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inflictfreedom
December 4th, 2008, 01:44 PM
Okay, I have a few test coming up..papers due and a career change coming very soon. Anyway, i'm a bit stressed.

Sometimes when I try to sleep I can't help but think about everything I need to do. I can't stop. ...it's a cycle, when I swim, i'm less stressed, but when it does creeps up on me I don't swim in he morning because i'm too tired in the morning to go, and I need to be rested for work which just makes me antsy the next day and so on. Well, I end up skipping days and days at the pool. Frustrating.

Swimming in the morning is usually the only time to go to be sure I can get a spot. How can I get myself to go in the morning, how can I sleep better at night? Have any of you come up with any strategies for this?

Cheers, :coffee:
Eric

The Fortress
December 4th, 2008, 01:55 PM
As a talented insomniac myself, I suggest doing a search for a thread called "Sleepless in Lawrenceville" started by Beth McGee/Swimr4Life.

inflictfreedom
December 4th, 2008, 02:02 PM
As a talented insomniac myself, I suggest doing a search for a thread called "Sleepless in Lawrenceville" started by Beth McGee/Swimr4Life.

Thanks Fortress, that looks like a great thread. Gonna finish reading it now.

Eric

quicksilver
December 4th, 2008, 02:07 PM
Sounds as if this might be more a matter of letting go of work stress than a sleep related thing. As you said, one thing has an affect on the other.
By letting go of your work worries, you can stay better relaxed. There are so many hours in a day and not everything gets done no matter how hard we try.

I think that's what can keep one up at night time, and start the cycle of no sleep, no pool, and more stress.

Getting in recreation (workout) time should be a priority in that the better of we feel, the better we can handle our day.
An outlet for stress is very important.

inflictfreedom
December 4th, 2008, 02:14 PM
Sounds as if this might be more a matter of letting go of work stress than a sleep related thing. As you said, one thing has an affect on the other.

Getting in recreation (workout) time should be a priority in that the better of we feel, the better we can handle our day.
An outlet for stress is very important.

I totally agree with you, and swimming is that outlet for me ... I get stretched a bit thin at times. I probably just need to get up and go, but then I worry that i'll be too tired to do well the rest of the day.

On a lighter note though. When I don't sleep as well, I can remember my dreams more vividly. the other night I was having battles with life sized transformer toys through some abandoned mansion and the sewers underneath. It was awesome.

gobears
December 4th, 2008, 03:22 PM
Funny to see this post today as I had a horrible night last night. Took me 3 or 4 hours to get to sleep. This seems to happen in cycles for me. Haven't had a bad one in awhile--but I'm pretty sure it's hormonal. As soon as I lay down I feel something like an adrenaline rush, it's nuts.

Sometimes, when I have this problem, a silly little trick that will work for me is to try and keep my eyes open and not shut them. It takes a few minutes but I eventually can't keep them open and start drifting off. Reverse psychology can be an effective tool, I guess. But not last night. Tried that for awhile but my mind and my hormones were still racing. I FINALLY remembered an old trick I used to use on myself the night before a big swim if I couldn't sleep. I went and got my walkman (yes, I still have a Walkman) and I found some talk show to listen to in bed. It was a somewhat boring show playing at a very low level but it allowed my mind to get off of the anxious cycle. Took half an hour or so, but I finally fell asleep. Then, once I've slept awhile I wake up and take off the walkman and am relaxed enough to sleep normally. Music doesn't seem to work for me because my thoughts can still race on. Talking seems to derail my anxious thinking a little better.

Don't know if that will help. I may have to try some of the suggestions on the other thread. I do think that making myself get up to swim or go to the gym regardless helps me the next night.

Getting older sucks in a few ways!

The Fortress
December 4th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Funny to see this post today as I had a horrible night last night. Took me 3 or 4 hours to get to sleep. This seems to happen in cycles for me. Haven't had a bad one in awhile--but I'm pretty sure it's hormonal. As soon as I lay down I feel something like an adrenaline rush, it's nuts.

Don't hormones and age just suck? I always know it's AF (for Kirk) time when it's impossible to fall asleep. I've been tossing and turning like crazy lately, but I'm currently blaming it on lack of real exercise.

