At home, my sleep is okay. But as soon as I go to my dorm at the university, I wake up twice every night and have a hard time sleeping again. The room has curtains but some light shines through. The next day, I'm a zombie.
As I'm working really hard on my diet (lots and lots of veggies, quality meat, some coconut oil, ...), I'm pissed. I look a bit better than I used to, but my body composition is practically the same (a bit skinny fat), I still have lots of health problems, etc.
The thing is, when I'm at home, most problems disappear... Yet my diet does not change at all, and pollution is higher there!
I've tried everything : magnesium (still do that), ZMA, vitamin D in the morning, vitamin D later, more carbs, less carbs (this made my sleep very bad), more veggies, less veggies, more fat, less fat, more protein, less protein, valerian root, catnip, not taking fish oil in the evening, no computer after 8PM, high doses of quercetin, nettle root extract, potassium chloride, epsom salts on my chest, putting socks on during the night, ... I even use F.lux all the time... Sometimes I think I have hypothyroid issues (really looks like it : weight gain, fatigue, constipation, weight gain, ...) which could be caused by a low iodine intake (I do eat lots of fish, but seaweed gives me acne).
Yet there is one thing I know works : levocetirizine (a good antihistamine). I've bought a batch of it today, but I hate myself for doing so. I hate having to use pills again, I hate every damn second of it. But what can I do? Constantly buying new herbs doesn't do much good to my wallet.
Please hack my insomnia!
The only possible cause I can think of is mold : there are some water problems in the kitchen underneath my dorm, and wherever there's water problems, I tend to have problems (since I'm allergic to mold). If this is the case, what could I do to solve my issue?
Update : I have been taking the antihistamine and will probably take it until the end of may, just to make sure I don't lose quality sleep time so I can study well. Yet, even the antihistamine doesn't work 100%... I still wake up for 2 seconds. I think I found the reason though : I don't have insomnia (that disappeared when cutting out gluten and casein), but neighbors make noise : they go to the toilet, they start taking, ... The walls are thin, and paleo probably made my ears better (never have earwax coming out anymore). Is there anything I can do about that? Fortunately this will only last until the end of May, then I'm gonna focus on food again (if I pass my exams).
Sounds like you need to move out if there are mold problems. That would be the easiest solution & probably safer in the long run.
If you have a confirmed mold allergy, you can have your doc write a letter to the college, explaining that they need to find you other accommodation. It will also alert the officials to the mold problem & maybe they will do some remediation. It's not cheap, so they may put it off...
Also, get an eye mask. They work wonders!
You could ask the dorm management to inspect for mold. Home inspectors have a gizmo that tests for it. Mold would be a liability for the college so they may not want to know! Put pressure on them to test. If it's positive, they can fix it or it would be a good excuse to move you to a different bldg.
From episode 85 Robb Wolf podcast - combination of 5000iu D3/1-2mg melatonin/400mg GABA. Courtesy a university sleep expert consulting to the US navy. Timing not elucidated, other than 'evening'. Might be worth a try.
I posted on D3 in the evening - I switched my 10,000iu from morning to evening, and I sleep longer and better. But that is my n=1.
Gotta cover that window better. I throw towels or a blanket up over the curtains if I'm staying somewhere with insufficient curtains to block the light.
When I lived in a building full of people who went drinking every night there were all sorts of annoying sounds to block out, and ear plugs did wonders. I still find that I sleep best with ear plugs and a sleep mask even though I'm somewhere much quieter now. Valerian also helped me with the annoyance factor.
If you suspect mold, keep your windows open as much as possible, and get yourself a hepa air filter running on high until you can get a new place. Don't mess around with mold, its bad news.
Mattresses and pillows can harbor all sorts of weird fungi too and can cause problems if you have sensitivities, maybe try getting a new pillow and a mattress cover too.
I could NEVER sleep in my dorm at school, part of the reason i transferred and came home. People were up all hours of the night making noise. It does't sound like noise is the problem, but you never know, try a pair of earplugs?
Hearos have worked good for me as a good combination of noise blocking and comfort, they wont block all noise but the ones that do were too uncomfortable to sleep with. Once you get used to them it's great. Go to bed and not having to worry about noisy people waking you up
How does the temperature compare? And the humidity? Amongst all the other things you've tried, have you experimented with varying water intake? What do you do all night if it gets dark for 12 hours and you don't use lights or have you not really tried going to bed earlier?
Not to be Captain Obvious here, but do you have a roomate? What is his/her sleep cycle like? Are they getting up every few hours? Or coming home from the bar at 3am when you've been out like a light for 4 hours? Or even an upstairs neighbor who makes noise you don't quite notice, but it awakens you. A white noise machine might help, or some white noise over headphones.
As you can see from the rest of the answers, the two biggest causes of interference with sleep are light and sound.
Light: cheapest and easiest is a sleep mask, next step is switching in blockout curtains when your RA isn't looking. You're already using F.lux, otherwise turn off everything electronic (had one monitor with a BRIGHT blue LED that blinked when it was in powersave mode -- then there was the smoke detector in the motel room that blinked red once every five minutes) ...
Noise: in dorms is nearly impossible to deal with, best bet is a white noise generator (if you can't afford one or are not sure, check out the website SimplyNoise (some people prefer pink or brown noise, if you're really geeky AND brown noise works for you, the 24 hour Enterprise Ambient Engine Noise video is a fun option).
Pills: seen reports that people get better results with D3 in the morning (a side effect of making your body think it's getting sunlight) and then melatonin in the evening.
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