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Old 10-22-2009, 03:43 AM   #1
Elliot Fuller
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Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

I've been in my barracks for about a month now, and the adjustment to time/pt/schedule has been made by now. I've noticed that my and my roommate's sleep cycles are consistently being interrupted through no outside source.

I'll go to sleep at around 9:30 with plans to wake up at 5:30 for my 8 hours. I'll hit the rack and then my night will go something like:

Wake up at 11:30
Wake up at 12:30
Wake up at 2:00
Wake up at 4:00
Wake up at 5:10 (god this one is the worst)
Wake up and get out of bed @ 5:30

I find that even though I'm allotting at least 8 hours a night to sleep, I'm not getting much rest, because I keep waking up over and over and over again. Since I've gotten here I've taken about a 3 week adjustment period to lower my carbs and eat about 75% Paleo again. My diet isn't perfect, but it's "good" given the chow hall food.

Any idea why I might be constantly waking up like this every night? I don't think it's diet and it's not over-training. Maybe just the crappy mattress?
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:00 AM   #2
Colin McLafferty
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

Hey Elliot,

Sorry to hear about your problem as it sure is frustrating. While you say you wake from no outside source, have you tried sleeping with ear plugs? I find that even when there isn't a lot of noise, I fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly with them in.

My mother had the same problems awhile back. She started taking calcium and magnesium supplements about half an hour before bed and she said that they knocked her right out. I'd try that since it's more natural than prescription sleep drugs.

Do you drink caffeinated beverages at all during the day / evening? Do you have a developed pre-bed routine? If so, you may want to re-evaluate it. If not, you should create one that helps you feel at ease. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:04 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

Is the room completely dark and quiet? If not, hang some blackout curtains and put in earplugs. What about your caffeine intake?

There's a supplement called ZMA (combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6) that has a pretty good track record of helping people sleep more deeply. Turns out most people are very deficient in zinc and magnesium so taking supplements helps fix some processes. BALCO (yes, Barry Bonds' buddies) ran some tests on it a few years back and found that it boosted testosterone production as well. And you get the added bonus of some crazy dreams with the stuff. A month's supply of it will run you about $15, so it's worth a shot. There's some pretty good deals on bodybuilding.com if you've got an account there...NOW Sports and Optimum Nutrition brands are the ones I've used.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:45 AM   #4
Dom Fruci
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

I constantly have this problem. I think it has something to do with anticipating waking up. I find myself waking up and consistently checking to see what time it is and how much longer I have to sleep. I can't give you any help, but just let you know your not alone I guess haha.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

Thanks for the replies. I guess that's pretty much what I had expected to hear.

I drink a cup of coffee in the mornings, but other than that no caffeine and limit my carbs throughout the day -- my diet is pretty finely-tuned after several years of experimenting with Paleo, Zone and IF. Right now I'm somewhere in the middle, stuck eating chow hall food and on 3 meals a day -- high protein and fat, with few carbs... about as Paleo as I can manage and probably looking at 1400-1500 calories a day, but that's an extreme ballpark. I know when I was 100% in the Zone, I was managing very well with similar calories so I'm not too concerned that it's an energy issue. Even so, if that were the issue, you'd think I'd be sleeping more rather than less, while my body tries to recoup lost energy.

So... I can appreciate the advice that would say "fix your diet," because odds are that's the advice that I would give to someone asking a similar question, but I know how I respond to different eating styles fairly well and I'm pretty confident that my diet is having a minimal effect on this particular issue.

My daily/nightly routine can vary, as I'm in the military and the schedule isn't always set in stone. I generally get to bed by 10 though, and am pretty good about having an 8 hour window.

I can't use the earplugs idea, because I'll sleep through my alarm, most likely, and I know I'm not waking up from outside noises -- I slept through Boot Camp for goodness sake, heh. I'm pretty good at sleeping through noise... everywhere but here for some reason.

