I have some stress and adrenal issues...
Even if i don't drink any water 4 hours before going to bed, i still get up to go to to the bathroom 1 or 2 times per night. It used to be 3.
In either case, I can't sleep after 3-4AM. I've tried:
Nothing worked. So here I am at 5AM writing on an online forum and feeling like dying.
I've been there.
Do NOT fast if you have adrenal fatigue. Eat regular meals and eat breakfast every day. Completely cut out caffeine, alcohol and any other stimulants for now. Eat enough carbs and don't over-exercise. In fact, STOP exercising for the time being. Identify everything in your life that is causing extra physical or mental stress and find a way to mitigate it. Try a supplement like AdreCor (this helped me get over severe insomnia related to adrenal fatigue where I was waking up at 3am every day). Alternatively, try licorice root in the morning and/or lots of B vitamins. Look into the supplement phosphorylated serine. It can be helpful for some depending on the pattern of insomnia.
If you are desperate and need a sleeping pill, try Unisom with doxylamine, NOT diphenhydramine. This is a really powerful sleep aid (works better than prescription ones, IMO) but use it very sparingly and not every night. It can cause dysphoria and a hangover.
Other things that have sometimes helped me and sometimes not over the years are Natural Calm and melatonin. I tried IsoCort once but had bad side effects and wouldn't recommend it.
Also, I swear by my earplugs. I wear them every night, even on vacation.
Have you been screened for depression? I noticed it as one of your tags, but no mention in the question. Depression can really screw up your sleep and cause terrible insomnia. It might be time to break out the big guns and consult with a professional.
An overall physical is probably a good idea too. Sometimes our bodies freak out and make us feel anxious when there is an underlying medical condition or vitamin/mineral deficiency.
Just out of curiosity, what are your macronutrient ratios? Some people need a lot of carbohydrates to produce sufficient serotonin, and others need a lot of fat to feel good. Could you be getting too much protein for your body? That can cause the need for extra urination.
It might take some diligent experimenting to get to the bottom of this, but hang in there, we've all got your back.
Are you in ketosis? Being in ketosis has been known to cause insomnia, or exacerbate preexisting insomnia. If so, getting out of ketosis or adding a bit more carbs in before bed might help.
Have you ever tried 'Valerian Root'? It's an herbal supplement that aides with sleep, it lowers the activity of the central nervous system, calming you down. It's been known to work far better than allopathic "sleeping pills" and it isn't addictive, thus safe to use. (You local grocery probably has it in capsule form.) Note: it does smell ... but once you swallow the pill, no worries :)
When do you go to bed? Do you stay up on the computer before hand or watch TV? The lights from the monitor and TV stimulate the brain too much, perhaps getting away from these things at least an hour before bed will help.
Note about the Melatonin: I wouldn't advise this ... while taking it seems to help some people ... when you take melatonin for sleep this actually reduces your bodies natural production of melatonin, thus, making you more dependent on the supplement in order to sleep ... not that great ... imo ...
But, 5-HTP, which is a precursor to serotonin, and eventually melatonin, doesn't have this affect (reducing the body's natural production) and has been known to aid with sleep issues (as well as carb cravings and mood). Though, side effect: some people get night terrors .. I never did ... but I got some pretty awesome dreams .. ^_^
Oh ... and silly me ... I just realized you mentioned going to the bathroom as a key factor in all this ... I'll reference some books and then edit this post if I find anything more specific to that ...
Just use Marijuana. You will sleep likea baby, for granted. Boolet proof, works for everybody, especially after prolonged usage. If you didn't use it so far you may need some time to adapt.
On the negative side, marijuna strongly promotes eating, especially suggary foods. If you are paleo, that doesn't matter much, I know bunch of people loosing weight while smoking in the evening.
Medically, marijuana, and its cannabionids boost melatonin production. Thats why its not wise to use it over the day hours. It also reduces stress quite a lot which influence sleeping, again, quite a lot. It will also promote homeostasis regulation.
Its that simple. Plus, its numerous times more healthy then anything else mentioned here.
Now, the more important problem seem night urination. With all this info you might want to add supplements, one or all of them: Ascorbate (will help clean urinary infection if you have one), Magnesium (calms you down, fixes restless leg syndrome), L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP (boosts serotonin). You may also want to try some prostate supplements and check your blood sugar levels during the day.
But seriously, nothing beats Cannabis Sativa few hours before sleep time.
Yet more, get this stuff: Dr. Jeffrey Thompson music with rhythms and sounds generated using sleeeping brain frequencies (beta, delta, theta) waves.
If nothing of that helps, you may even want to try experimental procedure of hormetics for sleep.
You might want to try blackout curtains, a white noise machine, ear plugs etc.
Without the help of these, I have a lot of trouble falling back asleep. Ear plugs really made a huge difference.
Seth Roberts to the rescue.
He found that skipping or significantly delaying breakfast cured his early waking insomnia, exactly what you're struggling with.
The idea - SR speculates - is that your body is waking up as a conditioned expectation for nourishment. Stop giving it the stimulus, breakfast, and it will stop waking up early in expectation of it. As an added bonus, the practice of skipping breakfast will by default put you into a Lean Gains style fasting window.
Over the years, all things being equal, I have found that stress is all-important in sleep. I also have experienced this when I am stressed out about something in my life. Cure the stress and the sleep will come.
Waking up to go to the bathroom may also be caused by high blood glucose levels. Get it tested
This is not to say that all the other factors mentioned in this thread do not have merit.
Jonas, I don't have any answers, but I can at least offer you this: misery loves company. So I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one. I scan the news on my iPhone, play Scrabble, check paleohacks and Facebook. Then I usually give up and eventually fall back asleep approximately 3 minutes before my alarm clock goes off at 4:45am. Just like you, I'm also going to bed between 10-11pm and waking up around 2 or 3am. All of my running and working out are done between 5 - 7am, breakfast by 8am. So for those who think exercising after noon or 4pm or 6pm or whatever... not applicable. I also don't drink any soda (obviously) or caffeine after 1pm so that's not the problem either. Certainly, I'm not an expert, but I doubt my body craving breakfast almost 5 hours early is causing me to wake up. Fortunately, I don't wake up like this EVERY night, but it does happen about 3 nights per week.
I'm not sure this is Jonas' problem as he says he's tried plenty of carbs, but I have read that low blood sugar causes adrenalin release and that will wake you and make it hard to get back to sleep. I have a drink of whole milk if I wake and can't sleep. A friend has one oatcake before bed to keep the blood sugar stable.
I pretty much had the same problem...it is getting back to sleep after getting up, for me. I have recently had wonderful success supplementing with a warm cup of Natural Calm in the evening and GABA (NOW foods) Seems to work great so far.