Sleep...Or the lack of it!?!

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Bozza Bostik, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    I've had problems sleeping for years now. Basically, I sleep badly. I go to bed quite late, any earlier is pointless, and it takes ages for me to sleep. When I do sleep, I wake up every hour or so and am incredibly restless.

    I seem to get in bad habits quite easily. If I end up having a seriously late night, say 4 or 5 am, I won't be able to sleep until 4 for ages.

    So, I've been trying to really sort this out and going to bed earlier, cutting down coffee/caffeine, no computer before bed, being more consistent with doing zazen, lots of water or herbal teas...But the problem is...I feel worse. I am absolutely wrecked every day. I also feel incredibly dehydrated. And I feel quite miserable.

    Quite it normal to feel so bad when you change your sleep routines? I thought I'd feel better.

    Any other ideas to help with the sleep issue?

  2. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    If you've cut down the caffeine a lot recently you could well be undergoing withdrawal.

    I think Simon has a good article on sleep somewhere, so wait for him to come along with some advice.

    I'm a late night person and suffer greatly when I have to get up early. I'm useless at going to bed early, so end up with far too little sleep and become unbearable to be around (grumpy and intolerant).

    One thing I find has helped my sleep quality is ZMA. I don't think it helps me get to sleep any better, but I'm less likely to wake up during the night and sleep deeper when I take it.
  3. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon


    I'll have a look through the site...should have done that first. :eek:

    Well, I've gone from about 10+ mugs of coffee a day (is that a lot?) to about 4 and all before 5 pm. I wondered if that was making me act a bit weird.

    I'll look into the ZMA.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    I suffer from similar issues. I think only once a week do I actually get a full nights sleep but thats only because I'm so exhausted from basically not sleeping. I had this before I was working shift work (Night shifts, early shifts etc).

    What helped me a little is taking naps now and again but sometimes that will leave me very sluggish and groggy.

    I snore lots too and usually get up regularly during my sleep whether I'm aware or not, this ticks a couple of main boxes of sleep apnea but not enough I think to actually have it checked out yet.

    ZMA also puts me into a deep sleep but it gives me very strange when you have too much cheese. :)
  5. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i've had trouble sleeping in my life. but i made a point to consistently go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6. many times i'm up before six. but the consistency has helped me tremendously.

    boris: have you seen a doctor?
  6. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    I usually go on fridge raids when I wake up and eat cheese!! I never dream though.

    Yeah, I actually got some tablets...but I am reluctant to go down that route. I'm the sort of person who won't take anything unless I am really sick. And I tried them one night and was sick as a dog the next day...coincidence maybe. I might try them again over a weekend.
  7. Moosey

    Moosey invariably, a moose Supporter

    Do you get up at the same time every day?

    If you're oversleeping in the morning to compensate, it can be harder to get into a decent falling asleep routine.
  8. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Give or take half an hour. Usually wake at 6 or 6:30 am. Weekends...used to be anytime. I've knocked that on the head and been getting up at 8. But I think that needs to be earlier.
  9. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Bloody bugger. I've just written a massive reply and lost the lot.

    Normal service will be resumed once I find something to hit.
  10. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    That's one of the things I struggle with. I love my weekend sleeps in, but then find I can't get to sleep on Sunday night so all the benefits of the extra sleep are lost and I'm back to square one!
  11. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Sleep problems seem to be getting more common and it's an area of research I find fascinating.

    First off I'll post the links Frodocious kindly mentioned; then I'll talk you through a fanstastic exercise, which in the 30 or so years I've been teaching it to friends and relatives, have only ever had one person say it didn't work.

    You mentioned hydration.

    And also caffeine.

    Now for the exercise, which only takes 10 minutes to do.

    I'd normally prefer to be in the same room as you before I went through this, but here goes. Hopefully I can make it easy to follow.

    The reason many of us struggle to get to sleep is because the mind is all over the place, with your thoughts on the days work, tomorrows requirements, that guy who upset you and so on.

    You (we) need to be able to focus the mind. Those who will tell you to empty the mind are already pointing you in the wrong direction.

    What we want you to do is focus the mind and we'll be focusing on our breathing.

    Lie either in bed or on the floor. The room must be quiet and dark.

    Legs straight and place your hands on your belly, with the middle finger on each hand over the belly button.

    I want you to imagine your body is a tube and as you breath in (through the nose) picture the breath (however you want to picture this is fine) coming into the top of the tube and down to the belly.

    Don't force this. It should be a natural and relaxed movement and you'll know when it's right because ever so slightly the middle fingers (which were touching) have now ever so slightly parted.

    Note: Once this is natural you can place your hands by your side.