I'd like to stay away from sleeping pills because I can't afford to knock myself out and oversleep, and I kind of doubt my command would authorize it without some kind of psych evaluation and a lot of red tape that I'm not interested in going through.

I might look into some of the supps you guys mentioned though and see if they do the trick. For the last 2 or 3 weeks the longest I've ever slept uninterrupted was 4 hours, so it's been pretty cruddy.

Dom I think you might be on to something as well... kind of surprised I didn't think of that. I don't really know how better to stop "anticipating" wake-up, but I guess I'll brainstorm. Think it might be my mattress too, but sleeping surfaces has never been an issue for me before.

Also think I'll start a nightly stretch routine. It's been a little side goal to work on my splits, so maybe that'll help bring me down when it comes time for bed.

Appreciate any other thoughts. Thanks again.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:45 AM   #6
Dom Fruci
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

Ya I really think that is the reason for myself. I don't want to be late for PT so I feel like I anticipate waking up so I never get into a real deep sleep. I really don't know though.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:48 AM   #7
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

If you need and alarm to wake up you aren't giving yourself enough time to sleep. Ditch the caffeine and see what happens.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:59 AM   #8
Ian Kovtunovich
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

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Originally Posted by Elliot Fuller View Post
Also think I'll start a nightly stretch routine. It's been a little side goal to work on my splits, so maybe that'll help bring me down when it comes time for bed.

Appreciate any other thoughts. Thanks again.
That's probably a sound idea in any case. I have a long history of sleep issues (extreme difficulty falling asleep, sleep-walking/talking/snoring, and lately a moderate case of sleep apnea), and one thing that always comes up in suggestions for better "sleep hygiene" is having a consistent bedtime routine.

I would think anything to help you be calm and comfortable about bedtime and sleeping would help. I know the anxiety related to having trouble sleeping can really feed on itself, and, paradoxically, make it still more difficult to sleep. Maybe some positive visualization as you're winding down, along the lines of "I will wake up at 5:30 to start my day." Something to reinforce in your mind that you will sleep well, that you are confident in your ability to both sleep and to wake on time, and to give you something positive to focus on rather than the inevitable "oh shish, I am probably going to wake up every hour or so again."

Good luck, man. Sleep problems are for sucks!
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:08 AM   #9
Steven Low
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

1. Don't do any exercise 2-3 hours before sleep.

2. ZMA may help.

3. Black out everything.

4. Ear plugs would be nice.. but you said you can't do that.

5. Vitamin D also helped my sleep... but that may just be me.

6. Try to remove any close radiation sources. Cell phones, etc. count. If you're close to communications or cell towers that could be problematic.

7. Could be matress.

8. I'd eliminate some training just in case it's that as well.


Honestly, if I could make a guess there's something probably some form of radiation that's interrupting you from getting into deep sleep. The intervals are close to when you'd drop from phase I into II,III,IV sleep.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #10
Ian Kovtunovich
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Re: Consistently Interrupted Sleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
1. Don't do any exercise 2-3 hours before sleep.

2. ZMA may help.

3. Black out everything.

4. Ear plugs would be nice.. but you said you can't do that.

5. Vitamin D also helped my sleep... but that may just be me.

6. Try to remove any close radiation sources. Cell phones, etc. count. If you're close to communications or cell towers that could be problematic.

7. Could be matress.

8. I'd eliminate some training just in case it's that as well.


Honestly, if I could make a guess there's something probably some form of radiation that's interrupting you from getting into deep sleep. The intervals are close to when you'd drop from phase I into II,III,IV sleep.
Re: #6. Surely there would be a nationwide epidemic of sleep problems lately, given the quantity of radio, wi-fi, bluetooth, and cell transmissions bouncing through the air? My inclination would be to apply Occam's Razor to that one and excise it from the list.

Also, regarding the last one and the timing of the sleep phases, don't the phases reset every time you wake up? I.e. if you wake between I and II, don't you start back over at I? (And I'm not debating that point, by the way, just wondering.)
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