My first question to the OP would be do you indulge in anything caffeinated during the day? Even if it's not keeping you from getting to sleep initially, it can, in caffeine sensitive individuals, keep you from reaching the deeper more restorative levels of sleep.
Adrenal function can also be compromised by caffeine which would tie in with what Rich Mahogany was telling you above.
i find if i have too much caffeine during the day, i will wake at 2,3 or 4 am and not be able to get back to sleep either. too much caffeine is a relative thing but i am of similar age to you and live in a similar climate. similar exercise patterns too. i do have kids, a job and men and all those sorts of stressful things so lots to think about when i cant get back to sleep. for me, too much caffeine is over 4 decent sized cups of proper coffee a day. when i am being disciplined, i go for one with breakfast, one mid morning or lunch. one after school and then that is it. if i cut it down to 2 a day which i find really hard, i am feeling like falling asleep by 8pm and i sleep literally all night.
I drink two cups of coffee a day - both before 8:30 am and no caffeine after that. I've gone for several weeks at a time not drinking coffee at all, and sadly it hasn't had any beneficial effect on my sleeping patterns....or noticeable effect on anything.
Originally Posted by Paleobird
Nigel: I'm actually very consistent - I'm generally in bed by 10pm and up shortly after 6am, even at the weekends. I've considered that perhaps I only need 6 or 7 hours, but judging by the dark shadows under my eyes and the constant underlying fatigue, I'm clearly not getting enough restful sleep.
Some kind of adrenal compromise is the most likely culprit - I guess I need to keep on experimenting to find out how to help myself on that score.
If you 'manage fine', why do you say 'clearly isn't enough'?
Originally Posted by spuggygirl
For many people 6 hours is perfectly adequate, especially as we get older. Not sure why that is, but I've heard it said many times.
When I was going to the gym before work I had to retire at 2200 to get up for 0545. This gave me enough time to get to the gym, workout and shower before starting work at 0800. I found 7.3/4 hours was more than enough and settled on 2300 bed time - for me at that time 6.1/2-6.3/4 hours was what I needed.
Having returned to PB recently I no longer visit the gym at all, let alone first thing but still only require 6.1/2-7 hours kip. Energy & vitality tanks are brimmed though.
Do you have any specific concerns or do you just think the number of hours clocked up in bed is 'low'?
I have the same problem, and the only day of the week when I sleep heavily is after the first day of a carb-up, when i both overeat and have a lot of carbs. I go to bed after 8 pm and wake up on the clock at 2 am. My normal get up time is about 4 am, so it sucks. Sometimes I can fall right back asleep. But I could not get the system behind the sleep pattern,.
Keeping the room cool helps (need to wear socks to fall asleep), but I did not have any positive results from cold or hot exposure before bed (steam room or cold shower).
I also started doing candle-light dinners, and try not to do any cardio after 5 pm.
It clearly isn't enough because I feel just 'fine', rather than great - most other aspects of my primal life are great and I'm aware that I could be feeling a lot better than I am. I have deep shadows under my eyes and spend most of the time with a residual feeling of tiredness in the background, despite energy levels that are generally pretty good.
Originally Posted by lordgrover
Against the run of play, I've actually had a few nights over the last week or so where I've had a little under 7 hours solid sleep - which is almost unknown for me - and the difference has been amazing. Energy levels have risen off the scale and my mood has been fantastic without that constant underlying fatigue. I started taking ZMA a couple of weeks ago so not sure if this is the difference. Anyway, I'm not complaining - just hoping it will continue!
This may be a silly question, but is there something in your house or outside your walls that happens at 4 a.m. nearly every night? In an old apartment I had I finally realized that a fan kicked on in the wee morning hours that woke me up. In another place there was a semi-truck that drove through my neighborhood at an ungodly hour.
There's not much you can do about external factors, but you may have jumped to blaming yourself too quickly!
Getting a lot of exercise usually allows me to get a good nights sleep. Add some magnesium oil to the equation and I am sleeping like a baby.
My husband and I have spent a lot of time researching and experimenting ways to improve sleep quality. He tends to have an issue with sleep induction (falling asleep) while I usually fall asleep easily, but tend to either wake up a lot during the night, or wake up too early in the morning.
I found a blog by Seth Roberts, who did a bunch of experiments to figure out sleep better...I think it was born out of him realizing that certain things caused bad sleep, so he wanted to systematically test out which factors would improve it because his sleep quality sucked. He came to the conclusion that standing on one leg (for about 5 minutes on each leg) was enough to make a significant improvement in his sleep. Here is a link:
Seth's Blog » Blog Archive » Effect of One-Legged Standing on Sleep
Another thing you could try would be a cold shower or an ice bath in the evening; many people have discovered that using Cold Thermogenesis in this way has caused them to have really good deep sleep...it didn't work for me, but CT has significantly improved my health in other ways. There is a Cold Water link here on this forum that has tons of great links and n=1 experiences with CT, if you're interested:
Thanks guys - some interesting ideas here for me to try.
Sarasue624..I don't think so, I think I'm just a pretty light sleeper. I wear ear plugs which do help but can wake up quite easily. I tend to think that I'm a light sleeper only because I'm not getting enough of the deeper, restorative sleep (since I tend to wake unrefreshed even when I do sleep better...although that has been less so recently).
I do a fair amount of exercise, but my main workouts are by necessity in the evening and actually tend to have the opposite effect in that I often don't sleep well after workouts.
BestBetter - thanks, that's really interesting. Sounds bizarre but heck, I'll try anything (erm, except possibly cold thermogenesis ...not sure I'll be able to bring myself to do the cold bath/shower thing). I'll definitely do some reading though. Cheers.