Well, I graduated college a couple of weeks ago, so the past couple of weeks have been a whole lot of nothing going on for me, just relaxing before things pick up again. The first week out of school, I slept great at my new place, in bed at 11:30, up by 7:30 -- like clockwork. I lifted three days a week and was fairly active on off-days. The past 4 or 5 days, though, I've slept pretty awfully. I can hear a light pounding in my head once I get into bed, and I have horrible dry-mouth, so it seems like my prone blood pressure is a bit high. My thoughts are racing a bit, too, and I can't seem to find a comfortable temperature. The only variables I can come up with from the past several days are that although I'm still lifting hard 3 days a week, I've been sitting my ass in this chair most of the day and that I just started taking 10g BCAA powder pre-workout. I usually work out a couple of hours after I wake up, so I can't imagine the powder or the workouts interfering with my sleep. To me, that just leaves the sedentary factor.
The blood pressure, racing thoughts, and drymouth suggest to me that this is a cortisol issue. My only guess is that being totally sedentary for 8+ hours at a time is leading to cortisol (or something else?) screwing up my ability to wind down physically and mentally before bed.
Any ideas what's going on? Any similar experiences you were able to fix?
asked bybecker (3417)
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on May 21, 2011
at 04:04 PM
It could be a number of factors. For one, you just finished college and embarking on a huge life change. While it may not be at the front of your mind, your body may be expressing the underlying anxiety. I know when I make huge life changes (I've made a ton - I'm experienced) that I have mind racing and cortisol issues.
I can share what has helped me tremendously in the last few weeks with sleep and restlessness is that I began standing while working. I move more, my digestion has improved, and my focus is better. I do more calf lifts too :)
Also - breathe more and breathe more deeply.
You mentioned a possible culprit being the BCAAs - cut them out for 7 days and see what happens. Drink some butter pre-workout instead.
on May 21, 2011
at 02:24 PM
Are you doing IF or the sorts? What is your carb intake? Do you drink coffee? Sounds like some type of adrenal fatigue/stress deal going on- elevated cortisol, catecholamines perhaps. I remember last summer when I was uber low-carb, doing lots of intense exercise... it didn't matter what time I went to bed, BAM I'd be up 6:30-7am thoughts racin', no chance of going back to sleep. Make sure you are giving yourself plenty of recovery from exercise and adequately refueling after.
on June 04, 2011
at 06:04 PM
I know that for me, exercising helps me sleep. Not weights really, but walking or swimming or tennis. Just getting off my ass, basically. When I had knee surgery, my sleep was completely disrupted and I would just lie there and not be able to fall asleep. I'd suggest adding some light activity to your day.
Low activity -> sleep problems -> cortisol issues.
on June 04, 2011
at 04:37 PM
Becker, first of all: Congratulations on graduating! You're gonna miss good ol' Bloomington though. I sure do. Halcyon days, my friend. Halcyon days indeed.
How long have you been "on" with your lifting, so-to-speak? Have you been going full on 90-100% for more than 3 or 4 weeks straight?
I usually try go get a week of rest/low activity in for every 4-5 weeks that I go hard, just so I don't overtax my body.
And I agree with Baconbitch...I think it might not be the main thing you're confronting mentally, but it seems like all the down-time has left a void, and your mind is filling it with anxious thoughts about what's next. I KNOW you'll feel better if you get out there and just walk around, go eat at Snow Lion (well...it's mostly rice so nevermind) or Laughing Planet (oh wait...screw those preachy vegan jerks), or, ummm... Go hike around, go cliff jumping at the quarry, or go camping in the National Forest. I wish I was in Bloomington right now!
Wear yourself out, cut out the BCAA's (I'd like to know the results of this, because I was planning on introducing them), and cut back on lifting for at least 5 days/go bodyweight only.
EDIT: Oh yeah, did you get a new AC unit, or start using one more frequently? I HATE mine, but if dry mouth and a stuffy nose are the alternatives to night sweats, rolling around all night not sleeping, then sign me up.