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Hack My Sleep Issues! (Newbie)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 27, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Since I've switched to Paleo I have seen a great deal of improvements this month which include: digestion, joint pain, overall well-being, and weight loss. However, I still incur many issues relative to sleeping. Many of which I've been dealing with for years.

NOTE: Between Monday and Friday I wake up at 5:15 am for work. I would like to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.

  1. Insomnia: I may crawl into bed at 9:00 pm, but I won't fall asleep until sometime after 11:00 pm.

  2. Erratic Sleep: There are nights I may wake up every couple of hours.

  3. Early Wake-up Call: At times my body will wake me up before my alarm goes off.

  4. Tired: There are days that it is hard to stay awake while at work.

  5. Blinds: Street light slips through the blinds. I can't switch the blinds because I rent the room from my roommates house. This prevents the room from becoming completely dark at night.

  6. Alarm Clock: I need an alarm clock to wake-up in the morning; however, the green numbers on the clock prevent my room from becoming completely dark at night. I also use set alarms on my phone as a back-up because I need multiple wake-up calls.

  7. Dreaming: I tend to have intense dreams nearly every night. Sometimes these dreams actually wake me up.

  8. Thinking: My brain goes a mile a minute some nights when I'm trying to sleep. I can't seem to tune it down when I am ready for bed.

Well I think that sums it up. All suggestions, constructive criticism, and advice are welcome.

Thank you!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 28, 2012
at 02:10 AM

your circadian rhythm is variable throughout the day. This chart shows an exemplar circadian rhythm: http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/human/drows_driving/wbroch/wbroch_lg/chart.gif . At night your alertness drops (hence you are sleeping), and then it bottoms out and starts to rise again. If you wake up on your own because you are on an circadian up swing you can take advantage of your physical alertness.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on November 27, 2012
at 10:58 PM

CD - What is a circadian up swing if you don't mind me asking? BTW... love your reaction to #7 :)

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on November 27, 2012
at 10:56 PM

tommy - Ketogenic? Sorry, I'm a newbie. Still learning :) Well the past 1.5 weeks, in reference to carbs, I have consumed anywhere from 95 grams to 160 grams a day. Is that low? High? Good?

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4 Answers

best answer

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 27, 2012
at 05:28 PM

  1. I've found that turning off the TV and spending an hour to two hours reading in dim light really helps. Also not eating/ drinking for a few hours before bed helps to.

  2. There are numerous causes for this, from the KISS principal, I would first suggest checking things like: Is it because you have to go to the bathroom? Is it because of an external noise?

  3. My body does this as well. Use it. This typically means you are on a circadian up swing. Get out of bed. If you have enough time, go for a run, or do some pushups, take a shower, etc. Don't stay in bed, your body wants to wake, let it.

  4. As you get your sleep under control, and see improved energy from the paleo diet this may subside. If not, play with your macros. Some added carbs may be beneficial.

  5. Can you hang a heavy curtain around the blinds?

  6. Three suggestions: (1) Look for a low profile travel alarm clock that you can slip under your pillow; (2) if you have an iphone, use the sleep cycle app; (3) Tape a piece of paper over your clock.

  7. Awesome!

  8. Building a bedtime routine like I suggest in #1 might help.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on November 28, 2012
at 02:10 AM

your circadian rhythm is variable throughout the day. This chart shows an exemplar circadian rhythm: http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/human/drows_driving/wbroch/wbroch_lg/chart.gif . At night your alertness drops (hence you are sleeping), and then it bottoms out and starts to rise again. If you wake up on your own because you are on an circadian up swing you can take advantage of your physical alertness.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on November 27, 2012
at 10:58 PM

CD - What is a circadian up swing if you don't mind me asking? BTW... love your reaction to #7 :)

1
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on November 27, 2012
at 10:17 PM

Natural Calm was like a miracle for me: 1 tsp at night made me start falling asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Eventually I found I was sleeping too much & having a harder time waking up, and so I switched to a chelated Carlson magnesium supplement, that works better for me: 200 mg taken about an hour before bedtime. I know some people take more like 400 mg, but I don't seem to need that much.

Probably doesn't work if you're not deficient in magnesium to begin with, but worked like a charm for me. Other factors that I think might have helped me:

Taking Vitamin D first thing upon waking. (you can read Seth Roberts on the subject; just do a google search)

Using a beauty mask if you can't get your room totally dark. This really seemed to help at first, but now I find I don't need it. Ditto on those weird amber glasses that block blue light in the evening -- I used those for few months and thought they helped, but now have given them up.

1
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on November 27, 2012
at 08:16 PM

are you on a ketogenic diet? i've been on an extremely low carb diet a few times and slept poorly each time. try eating a big carb-laden meal before bed.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on November 27, 2012
at 10:56 PM

tommy - Ketogenic? Sorry, I'm a newbie. Still learning :) Well the past 1.5 weeks, in reference to carbs, I have consumed anywhere from 95 grams to 160 grams a day. Is that low? High? Good?

1
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on November 27, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Hi,

I have many of these same issues. What I find helps is some meditation, walking before bed. You can find some okay meditation videos on youtube. Don't stress if you can't stop thinking when you meditate, I certainly can't, but sitting calmly and paying attention to just your body can help.

You can cover up your alarm clocks, and could you not hang a thicker drape over the blinds? That way, you don't have to take them off. You could also cut a piece of cardboard that would fit in and block the window, but that could be removed when you wanted.

If you get into bed and can't sleep, get up and read or something else quiet and non- electronic. Do not just lay there trying to will it.

You have intense dreams because people with insomnia have to enter REM sleep more quickly, to try to get in as much as we can.

Consistency is very important, get a bed time routine and follow it. Have a bath, brush your teeth, read a book, just do it the same every night, even if it's not working at first. Be a completely fascist about it at first.

Finally, you may just not need 9 hours. You obviously need more than you get, because you're tired, but it may not be 9 hours.

Good luck

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