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Get Better Sleep Challenge for March.

Discussion in 'Fitness Challenges' started by Justitia, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    I decided to not go to the conference today. I slept 9 hours. I am starting to feel caught up. I fell asleep for about an hour tonight and now it is almost 1:30 AM and I can't get to sleep.

    But I hope I will soon,,,
     
  2. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I used to have serious problems getting good sleep. I haven't had problems at all with sleep since I got around to long and/or heavy squat sets. A few people over the years here at JSF have tried the breathing squat approach to sleep improvement on my advice and so going by memory it's like two out of three or three out of four who reported improvement.

    Before that, I dealt with my sleep problems with melatonin supplementation, which is really effective if you don't naturally have enough melatonin, but doesn't have much effect if you do naturally have enough. Melatonin has several other benefits so it's probably worth taking even if you don't have sleep problems or you aren't one of the people who get better sleep with it. Melatonin was very helpful to me for sleep; before I got to heavier lifting, it was essential. I don't have statistics on this, but of the people I know who get sleep benefit from melatonin, it seems that men get more benefit than women.

    So if anyone in this thread tries either of these approaches, it would be helpful to report the results, for better or worse.

    Benadryl (or "Simply Sleep" as it is now available) is diphenhydramine HCL (one of the belladonna salts). It does make some people pretty drowsy, but not everybody, and it can have some side effects. (Or, you can also take it for allergies). I used to take Benadryl for allergies and not get very good sleep, I don't know if that was because I was also taking it during the day. When Claritin became available, I ended up using that instead of Benadryl, it has no effect on sleep either way as far as I can tell. I wouldn't try Benadryl first for sleep because it can have breathing side effects which you might not be aware of (because you would be asleep) but that might effect the quality of sleep. So it would be useful if the people here using Benadryl keep track of the quality of their sleep.
     
  3. euan

    euan Active Member

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    The first week has been a success for me. I don't feel as though I've had to pay off any "sleep debt" this week.
     
  4. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    I was doing pretty good this week....until last night....

    I ate an unplanned mountain of Chinese an hour before bed....huge mistake...

    Woke up a around 3....and the circus in my brain really started going...

    Then my daughter decided to come in and wake mommy and daddy up around 6 (well, not daddy...I was already awake). We put her between us where I, the human space heater, got her nice and warm and was able to get her back to sleep....
    Got a little crappy sleep from 6 to 7:30 as my little girl wallowed and kicked me the enitre time....:dreamy:

    Tomorrow, I have ultimate frisbee league....therefore tonight...Benadryl...:(
    I absolutely have to get 8 hours+ tonight...
     
  5. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    I took the Advil PM and it left me groggy all day. I took an hour nap late in the afternoon felt refreshed and now I am up all night.

    I decided earlier today to order some melatonin.

    I used to take it years ago for sleep problems. But I couldn't take it more than 3 nights in a row - or I would get nightmares. Given that I suffer from pretty bad SADS that's probably a good sign for melatonin.

    My sleep cycle so screwed up... it has been bad ever since the medical problems started.

    I have to decide to give up watching the shows on the internet -- they just keep me from falling asleep. But I am afraid I am already re-addicted.

    I wish PGC was her; it would make a difference.
     
  6. Jedi

    Jedi Well-Known Member

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    I squat quite a lot and still have problems with frequent and/or long periods of wakefulness during the week. (I take an allergy med at night which doesn't seem to help much either). Does melatonin help with waking a lot as well as trouble falling asleep?
     
  7. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    I have never been able to take naps in the day and not royally screw up my night sleep....
    I just don't know how people do it...:confused:
     
  8. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    Had to deal with my kryptonite last night....late activity...

    I had an ultimate frisbee league match from 8-10 last night....:doh:
    Got back to my place around 10:15...took a shower to cool my body temp...but fell asleep around 12:30...
    Like clockwork, my little girl woke up a little after 7...so I'm pretty much sore, tired, and just feel beat up today...
     
  9. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    Weird tried benadryl Extra strength and I felt like crap and woke up late no energy.

    Going to sleep tonight no water to drink and see if I can get this sleep issue under control.
     
  10. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    This happens to me too. It's why I ended up taking a nap late into afternoon. The Benadryl makes me so groggy the next day I can't function and it does not go away until I sleep it off.

    I don't know why periodically I try it -- I guess I feel desperate.

    Anyway, I didn't get to sleep last night until after midnight but I slept until 9:30 (my job affords me that -- other than teaching 6 or 8 hours a week -- depending on the semester -- I chose when and where I want to work -- all that matters is my cumulative productivity at the end of the year. But I guess a lot of people who now work form home via the computer/internet have the same flexibility.)

    SO I got at least 9 hours sleep b/c I am not sure when I really went to sleep.

    Now it is midnight again... I had a long and very intense day of work 10 1/2 hours of it.. I stopped just before 8:30 tonight and have been so tired -- and now I can't sleep.

    And I have another long, intense day tomorrow which includes another visit to the surgeon for another painful post op treatment. I have meetings before and after. Just thinking about it wipes me out.
     
  11. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Sleep was really bad for me last night. It was probably because I was unable to eat during the day and ended up having some tuna salad and some other stuff before going to bed.

    I woke up at 4:30 in the AM and could not get back to sleep until 6:30 AM. I overslept and missed part of a conference call.

    I went to my doc for another post op procedure and now I am wiped out and will be for a few days. This will probably go on for a few more weeks (I hope only that.)

    Now I am going to bed.

    Good night.
     
  12. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Melatonin helps with staying asleep.

