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Sleeping aids


robert
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Hey, do any of you use sleeping aids of some sort? A pill, a strategy, a technique, a practice, that allows better sleep?

 

I'm just curious.

 

I think the industry standard assessment as that the most important aspects of bodybuilding are ranked this way:

 

1. Nutrition

2. Training

3. Rest/sleep

 

Then other things like attitude, outlook, goals, genetics, etc.

 

But the top 3 seem to be pretty standard among the pros, ranked in that order (depending on who you talk to, they may vary).

 

So anyway, sleep has been the thing I've struggled with the most. Maybe my bed isn't super comfortable and neither is my pillow, and those things I can improve. I also frequently get up because I have to pee, but I can also alter that somewhat based on how much liquid I consume before attempting to sleep.

 

I'd just like to improve the quality of my sleep in order to maximize overall results.

 

It's like busting your ass in the gym and not eating. Or like creating a great nutrition program and not exercising. Everything should match up to support the overall goal.

 

Any suggestions for improved sleep? Not just for "me" but any suggestions in general, as I'm sure others have this issue too.

 

For the record, even though I do most things naturally, I wouldn't be opposed to a "pill" if it is pretty safe and will help me get the job done in the bedroom. Sleeping that is.

 

Thanks.

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Really? I thought it would keep me awake for some reason. I thought it was stimulating?

 

Maybe not. I may also be thinking that because I had some ZMA in a smoothie that was packed full of fructose from frozen fruit and I wasn't able to sleep very well. I was just too stimulated.

 

I'll work on other things too.

 

I'm really pleased that I turned my phone off. I was going to have a 2-3 hour nap and it was close to 5 hours by time I woke up. Very nice!

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Yeah, that was more like what I was looking for. I know a lot of things can work to release testosterone or help build or repair muscles while sleeping, I'm looking to actually get better sleep, sound sleep that makes me feel fresh the next day.

 

I just don't know much about it, but Melatonin is something I've heard of.

 

Well, time to stop yammering and start eating...yams. But I'll look into that stuff and explore other options.

 

Meditation isn't exactly my thing, but maybe it would help a bit too.

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For various reasons throughout the semester, I can tend to be on some really wacky sleep schedules. So when I try to right my schedule I may use something to help get to sleep when I'd be a little antsy. I use some spray I got at walgreens that is vegan and natural, it has melatonin in it, some extract from some herbs, and one or two other things. If I really feel like partying I might take some benadryl. I really try to avoid doing that, but I'm sure many of you can relate to how incredibly frustrating it can be to lie in a bed for an hour or two, tossing and turning, wanting to fall asleep, but not being able to, for any old reason.

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I would think pills would only help in getting you to sleep quickly and keeping you asleep maybe. i personally wouldn't want to rely on them as i don't understand how they effect your sleep directly. i think thats people wanting a quick fix to their probs.

i think if you fall to sleep really quick normally, that probably means you're deprived of sleep. so if you find yourself falling to sleep quickly, then you might just need to sleep more often, or longer.

during sleep, you go through various levels of sleep, and these happen in sequence at specific times. if you're getting up at various times or cutting it short, you might be losing out on certain levels of sleep which you need.

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Robert if you want to maximize sleep you need to develop a pattern before you go to bed. It is stronglyyy reccommended to add yoga stretches and meditation/chant into that routine.

For instance, if you plan on going to bed at 11pm you should be starting a routine by atleast 10pm (not just flopping into bed at 10:59)

It also helps not to drink any liquids or food 2 hours before bed, and try to go to the bathroom before you go to bed.

The most important thing is to cultivate a calmness of the mind, so working out or anything that causes any stress/excess energy should be atleast 5 hours before bed.

I feel like I have wonderful sleep and my body is like clockwork because of my pattern.

 

This is my IDEAL routine and it works great when I implement it.

1 hour 30 minutes before sleep - change into sleeping clothes..15 minutes of light reading

1 hour 15 minutes before sleep - facial wash routine

1 hour " "- brush teeth / neti pot for sinuses

45 minutes " "- 15 minutes of Yoga stretches specifically for night time

30 minutes " "- 20 minutes of meditation...usually chanting...ex. OM AH HUM or OM MANI PADME HUM

10 minutes - set alarm, and start getting in a comfortable position. Sometimes at this time I like to tell myself all the things I was thankful for specifically for that day.