Eric, I always have much more vivid dreams too! But I ALWAYS feel better when I exercise even if I feel like crap in the am. So try to force yourself to go. If you're tired in the afternoon, have a little (but not too much!) caffeine.

gobears
December 4th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Don't hormones and age just suck? I always know it's AF (for Kirk) time when it's impossible to fall asleep. I've been tossing and turning like crazy lately, but I'm currently blaming it on lack of real exercise.

Yes :)

Do you get the adrenaline thing? That's what makes me pretty sure it's hormonal. It's absolutely crazy because I'll be yawning and tired as a dog right before I lay down and then "boom" it's like I'm having a fight or flight response to sleeping! WTH???

slowfish
December 4th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Sometimes, when I have this problem, a silly little trick that will work for me is to try and keep my eyes open and not shut them. It takes a few minutes but I eventually can't keep them open and start drifting off. Reverse psychology can be an effective tool, I guess!

i do this too and have had mixed results. the other trick is to make myself cold and don't cover up again until i can't think of anything else but how cold i am. it kind of helps get me out of the "thinking loop". i wonder if it's a maslows heirchy of needs thing. you can't focus on anything else until your physical needs are met. if you're cold, you need to be warm. ya, something came up with between about 2 and 4 AM. :dunno:

The Fortress
December 4th, 2008, 04:04 PM
Yes :)

Do you get the adrenaline thing? That's what makes me pretty sure it's hormonal. It's absolutely crazy because I'll be yawning and tired as a dog right before I lay down and then "boom" it's like I'm having a fight or flight response to sleeping! WTH???

Yep, same damn thing. I think I've been at it about 4 years now ... although I'm currently also specializing in waking up multiple times at night.

This is way more unfair than order of events issues (had to note that for Hofffam).

pwb
December 4th, 2008, 04:06 PM
Sometimes when I try to sleep I can't help but think about everything I need to do. I can't stop. ...it's a cycle, when I swim, i'm less stressed, but when it does creeps up on me I don't swim in he morning because i'm too tired in the morning to go, and I need to be rested for work which just makes me antsy the next day and so on. Well, I end up skipping days and days at the pool. Frustrating.


I've totally been there and have been there BAD at particularly stressful career times. Can't say I've solved this, but here are things that work for me getting to sleep:


cut back on alcohol ... seems counter-intuitive given that it's a depressant, but I sleep best and get to sleep best when I'm not drinking at all or very little
meditation / deep breathing ... deep breathing in bed on your back in "corpse pose" slowly counting backwards from 10 down to 1, one count each breath. If you don't feel relaxed by the time you get to 1, start over.
warm milk ... sounds hokey and maybe this is a placebo effect, but it seems to work for me ... this time of the year, warm egg nog is even better
turn off the TV some period of time before you climb into bed ... what works best for me is simply to read for the last ~30 minutes before I try to go to sleep
if all else fails, try OTC sleep aids and then, if that's not working, ramp up to Rx sleep aids. I've only had to resort to the Rx stuff when doing short int'l business trips.

As to getting up in the morning, I totally rely on the sweet drug of double espresso. My rule of thumb, though, for skipping AM workouts is if I'm getting less than 5 hours of sleep. I've done workouts on 3 and 4 hours of sleep and the result is a crappy workout, a crappy day and a crappy mood.

onefish
December 4th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Same things happen to me. Work stress is a killer, especially (I think) if you are in a creative field and/or have leadership roles that rarely have sure answers. And the economic news is not helping anyone, either.

Often I will pop up at 11-12-1-2, whatever, raring to go. Even if I had a hard pool or gym workout that morning and a good dinner. If there was a 24 hr pool, I'd be there poping out fast repeats. I will typically not lay there and be miserable, I will get up and answer emails, write text for work, or look for a familiar movie on cable. The feeling passes after about 2 hours and then I can sleep, but getting up after 3 hours of sleep usually means I won't go swimming at 5:30 am.......

But a day off from the usual schedule helps, too. I'm not 15 any more, but many more of these episodes and my IQ might be.