    One of the problems you might be having with heavy resistance exercise is that the dose you might be able to get is much less than men can get. Plus, as a woman, you don't get much testosterone response; women tend to respond more through the growth hormone pathway to strength exercise.

    One other issue you would have is that since you are endurance trained as well. This is a good thing, but in this particular case, I wonder if it means you have trouble doing a squat set big enough to challenge your VO2max/LT before muscle fatigue sets in. That's actually the key to the "breathing" squats - the set has to be intense enough to blow right past your aerobic capacity - you want it to be above the LT within the first three or four reps, so by the time you get to twenty, you are totally gassed. So you have two disadvantages trying to get your lifting to solve your sleep problem - your lower maximal lift capacity and your high aerobic capacity.

    I thought about this a bit. Maybe the trick would be instead of breathing squats, something more like long sets of moderately heavy step ups (with a moderate, not high step). Try half body weight as a load, and see if you can do a long set. The key is if you get your heart rate absolutely pegged to the max early in the set, and the set lasts a few minutes. It's not like normal 5x5 will do it (which is why breathing squats is normally done as the 10 rep max load for 20 reps, with the necessary breathing pauses).

    The rule of thumb for whether an exercise set is going to get the response you want is that you have to get completely gassed and working really hard to ventilate (almost struggling). It's an open question whether someone who does all the endurance stuff and high altitude stuff that you do can actually get there. You might be too well conditioned for the trick to work.
     
  13. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    I am up again at 1:45. I had a reasonably good night's sleep last night though it started late.

    I still don't feel caught up.

    Tonight was my last class before spring break. A student came up to show me something in the newspaper. As I was looking at it, I suddenly felt my mind just refusing to budge. It felt just like when one lifts to failure. I've been working so hard and not getting enough sleep that my mind just wouldn't function. Thank g*d it happened at the end of class.

    Brain fried at the end. Thank goodness spring break is here. :nod:

    So now I am going to try to get sleep. The melatonin arrived yesterday. I am not sure it I am going to try it tonight as it is so late...

    But e' ill see... night all.
     
  14. euan

    euan Active Member

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    I've had a good week so far; until last night. I was in bed early and eventually dozed off, only to be awoken a couple of hours later and then found myself unable to get back to sleep quickly. I just hate when that happens. Just a one-off I suppose. Anyway, breakfast time!
     
  15. Jedi

    Jedi Well-Known Member

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    Heh Zen, thanks for the input. I totally followed the logic of what you were saying. If I can try and find something in my gym to step up onto (I find the benches a little high as I have short legs) I will give this a try. and you are right I am not getting above the LT in the first 3 or 4 reps at all in the 20 rep squats.

    I have also ordered some melatonin to see if that will help (right now the allergy is not helping though as I feel like I have flu at night :))
     
  16. CA$ON

    CA$ON Well-Known Member

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    8 hours of sleep today! Feeling good. :tucool:
     
  17. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    Went to bed early this night and fell asleep around 11:45 only to wake up at 2:45. And now it is 5:00 AM And I can't get back to sleep. I used the melatonin the first time to get to sleep and again now. I am feeling sleepy but it is after being up for over 2 hours.

    I hate this....

    EDIT Well I did not get to sleep until about 5:45 Am but I just woke up -- around 11:15 -- and I feel quite refreshed -- I've slept 8 1/2 hours -- which I think now is my natural amount of sleep. I also slept well (when I slept -- that is.)

    My sleep cycle is completely off. I am going to try to get to bed by 11:00 tonight -- despite it being Saturday night -- and take melatonin and Ambien CR. The Ambien CR is designed to not only get you to sleep but to keep you asleep through the night. Let's see how I do on that.

    Despite the lateness of the day -- I am going to do my AM weight workout. I have not been able to workout at all this past week because of both the sleep problems and the post op procedure I had on Wednesday which effectively made me sick for a couple of days.
     
    #37 Justitia, Mar 14, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  18. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    not doing so hot in the sleep department...:nope:
     
  19. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    My issue of late is that I wake up around 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30....and then finally get up for the day around 7.
    I think because there is light coming in around the window shades...:confused:....or maybe the Benadryl is wearing off by then...

    But nonetheless...it has been annoying....
    For the last week, I get about 6 to 6.5 hours of good/quality sleep followed by 1.5-2 hours of garbage sleep...
     
  20. Justitia

    Justitia Elite Member
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    There is a good chance it is the light -- the earlier dawn. That will wake you up. They use light as an alarm for deaf people.

    Total blackout of all light is critical to a good night's sleep. I am one to talk however.

    I try to put my phone in a drawer and get all the electronic little lights covered in my bedroom.

    My situation is really difficult b/c my apartment is on the 30th floor and during the summer the sun rises shining directly into my bedroom the wall of which is essentially windows floor to ceiling and 17 feet across.

    The apartment is rented and the way the vertical blinds are built in there is no way to put in black out drapes and anyway, I priced them... it would be nearly $2000 -- which I am not willing to spend and which would ruin the dramatic effect of the room.

    SO I found Shift Shades last summer. They put up in a snap and come down in a snap.

    But then my building announced it was replacing all the windows. 3 months later the windows finally got in but the design wouldn't hold the shift shades.

    Well the owner of the company and I are working on something else which is taking a little long but if it works it is worth it. It will solve problems other customers of his have if they have windows that won't work with the Shift Shades.

    It is designed on a trick from photography.

    We are getting rubber sticking Velcro to attach to the window frame all the way around. Then the other side of the Velcro will be attached to the blackout cloth (which is white).

    That way they go up easily at night and come down easily during the day. And I can get Velcro that approximately matches the frame and another color for the other side that will match the material.

    I will let you know how that works.
     

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