 

This can be overly meticulous but it works for me, and I strongly advise to stay away from any pills, unless they are 100% herbal.

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When I was your age I stayed up late most nights and frequently slept until long after the sun was up. Then I worked night shift for 6 years and took overnight call for another 3 years. I think your schedule sometimes looks like that.

 

The only thing that consistently works for me is to get up at the same time every day. For me, that's about 5-6 am. I rarely stay up later than 10 pm. Humans' circadian rhythms are set around daylight. Getting too much artificial light and not enough darkness can really screw with your sleep pattern. Also, no caffeine after 12 pm. And no, low or moderate alcohol intake. Alcohol breaks down into excitotoxins, leading to sleep disturbance hours after intake, which is usually at night. (Although I don't think you drink at all, Robert).

 

Just like your body needs consistency with training, it needs consistency with sleeping. I would only try sleep aids after I try a schedule change.

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Cool, thanks for the suggestions everyone. I guess I was looking for a "quick fix" before altering my lifestyle schedule.

 

But I think spending time in the dark, doing a bit of reading, stretching, watching high suger/energy food consumption late at night and things like that will help a bit.

 

I'll work on a pattern and see if that helps. Sleep is an important aspect of recovery from training and for progress in general, so I want to put more focus on it.

 

Thanks.

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Zack is 100% right about ZMA as sleeping aids. A bunch of figure competitors take that to sleep.

 

I have major sleep issues. I take over the counter tablets more often than I'd like to, but its an issue for me. My brain just never shuts off... EVER!

 

It's a very common problem. Your not alone. I'd try Zack's suggestion first and then if it doesen't do any good, some OTC sleeping aids. They do work, but you feel kinda yucky in the morning.

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Zack is 100% right about ZMA as sleeping aids. A bunch of figure competitors take that to sleep.

 

I have major sleep issues. I take over the counter tablets more often than I'd like to, but its an issue for me. My brain just never shuts off... EVER!

 

It's a very common problem. Your not alone. I'd try Zack's suggestion first and then if it doesen't do any good, some OTC sleeping aids. They do work, but you feel kinda yucky in the morning.

 

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oh, sorry Bodhidave...

 

Robert, try the ZMA, then the yoga, the tai chi, deep breathing, chamomile tea, meditation, the melatonin, chanting and mantras.......

 

Then if you've tried all of the healthy pure solutions and you still can't sleep, go with my terrible unhealthy suggestions of OTC sleeping aides.

 

(better Bodhidave???)

 

( --- sorry, can't resist a bout of sarcasm every once in awhile... it's all in fun

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Don't be surprised if you have vivid dreams, that's deep sleep cycle.

 

Hey Zack, vivid dreams is part of the REM sleep cycle and REM is the opposite of the deep sleep cycle. It is thought that prescription and OTC sleep aids (like Benadryl) rob the sleeper of much-needed deep sleep (where all the repair takes place) by prolonging the REM cycles (where the dreaming happens). I don't know much about natural supplements in this relation but it sounds like if your suggestion gives a lot of vivid dreams its possible it may be the same effect as conventional sleep aids (?)

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oh, sorry Bodhidave...

 

Robert, try the ZMA, then the yoga, the tai chi, deep breathing, chamomile tea, meditation, the melatonin, chanting and mantras.......

 

Then if you've tried all of the healthy pure solutions and you still can't sleep, go with my terrible unhealthy suggestions of OTC sleeping aides.

 

(better Bodhidave???)

 

( --- sorry, can't resist a bout of sarcasm every once in awhile... it's all in fun

 

MUCH BETTER .. THANK YOU!

But if he does all that..properly...then theres no need for anything else!

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Don't be surprised if you have vivid dreams, that's deep sleep cycle.

