Hi PHers. I wanted to hear some of your experiences when it comes to the time right before falling asleep. The question rises from an odd experience that has been happening to me lately.
I've been paleo for ~1 year and am just finishing my very first Whole30. I excercise regularly, consistently get 7.5-8 hours of sleep at night and always wake up feeling rested.
I've been trying to "wind down" before bed (i.e. not watch TV or be active) but I've been noticing that once I hit the pillow I feel WIDE awake. My mind is alert and I don't feel tired at all. I have to physically tell myself to relax, count my breaths, and try to make my mind clear.
The process has been working within ~30 minutes of hitting the pillow but I'm wondering why this could be happening. I don't eat sugar or drink much caffiene.
Have any of you experienced this?
Is this common?
How do you feel in your body and mind before going to sleep?
I have two small children, so I'm freaking exhausted at bed time. I fall asleep like a baby.
But in all honesty, I found that I was like that when I was eating low carb (<75g/day) and I lost a lot of sleep. I find I have to eat some starch at dinner or I can't get to sleep at all. Not sure the biological mechanism, but I'm prone to anxiety, etc., and have had insomnia issues in the past. (As always, an n=1 issue.)
(1) Circadian rhythms can be affected by artificial light other than TV, so blue light masking goggles might help.
(2) Also, a drop in body temperature can trigger sleepiness. The easiest way to achieve this is to take a warm, but not too hot, shower before bed. As your body cools off you get sleepy. You can do this by exercise, but it's harder to time the exercise right to get just enough of a warm up to trigger the cooling-off at the appropriate time. This website is an oldie but a goodie on the issue: http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/temp.html
(3) Finally, making sure you're exposed to daylight early every morning can help over the long run to reset circadian rhythms. In cloudy climates some folks use fancy (or unfancy) light boxes. Probably not necessary in Arizona.
All this, no electronics, low light, blackened windows, trying to finish meals a couple hours before sleeping, earplugs, less/no caffeine, exercise duration and intensity variances... I also feel like I possess alot of energy before bed.
I agree with you both! I am the same way! I wake up without an alarm Clock but I am always tired in the morning and it's a struggle even though i get plenty of sleep. I wonder if it's because of cortisol? But then again my father whose work stress levels are much higher falls asleep within seconds, so i dont know.
i watch tv or am on the computer pretty much up til my eyes close for the night and i still fall asleep fine and get a solid 8-10 a night most nights. this is really random but my trick to falling asleep is putting an episode of southpark on my laptop and before i even know what happened i am waking up in the morning... it's the strangest thing lol
In addition to blueballoon's starch mention, I'm a textbook case for adrenal fatigue right now, and one of the symptoms is being exhausted but resisting sleep between 9-11pm. I swear, every night, there I am feeling like I'm going to die but trying to think of things to do. It's often my most productive time of day now!
Anyway, just something else to consider.
I discovered, or perhaps re-discovered, after going Paleo that I have a natural bi-phasic sleep pattern. I get tired about 9pm and if I follow my body's instincts and go to sleep I will wake up 1-2am, be wide awake, then I either just lay in bed & relax, read or get up and walk around the house. Then I go back to bed fall asleep and get up about 4 hours later, completely rested and full of energy.
Now if I ignore my body's instincts or just can't get to bed around 9ish then I usually sleep through the night without waking up but I always feel tired in the morning and have lower energy than normal. I have also noticed that I tend to sleep more total hours in the winter months than in the summer months but still tend to be a bi-phasic sleeper.
Not sure if it's related but I started sleeping on a hardwood floor, without a pillow and with nothing beneath me but a couple old blankets and my quality of sleep improved markedly. Plus I do not wake up with sore shoulders or back any more, like I used to sleeping on a mattress.
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