DV

The Fortress
December 4th, 2008, 04:16 PM
I've totally been there and have been there BAD at particularly stressful career times. Can't say I've solved this, but here are things that work for me getting to sleep:


cut back on alcohol ... seems counter-intuitive given that it's a depressant, but I sleep best and get to sleep best when I'm not drinking at all or very little
meditation / deep breathing ... deep breathing in bed on your back in "corpse pose" slowly counting backwards from 10 down to 1, one count each breath. If you don't feel relaxed by the time you get to 1, start over.
warm milk ... sounds hokey and maybe this is a placebo effect, but it seems to work for me ... this time of the year, warm egg nog is even better
turn off the TV some period of time before you climb into bed ... what works best for me is simply to read for the last ~30 minutes before I try to go to sleep
if all else fails, try OTC sleep aids and then, if that's not working, ramp up to Rx sleep aids. I've only had to resort to the Rx stuff when doing short int'l business trips.

As to getting up in the morning, I totally rely on the sweet drug of double espresso. My rule of thumb, though, for skipping AM workouts is if I'm getting less than 5 hours of sleep. I've done workouts on 3 and 4 hours of sleep and the result is a crappy workout, a crappy day and a crappy mood.

Excellent advice!

inflictfreedom
December 4th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I FINALLY remembered an old trick I used to use on myself the night before a big swim if I couldn't sleep. I went and got my walkman (yes, I still have a Walkman) and I found some talk show to listen to in bed. It was a somewhat boring show playing at a very low level but it allowed my mind to get off of the anxious cycle. Took half an hour or so, but I finally fell asleep. Then, once I've slept awhile I wake up and take off the walkman and am relaxed enough to sleep normally.


Yea, talking is way different than music, it may works for me because when i'm in class being lectured at I seem to get very sleepy. I'll try to download some really boring podcast or something.


i wonder if it's a maslows heirchy of needs thing. you can't focus on anything else until your physical needs are met.

Ha! Maslow, nice! I think it definitely fits though. My anxiety is coming from the safety (finance) and esteem (tests etc...) tiers, which is bad because they're pretty basic needs .. ugh. As the Wicked Witch said: "Oh What a world, what a world!"


IAs to getting up in the morning, I totally rely on the sweet drug of double espresso. My rule of thumb, though, for skipping AM workouts is if I'm getting less than 5 hours of sleep. I've done workouts on 3 and 4 hours of sleep and the result is a crappy workout, a crappy day and a crappy mood.

Yes ... I set that 5 hr rule as well, but I cheat. I really like sleep, and in the morning i'm so weak willed. Tonight i'll fight the crowd and swim, tomorrow morning I'll make my best effort to go swim, that will probably help the most. Ha, and I do love my espresso in the morning also! First thing I do in the morning is crawl over to the machine and start it up.

alphadog
December 4th, 2008, 05:07 PM
Another counterintuitive piece of advice:

A SMALL piece of chocolate and a glass of milk.

SwimStud
December 4th, 2008, 05:09 PM
Avoid milk, but try lemon barley water.

gobears
December 4th, 2008, 05:19 PM
Yep, same damn thing. I think I've been at it about 4 years now ... although I'm currently also specializing in waking up multiple times at night.


Yikes! That's not encouraging! I can't even take any kind of hormones because of a bad reaction to birth control. Oh life in the 40's is getting more and more fun by the minute...:afraid:

gobears
December 4th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Another counterintuitive piece of advice:

A SMALL piece of chocolate and a glass of milk.

Now you must explain this one because it seems completely counterintuitive. And I would have to brush my teeth all over again!

gobears
December 4th, 2008, 05:23 PM
I'll try to download some really boring podcast or something.


:laugh2: Maybe there's a "Noodlers Monthly" audio magazine...

inflictfreedom
December 4th, 2008, 06:03 PM
:laugh2: Maybe there's a "Noodlers Monthly" audio magazine...
Ha-ha, no! That would DEFINITELY keep me up. Ha-ha.

inflictfreedom
December 4th, 2008, 06:07 PM
Avoid milk, but try lemon barley water.

What is lemon barley water?

