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Thread: Sleep tricks during stressful times? page

  1. #1
    Liquid Gusto's Avatar
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    Sleep tricks during stressful times?

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    Do you ever have those spurts of time where the stress of life keeps you up at night no matter how tired you are? What are some techniques to overcome this that you've tried?

    I've tried my hefty arsenal of natural (keeping my normal routine going, meditation, getting sunlight, limiting blue light later in day, Epsom salt baths, not spending nonsleeping time in bed, magnesium, melatonin, valerian root, reading a book by orange light in bed, soothing music, writing out thoughts, getting out of bed after trying to long, etc.), and unnatural tricks (unnatural including ambien and xanax and the antihistamine component of nyquil out of desperation) to no avail with a very major stressor.

    This stressor should be somewhat resolved sometime this week to the point that it won't keep me up at night so easily... But I'm sick of laying down at 1030-11 and not sleeping until 3AM!

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    My go to hack is to cool my body right down and then get under the covers. I read on top of the bed in my birthday suit until it gets a little uncomfortable and then get under the covers. I'm pretty sure that this stimulates the release of melatonin as it works well. I am lucky to live in a cold country. In the summer I just take a cool shower before bed to cool down.
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    Ashwagandha really helped me with this. It's an herbal supplement that helps your body adapt to stress. It works best if you take it every day, not just when you can't sleep.

    You also might try going to bed earlier. Elevated adrenal function can cause you to get a "second wind" around 11 p.m. that will keep you up for hours.

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    Magnesium ( Mag-tab SR and Magnegel are my preferred choices, I use both, 4 of the first a day for 24 hour trickle and the gel before bed on my inner-forearms).

    Then Phosphatidylserine and Inositol for cortisol modulation.
    Bacopa Monnieri as an anxiolytic.
    -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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    Theanine Serene (supplement blend) sometimes works well for me. I take it around 7 PM and aim for bed around 10:30.

    Right now, a 1/2 tsp of potato starch after work seems to do wonders for my digestion & sleep. I'm sleeping very deeply & having very vivid dreams!
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    Sleep at the same time every night. Have a 30 min routine (mild cleaning, reading, etc). This might require those said drugs at the beginning but in a week your body will get sleepy around that time.

    Other thoughts:
    -rhodiola. Look it up on amazon.
    -if you take vitamins, take it early in the day. Vitamin B's will make you more energetic.
    -don't calorie-restrict too much. Stressor.
    -exercise more than 5 hours before bed. Gives you ample time to calm down.
    -eat carbs from noon-6pm. Keep protein light (another potentially stressor = ginormous evening meal of protein). This is something I learned from personal experience. I eat tons of protein morning-1pm or so. Then I carb up later. The only time I don't do this is when I am on the PH.
    -eat a (ripened) banana 30 mins before bed. This helps some people fall asleep more soundly.
    ------
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    Liquid Gusto's Avatar
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    Keep the ideas coming everyone. Something is bound to help, if not now, when this stressful time is over and I'm back to my "normal" level of insomnia.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaceyUK View Post
    My go to hack is to cool my body right down and then get under the covers.
    Interesting approach that I'll give a shot. I take a hot bath each night, and have heard the cool down can mimic the cool down that occurs when we sleep -- sounds like a similar thought process but likely more effective because there won't be the towel down/brush teeth/hygiene routine time between bath cool down and getting in bed.

    Quote Originally Posted by baconator View Post
    Ashwagandha really helped me with this. It's an herbal supplement that helps your body adapt to stress. It works best if you take it every day, not just when you can't sleep.

    You also might try going to bed earlier. Elevated adrenal function can cause you to get a "second wind" around 11 p.m. that will keep you up for hours.
    I already take some adaptogen types herbs (Rhodiola, Brahmi, Suma), so I'll need to research ashwagandha to see if it'll interfere or possibly switching out something I'm using now.