    Once the fingers part you breathe out and picture the breath dropping down and out of the bottom of the tube (down the belly, into the legs and out through the feet).

    You then repeat.

    This may sound like simple breathing in and out, which it is, but the point is the mind will try to look elsewhere and by focusing on the breathing you can bring the mind back to where you want it.

    You'll need to do this for between 5 and 10 minutes (longer is fine) before you get a decent pattern going and feel both realxed and able to control the mind.

    This is all I want you to do tonight.

    Tomorrow night.

    If you managed to get a decent breathing pattern and stop the mind from wandering, then go to stage 2. If you found it difficult, then repeat stage 1.

    Stage 2.

    Spend the first 5 minutes getting a decent breathing pattern, slow the heart rate and controlling the active mind.

    Once you have this you can now start the relaxation part of the exercise.

    As you breath out (down and out through the bottom of the tube) I want you to picture the muscles getting heavy and almost melting away from the body.

    Start with the head. be aware of the eyes, ears, nose, mouth etc and on each out breath picture the body part getting heavy and melting away from the body. A bit like that feeling after a big sigh.

    Move slowly down the body, picturing the nech, shoulders, upper and lower arms, hands etc.

    It may take 10 minutes, it may take 30. That's your choice and based on how you relax.

    The mind will try to look elsewhere. use that focus on the breathing pattern to bring it back. This is the key to this exercise.

    I would normally be in the sae room as someone when teaching this exercise, so I hope this written version makes sense. Please do ask if there is something confusing.

    I am genuinly interested in how you do, so please do let us know.

    Good luck and remember the entrainment thread said that it takes 7 - 21 days to become entrained to a new pattern.

    That said this is a great relaxation exercise and can be used just to calm the mind and body. It doesn't just have to be for sleep.

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  12. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Simon...You should get some sleep. Look at yourself!!!!

    Edit: Ah, now we have it...Thanks!! I'll look at that closer tomorrow.

    Frodolicious...same with naps. I really need them, but 20 mins might end up being way longer, then I'm groggy, miserable and can't sleep later.
  13. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    The only time I can do the nap thing is if I'm completely exhausted and I always wake up feeling rotten and am useless for the rest of the day. :(
  14. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    I think you should have a chat with your GP, the waking up bit every hour sounds like Sleep Apnea maybe, do you know if you snore a lot, or stop breathing? (A partner may be able to tell you).
  15. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I taught this to a guy at work yesterday and I absolutely guarantee this technique.

    It's not just sleep that we want to improve, but the quality of the sleep.

    It's no good finally falling asleep with an active mind.

    I can never remember which is which and it may be in one of my articles, but one part of the sleep pattern is physical repair and the other part is mental repair, which is why many of us wake either physically or mentally tired.
  16. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    The GP is alway a good idea, just in case there is a medical reason. I would just fear the doctor prescribing medicines.
  17. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    NO, I do not snore...It's the dog! ;)

    Yeah for snoring, really loudly apparently. As for stopping breathing...I don't know. I'm still alive, so it can't be too bad!

    Cheers all for the ideas, chat and support - MAP is awesome! I'll read and work on the ideas tomorrow, Simon. It's 10:23 so I am gonna turn off. Thanks again!!!!
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  18. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    Sounds like your suffering sleep apnoea along with far too much caffine/caffine withdrawal. I’m no doc.

    I’ve suffered with sleep all my life, be it lack there of, night terrors, sleep walking etc.

    Routine is no. one to me, getting to bed at a similar time, 10 mins with my book then lay down. In times of high stress, lots of training or just when I’m wrecked I like to use 5-htc 15-30 mins before bed. Lots of ZMA products contain copper which aggravates my sleep paralysis so I tend to avoid it.

    Cortisol has a real negative effect on getting to sleep and the quality of said sleep, dropping a gram of vit C before bed can be a great help for many people (myself included)
  19. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Steve, given your reply would you recommend a GP or other medical expert?
  20. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    yes and no, unfortunately a lot of docs just want a tick in their book and will give you some sleeping pills and a pat on the back, next thing your dependant or not sleeping properly DUE to the pills. Brilliant. Not all docs obviously.

    Op sorry but, are you carrying a fair bit of fat? Particularly a around the neck/chin area? this is one of the most comon causes of apnoea.

    Once up on a time we went to a sleep clinic to observe stuff like this, now I hear that an iphone can asses potential apnoea! If so a doc may be a good call, provided you’re clear you don’t want a chemical treatment.

    Also how do you spend your evenings? Cutting out things like Xbox, internet and TV before bedtime can benefit a lot of people given the modern environment. The bedroom should only be used for 3 things, reading, sleeping and the other thing.

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