The Fortress
December 4th, 2008, 07:05 PM
Yikes! That's not encouraging! I can't even take any kind of hormones because of a bad reaction to birth control. Oh life in the 40's is getting more and more fun by the minute...:afraid:

Pretty soon, when you see those commercials on TV where the smiley 40 something women are going on and on about how amazing it is to be in their 40s, how much more confident they are, blah blah, you'll just want to throw something hard and pointed at the TV. Please, give me my 30s any day.

elise526
December 4th, 2008, 09:49 PM
On the rare occasion I can't sleep, taking ibuprofen works like a charm for me. Not only does it knock me out, but I have no aches the next morning.

thewookiee
December 5th, 2008, 07:49 AM
A nice sip of Jack Daniels works pretty dang well.

anita
December 5th, 2008, 12:37 PM
Melatonin.
You can get it at a health food store or Trader Joe's. It comes in different strengths--2, 3, and 5. I take the 5 (mg?) strength.
Melatonin.
Melatonin.
Melatonin.

gobears
December 5th, 2008, 02:21 PM
Melatonin.
You can get it at a health food store or Trader Joe's. It comes in different strengths--2, 3, and 5. I take the 5 (mg?) strength.
Melatonin.
Melatonin.
Melatonin.

Have any of you touting the benefits of melatonin ever had any significant side effects? I bought some for the next time I'm having a bad night but the label is scaring me off a bit. I'm in the 10% of people who have a stimulant effect when I take decongestants. Most people get drowsy. My heart races and I feel like I've taken speed or something. The label on my melatonin mentions one side effect being abnormal heart rhythms.

Leonard Jansen
December 5th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Have any of you touting the benefits of melatonin ever had any significant side effects?

I have taken it for about 10 years in the rare instances that I can't sleep and have not had any side effects at all. I actually only take 1/2 of a 3 mg pill and it is enough to knock me on my butt. If you are going to take it, I would suggest that it be when you don't have to do any driving first thing in the AM.

Of course, having a totally clear conscience - as I do <ahem, cough, cough> - is the best way to assure sleep.

-LBJ

The Fortress
December 5th, 2008, 02:38 PM
Have any of you touting the benefits of melatonin ever had any significant side effects? I bought some for the next time I'm having a bad night but the label is scaring me off a bit. I'm in the 10% of people who have a stimulant effect when I take decongestants. Most people get drowsy. My heart races and I feel like I've taken speed or something. The label on my melatonin mentions one side effect being abnormal heart rhythms.

:confused: I thought decongestants were uppers and antihistamines were downers. Decongestants don't make me sleepy. Allergy meds do though ...

Melatonin does absolutely nothing for me. I must have a wretchedly guilty conscience ...

gobears
December 5th, 2008, 03:08 PM
:confused: I thought decongestants were uppers and antihistamines were downers. Decongestants don't make me sleepy. Allergy meds do though ...

Melatonin does absolutely nothing for me. I must have a wretchedly guilty conscience ...

I think I'm thinking of the correct thing (though, admittedly, that doesn't mean much anymore). Perhaps I'm thinking of things that are a combo of the two? Cold medicines that get rid of stuffiness are great for letting me breathe but rotten in that they make it so I can't sleep. The WORST is Benadryl. I've never been more miserable in my life than when I took Benadryl. I was sooo freakin' tired I wanted to lay in a heap but my heart was racing like I was in the middle of a sprint so relaxing was impossible. Maybe that's more normal than I thought--but whenever the label warns you not to drive because the medicine might make you drowsy I seem to have the opposite effect.

anita
December 5th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Have any of you touting the benefits of melatonin ever had any significant side effects?

No, but everyone reacts differently to herbs and drugs.

I take a high dose because the medication I'm on gives me insomnia so I need a big whallop to overcome the issue.
Melatonin is the only thing I have found that helps--works much better than Tylenol PM and the like.
My neurologist said that many of his patients take it.
That said, not every remedy works for everyone.

pwb
December 5th, 2008, 11:07 PM
Have any of you touting the benefits of melatonin ever had any significant side effects?

No significant side effects for me ... but ..



Melatonin does absolutely nothing for me. I must have a wretchedly guilty conscience ...

... no primary effect either. If the warm milk, meditation, etc. don't work, I skip over melatonin (have tried it though) and go to the pharmacy meds. Again, OTC stuff like Simply Sleep seems to work.