 

Hey Zack, vivid dreams is part of the REM sleep cycle and REM is the opposite of the deep sleep cycle. It is thought that prescription and OTC sleep aids (like Benadryl) rob the sleeper of much-needed deep sleep (where all the repair takes place) by prolonging the REM cycles (where the dreaming happens). I don't know much about natural supplements in this relation but it sounds like if your suggestion gives a lot of vivid dreams its possible it may be the same effect as conventional sleep aids (?)

 

Try it before you knock it.

 

Robert,

 

400mg magnesium + 50mg zinc without calcium 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed. You may also want to get some melatonin it really helps me get to sleep, the zma helps me get quality sleep. Melatonin made me feel bad in the morning a few times, but lately it's been fine.

 

Try those two, you'll probably be happy with them.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZMA_%28supplement%29

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Just a little info on herbal remedies:

 

Chamomile : Helps calm you if you are stress before going to bed.

Hops: Especially useful if sleeplessness is accompanied by indigestion (big meals at night).

Kava: Relaxes the skeletal muscles: sedates the central nervous system.

Passionflower: Induces muscle relaxation and sleepiness without causing morning drowsiness.

Roobios: Induces sleep, and stops generalized inflammation and pain (overexertion).

Valerian: Reduces the time required to fall asleep.

Skullcap: Relaxes you for sleep, if stress or nervous about something (thinking of things as you go to sleep).

 

Yogi Teas and Medicinal Teas make a sleepy time tea. I have also used Rescue Remedy if I am anxious about something, but need to sleep. All available at a health food store and even grocery stores now.

 

I also have a "wind down" time at night. I have started knitting sweaters for my whole family (have a celtic cable done already this winter, and already on to an alpaca hoody with a naruto symbol to stitch on to it). I also write down what I want to do the next day, so I can get that out of my mind and not dwell on it. I also have lavender and bergamot essential oil aromatherapy to calm me down also. And since it is cold out, I put socks on my feet because I can not get to sleep with cold feet! Sometimes I put my hot tea in a small water bottle, warm up my feet in bed, and then drink it after I have written down my stuff to do in the morning and maybe some knitting (by then the tea will have cool down enough for me to not burn my tongue - which doesn't help with sleeping!).

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ZMA increase,s anabolic hormones [testoserone be carfull girls] and inprove strength and MAY inprove quality of sleep

If you want a good sleep aid try Gaba or Pure lLfe,s U4EA I use both on alternative nights with a melatonin 3mg works well

ROBBIEx

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Just a little info on herbal remedies:

 

Chamomile : Helps calm you if you are stress before going to bed.

Hops: Especially useful if sleeplessness is accompanied by indigestion (big meals at night).

Kava: Relaxes the skeletal muscles: sedates the central nervous system.

Passionflower: Induces muscle relaxation and sleepiness without causing morning drowsiness.

Roobios: Induces sleep, and stops generalized inflammation and pain (overexertion).

Valerian: Reduces the time required to fall asleep.

Skullcap: Relaxes you for sleep, if stress or nervous about something (thinking of things as you go to sleep).

 

Yogi Teas and Medicinal Teas make a sleepy time tea. I have also used Rescue Remedy if I am anxious about something, but need to sleep. All available at a health food store and even grocery stores now.

 

I also have a "wind down" time at night. I have started knitting sweaters for my whole family (have a celtic cable done already this winter, and already on to an alpaca hoody with a naruto symbol to stitch on to it). I also write down what I want to do the next day, so I can get that out of my mind and not dwell on it. I also have lavender and bergamot essential oil aromatherapy to calm me down also. And since it is cold out, I put socks on my feet because I can not get to sleep with cold feet! Sometimes I put my hot tea in a small water bottle, warm up my feet in bed, and then drink it after I have written down my stuff to do in the morning and maybe some knitting (by then the tea will have cool down enough for me to not burn my tongue - which doesn't help with sleeping!).

Finally some decent advice! All this talk about pills makes me sad.

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Inositol is something that was tried on me when I was doing paid sleep studies at John's Hopkins. I didn't work on me but it seemed to work pretty well on most of the other subjects. However nothing outside of opiates seemed to work on me so I'm a special case...this may be worth looking into for some of you.

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