    I think you may be on to something with the "second wind". Maybe I need to try and get into bed earlier so I'm not up when the second wind comes! I once read somewhere our ability to fall asleep comes in 3 hours cycles. It wasn't a reputable source, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some truth to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanmercer View Post
    Magnesium ( Mag-tab SR and Magnegel are my preferred choices, I use both, 4 of the first a day for 24 hour trickle and the gel before bed on my inner-forearms).

    Then Phosphatidylserine and Inositol for cortisol modulation.
    Bacopa Monnieri as an anxiolytic.
    I've never heard of phosphatidylserine, but actually already use the other products you mentioned aside from using magnesium topically. I do take epsom salt baths each night, would this have a similar effect to topical application, or is topical application something I should look into in your opinion?

    I take Bacopa Monnieri for memory support, but personally, haven't found it calming or sedating.

    Phosphatidylserine looks like an interesting supplement based on what it is listed as commonly being used for. What has your experience with it been like (dosing, when you take it, effects, etc.)?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterstone View Post
    I do the following two simple techniques. Sometimes I perform them even when I am sleepy, it speeds up falling asleep.1

    First physical: While laying down under the covers, I consciously and individually relax every muscle in body from toes to head. I just imagine them weighing a ton and just relax.... that takes a couple of minutes. Usually my neck is quite tense.

    Second, mental: When I'm all relaxed, I let go of all my thoughts. Of course all kind of thoughts keep entering my head but I don't fight it, I just let them go. Simple, works for me.
    I wish this would work for me! I can meditate in that I empty my mind, I don't grab onto thoughts and think about them, I just observe them and let them float on by... I also sometimes do guided relaxations. I just don't fall asleep while doing so no matter how tired (or drugged) I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    Theanine Serene (supplement blend) sometimes works well for me. I take it around 7 PM and aim for bed around 10:30.

    Right now, a 1/2 tsp of potato starch after work seems to do wonders for my digestion & sleep. I'm sleeping very deeply & having very vivid dreams!
    I love Source Naturals brand -- lots of good experiences. I like the blend in here, especially because it doesn't have Melatonin! Melatonin gives me the most terrifying nightmares, even when I've given it a lot of time. I'm going to look into the Theanine Serene today.

    I know there's lots of threads on starch, but if you don't mind, would you mind enlightening me on the basics of why it is potato starch helps with sleep? If not, that's fine. I can do the leg work when I'm feeling up to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisepassion View Post
    Sleep at the same time every night. Have a 30 min routine (mild cleaning, reading, etc). This might require those said drugs at the beginning but in a week your body will get sleepy around that time.

    Other thoughts:
    -rhodiola. Look it up on amazon.
    -if you take vitamins, take it early in the day. Vitamin B's will make you more energetic.
    -don't calorie-restrict too much. Stressor.
    -exercise more than 5 hours before bed. Gives you ample time to calm down.
    -eat carbs from noon-6pm. Keep protein light (another potentially stressor = ginormous evening meal of protein). This is something I learned from personal experience. I eat tons of protein morning-1pm or so. Then I carb up later. The only time I don't do this is when I am on the PH.
    -eat a (ripened) banana 30 mins before bed. This helps some people fall asleep more soundly.
    Thanks! I've tried all of these things except for the banana. Any thoughts on why it helps people fall asleep more soundly? I can't have bananas, but maybe I can find something with similar effects.

    Anyone else reading this -- look into Rhodiola sometime. I take it each morning and was able to get off Wellbutrin which I was using for an off label use (Wellbutrin was being more used for energy support than depression in my case).

  8. #8
    turquoisepassion's Avatar
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    Bananas: oh shit I forgot and you just told me!!

    try mangoes. I think it is the combo of potassium, fast carbs (insulin), magnesium but I can't be 100% sure. Others on mda tried eating a banana before bed too and had the same results as I did... So not just a n=1 thing...
    ------
    HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

    My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


    Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

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    TBH, I don't understand the starch - sleep correlation Something about the production of serotonin in the gut maybe? I think one of the ideas is that it's slower digesting than other carbs so it produces blood glucose for longer during the night than other carbs before bed might. Something about higher blood glucose seems to make people sleep better. Some people swear by a little milk & honey before bed & I think it's the honey (sugar) that's key.
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