed at 8pm isn't much of an option either (I gotta eat dinner and pack my lunch at some point, and I'm truly just not tired that early at night). So, long story short, if anyone has any suggestions that might help me I'd be greatly appreciative!
    "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

  • #2
    You've probably already heard all of this advice, but I am going to say it again: Even if you can't get to bed at 8 pm, I recommend preparing your body for rest by then. Turn off the electronics. I would recommend not even turning on tv, computer, phone if you have be up the next morning.

    How dark is your room? The darker the better. Make it like a cave on a night with no moon. This includes covering even the little tiny light on the smoke detector. Get some Natural Calm now, why wait? Make sure you are walking during the day and get some sun. I know this is hard when you have a desk job. I have to find a hundred excuses a day to walk over to the other building. I also volunteered to be the one who checks the mail. Can you enjoy your lunch outside?

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    • #3
      My room is nice & dark; I'm even turning my alarm clock around and have covered or at least obscured all lights no matter how tiny. And I do get to walk outside on both of my breaks and on my lunch, so moving & sunlight exposure isn't a problem. Eating outside is only a problem because of a serious fly population (there are numerous small horse ranches near my office). Turning off the electronics is a problem though: I live with my mom, and though I'm really working on getting her to go Primal, I can't force her not to watch TV whenever she wants =( I don't have a tv in my room though, and I don't even touch my computer after work (the last thing I want to do after staring at a screen for 10 hours is... stare at a screen. lol) I know I seem to have an excuse for everything, but I feel like this is more likely a psychological fear of sleeping in and being late to work (hello cortisol!) than a real issue with my sleeping patterns. It just doesn't feel like there's anything I can do to stop it... =(
      "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

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      • #4
        In that case, try yoga, meditation and a even some cheesy affirmations. Corny but it works.

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        • #5
          How much caffiene do you drink? I was a hardcore insomniac for a while (regularly go 40+ hours without sleep, then crash for 20 hours... never able to sleep before 2am) and I fixed myself up nice by doing the following:

          1. Vit D Supplementation
          2. Remove all caffeinated beverages from diet
          3. No food after 8pm

          I did it in that order, but I think #2 was the most important. It amazes me how many people who I talk to complain about their insomnia, and when I ask about it, tell me they drink 5 cups of coffee and 3 mountain dews a day. OH RLY? And you don't know why you can't sleep? The only caffeine I get now is from dark chocolate a few times a week, and in dire circumstances a small cup of iced tea. I'll never go back to soda (had a hardcore diet soda addiction).

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          • #6
            First, just because there is a recommendation on this site does not mean that you have to follow it. I am a teacher. I would never ditch my alarm because if I am late, there are 30 unsupervised kids in my room. There are lots of Primal recommendations that do not fit my life, so I just try to be as primal as possible especially with food and exercise.

            I second the dark room/natural calm. Both things have helped me. If I could only cure my husband's insomnia. He keeps playing with the tv and
            i-touch in the middle of the night. If I asked for advice on the MDA, people here would probably tell me to get rid of him.
            Primal since 9/24/2010
            "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
            MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SlimIcy View Post
              How much caffiene do you drink?
              The only caffeine I get is my 2 cups of coffee in the morning, which are always finished by 9am. I know that caffeine lingers in the body for a while, but for 12 hours? That would be news to me... =\ I don't drink soda at all anymore, and I stay away from caffeinated tea after 2pm. I still have to kick my coffee addiction, but I don't want to give it up entirely. I like coffee, I just need to drink less of it...
              "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

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              • #8
                Sleep has always been my biggest problem. Here is how I solved it.

                First, and I know this doesn't apply but, I have sleep apnea so I have an oral device to ensure quality sleep, once I fall asleep.

                No caffeine for 6 to 8 hours before bed time. And I try to have dinner finished 3 hours before bed.

                I wake up at 5:30 that means I am in bed by 9:30. Period. No excuses, really, you can't sleep enough hours if you are not in bed enough hours. this includes your days off or at least close to the same time schedule.

                For the hour before I start my bedtime routine I do something non-stressful, and relaxing. This often includes a 'sun salutation', or knitting, or reading, a cup of herbal tea.

                Before going to bed I have a bedtime routine I follow exactly every single night. I get cleaned up, dressed, take my meds/vitamins in the exact same order every night. It doesn't matter what it is just has to be the same, it cues your body in that I will be in bed soon, this is how I taught my kids to go to bed.

                Room is dark, quiet, cool, yada yada, you know the drill...

                then I put on a headband that has flat headphones (toka, I think is the brand, like $15 for band and phones) and listen to a sleep meditation. the meditation I use is Jon Gabriel who talks about losing weight (i like his voice and I need to lose weight) with aural beats in the back ground but you can find aural beats you can download for free (google it) and burn onto a cd and listen to it.

                Then your cell phone has an alarm and it has many choices that are not offensive to use as an alarm sound to wake you up. Try that, no need to jolt upright. But I will tell you that since I instituted the above steps, I wake up 5 minutes before the alarm goes off.

