I have been Paleo for a couple months now and have sleeping issues that have persisted throughout the better part of my life. I am INCREDIBLY sensitive to the quality of my sleep. I am not remotely a person who can get six hours and feel normal the following day. I need high quality 8 and even then I am someone who can easily take 2 hour naps each day. When I sleep poorly, which I often do, I am prone to headaches, lethargy, SEVERE moodiness (verging on the diabolical!) and none of these results have subsided with pretty strict Paleo (I dabble in aged cheeses, 1/2 and 1/2, decaf coffee and spirits/wine, but otherwise am a true blue cavegirl). Additionally, on days following a poor night's sleep, I tend to overeat tremendously, which makes it hard to get a good night's sleep the following night, but I will feel or think I feel famished at every meal!
What typically happens is I fall asleep at a decent time but wake up wayyyyyy too early. I usually have to get up at least once in the night to use the restroom (it's hard for me to "dehydrate" before bedtime -- I'm prone to hyper/hypoglycemia, I have exceedingly low blood pressure and I'm always thirsty) and I can usually go right back to sleep but a. sometimes I can't and b. separate from the incidents when I wake up to use the restroom, I often wake up hours before I intend to and CANNOT sleep. I'm not even setting alarms these days so fear of it going off is not an issue.
In the past drinking warm milk has helped me, but I have cut out milk due to the insulin response it induces. If I eat an entire meal, however, I can similarly fall back asleep on those mornings when I am inexplicably up at 4AM, but I really do NOT like resorting to this method. I like to eat around the same time each day and eating at 4AM or 5AM throws everything off. I also feel very sluggish when I do wake up. Read: I do not enjoy using food as a soporific.
Sometimes I resort to 2 Tylenol PM before bed. I know it's not great, but if I've slept poorly a few nights and need to guarantee a good night's sleep, they do the trick.
I have an incredibly neat bedroom, I sleep with a night mask every night (and even scent it with a blend of essential oils that induce relaxation), but does anyone have any recommendations?
I am especially interested in effective recommendations for what I can do at 4AM when I'm awake and feeling miserably cracked out because I cannot go to sleep.
I've experimented will Melatonin/Valerian/Magnesium pills but they don't put me to sleep. I don't want to have to get a prescription, but I can't deal with a bad night's sleep. I'm utterly useless the next day. :(