                I know this is the hardest, but, stressing about it only makes it worse, force yourself to stop stressing about it!

                Good Luck
                Chris
                "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain."
                Unknown

                My journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread36279.html

                My "Program": doing my version of a 4:3 - 3 day fast diet with real food every day, with a little twist of anti-inflammatory mixed in.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pebbles67 View Post
                  people here would probably tell me to get rid of him.
                  I would hope not! LOL =P
                  "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Are you made anxious by the pressure you feel to be up and out early, by the fact that you only have a couple of hours after getting home to relax, eat, prep for the next day etc? I often read that this type of anxiety can lead to depression, however mild, which causes wakefulness where getting to sleep is not a problem but waking often during the night is.

                    Are there other factors in your life or history which could be eating away at you?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pebbles67 View Post
                      First, just because there is a recommendation on this site does not mean that you have to follow it. I am a teacher. I would never ditch my alarm because if I am late, there are 30 unsupervised kids in my room. There are lots of Primal recommendations that do not fit my life, so I just try to be as primal as possible especially with food and exercise.

                      I second the dark room/natural calm. Both things have helped me. If I could only cure my husband's insomnia. He keeps playing with the tv and
                      i-touch in the middle of the night. If I asked for advice on the MDA, people here would probably tell me to get rid of him.
                      I can't get rid of my alarm clock, either. I wouldn't be able to sleep if I tried -- I'd be too anxious. I wouldn't tell you to get rid of the husband, but I would tell you to put the TV and iTouch in another room.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Nugent View Post
                        Are you made anxious by the pressure you feel to be up and out early, by the fact that you only have a couple of hours after getting home to relax, eat, prep for the next day etc? I often read that this type of anxiety can lead to depression, however mild, which causes wakefulness where getting to sleep is not a problem but waking often during the night is.

                        Are there other factors in your life or history which could be eating away at you?
                        Absolutely, without a doubt, YES. I am so worried about missing my alarm that I'm often tempted to sleep without my earplugs (which I haven't done in 18 months), and having only 2 hours to do EVERYTHING after work leaves me frazzled and anxious. I also worry about my finances almost constantly (I was out of work for nearly 2 years, hence the reasons I don't want to be late- both for repeated tardiness and loss of hours on the clock). Add to that the frustrations of a long-distance relationship with my fiance (he lives in NC, I'm in CA) and I'm pretty stressed despite being generally happy. I like my job, but the schedule is rough. I have money, but I'm always afraid of being unprepared for catastrophe. I love my fiance, but we simply cannot be closer to each other right now. I have a lot of little things that bother me on a daily basis that I feel somewhat powerless to control, making getting to bed only slightly difficult, but staying asleep feel nearly impossible. Like I said before, I just feel sorta helpless, like I'm a slave to my own anxiety. Has anyone tried anything outside of supplements and meditation that's worked?
                        "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Siren View Post
                          Absolutely, without a doubt, YES. I am so worried about missing my alarm that I'm often tempted to sleep without my earplugs (which I haven't done in 18 months), and having only 2 hours to do EVERYTHING after work leaves me frazzled and anxious. I also worry about my finances almost constantly (I was out of work for nearly 2 years, hence the reasons I don't want to be late- both for repeated tardiness and loss of hours on the clock). Add to that the frustrations of a long-distance relationship with my fiance (he lives in NC, I'm in CA) and I'm pretty stressed despite being generally happy. I like my job, but the schedule is rough. I have money, but I'm always afraid of being unprepared for catastrophe. I love my fiance, but we simply cannot be closer to each other right now. I have a lot of little things that bother me on a daily basis that I feel somewhat powerless to control, making getting to bed only slightly difficult, but staying asleep feel nearly impossible. Like I said before, I just feel sorta helpless, like I'm a slave to my own anxiety. Has anyone tried anything outside of supplements and meditation that's worked?
                          This site helped me immensely with pretty intense anxiety. It's not the most well-written blog in the world, but his understanding is deep and his ideas are sound. Anxiety Tips, Information, Symptoms and Self Help

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                          • #14
                            I'm a poor sleeper also. I have been getting some good nights rest lately and I attribute it to taking magnesium 30 minutes or so before bed. The Paleo Soluton blog has quite a bit of information. It's worth a shot. I like it because I don't feel any side effects in the morning and it is not addictive like I have heard other sleep meds can be. I won't suggest doses or brands because I think everyone should find what works for them, but I think you should give magnesium some consideration. Good luck.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Siren View Post
                              I would hope not! LOL =P
                              I just thought of something else. We use a white noise machine. Grok would not have slept in a silent place. There would have been a low hum of night sounds. The white noise machine keeps your brain from focusing on small errant noises like the dog flopping down outside the door etc. Sometimes silence actually wakes me up. Weird.
                              Primal since 9/24/2010
                              "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

                              Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
                              MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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