Trouble Sleeping Past 4Am

mrdangermrdanger
edited November 2014 in Sleep Hacking

I probably won't get a lot of sympathy for this one, but lately I've been waking up waaay too early and can't go back to sleep


 


While that sounds great because you could potentially get so much more done in a day, it's actually the opposite. My day is wrecked as I feel like a zombie. Naps are out of the question due to my work schedule.


 


My wife (who could probably sleep 24 hours straight if undisturbed) thinks I'm crazy and just need to try harder to fall back asleep.


 


The coffee shops at 5am are all full of old men. I just turned 41. Is this just something that happens as you age? 


 


Anyone know of a solution to staying asleep (that doesn't leave you too groggy the next day)?

Comments

  • In the Chinese medicine system waking at this time of the morning is linked to liver function. You may want to try some supplements to support the liver - milk thistle for instance. 


  • DManDMan Master of Arts ✭✭✭

    adrenal fatigue.


    you need more protein when in ketosis and don't forget to refeed. other causes too much exercise, stress...


    check cortisol and  thyroid.


    cheers


    May you be well, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be loved.

    How much to eat:
    advanced | How to train: bulletproof training | HRV: HRV FOR TRAINING HRV BASICS What Affects HRV | Brain  & Memory dual n back training advanced training

     

     

  • Good suggestions to try above. I hope you figure it out!


     


    Do you nap during the day? Try not to, so you are super-tired by bedtime, maybe that will help you sleep longer?


     


    Also - is your room blacked out? That could help.


     


    Magnesium before bed... there are a lot of sleep hacks Dave suggests that could assist as you get to the bottom of whatever the larger problem is.

  • Hackergirl- I didn't know that about the liver. I'll give milk thistle a try.


     


    Magnesium gives me such wild dreams I'll wake up even earlier when I take it at night. Room is blacked out. I never nap, and have no trouble falling asleep at night.


     


    DMan, you mentioned adrenal fatigue. I hadn't considered that. Do you find that pink salt mixed with water in the morning works for this? Any other remedies?




  • DMan, you mentioned adrenal fatigue. I hadn't considered that. Do you find that pink salt mixed with water in the morning works for this? Any other remedies?




     


    Generally more carbs are part of the prescription in addition to sea salt. What's your current daily intake of net carbs? Even without adrenal fatigue, carbs could play a role:


     


    Both Dave and Tim Ferriss have said some people who wake up early do so due to blood sugar dropping too low. Dave suggests up to a tablespoon of raw honey before bed (less if it keeps you awake,) which will be preferentially stored as glycogen and then used to maintain blood sugar. If you are especially low carb you're probably not walking around with topped-off glycogen stores, so the honey hack is more likely to help. Tim Ferriss has recommended a tablespoon or two of almond butter for similar reasons – not to top off glycogen, but because it's slow-digesting and likely to provide some blood sugar throughout the night. Almond butter isn't green-zone Bulletproof, but it would be if you made it yourself with clean raw almonds. Or I suppose you could just eat a few almonds before bed.


     


    If these don't work and you believe you won't have trouble falling asleep with a bit more energy, you might also look at increasing mitochondrial function to get the most out of the hours you do sleep, as I discussed here. This could be mitochondria-specific supps, Brain Octane, or creatine. 

  • For me, adrenal fatigue is improved by saltwater before rising, but it's actually a pretty big deal that needs more measures than than just that. When this happens to me, I try to prioritize calming my life down and de-stressing in general... rest more, doing emwave is great, and I like acupuncture for this, too!  Next time I will try more carbs like ACH says (thanks, ACH!)..


     


    Fun stuff -- I just googled "adrenal burnout wake up at 4 am" and got lots of results, here's a random one:


    http://capitaldistrictvitalitycenter.com/blog/2013/06/seven-things-that-cause-adrenal-fatigue/


     


    Here's the funniest one:


    "Next thing you know you're up buying a ShamWow at 4am."


    http://www.drgangemi.com/articles/power_sleep/


  • DManDMan Master of Arts ✭✭✭
    edited November 2014


    Hackergirl- I didn't know that about the liver. I'll give milk thistle a try.


     


    Magnesium gives me such wild dreams I'll wake up even earlier when I take it at night. Room is blacked out. I never nap, and have no trouble falling asleep at night.


     


    DMan, you mentioned adrenal fatigue. I hadn't considered that. Do you find that pink salt mixed with water in the morning works for this? Any other remedies?




     




    Generally more carbs are part of the prescription in addition to sea salt. What's your current daily intake of net carbs? Even without adrenal fatigue, carbs could play a role:


     


    Both Dave and Tim Ferriss have said some people who wake up early do so due to blood sugar dropping too low. Dave suggests up to a tablespoon of raw honey before bed (less if it keeps you awake,) which will be preferentially stored as glycogen and then used to maintain blood sugar. If you are especially low carb you're probably not walking around with topped-off glycogen stores, so the honey hack is more likely to help. Tim Ferriss has recommended a tablespoon or two of almond butter for similar reasons – not to top off glycogen, but because it's slow-digesting and likely to provide some blood sugar throughout the night. Almond butter isn't green-zone Bulletproof, but it would be if you made it yourself with clean raw almonds. Or I suppose you could just eat a few almonds before bed.


     


    If these don't work and you believe you won't have trouble falling asleep with a bit more energy, you might also look at increasing mitochondrial function to get the most out of the hours you do sleep, as I discussed here. This could be mitochondria-specific supps, Brain Octane, or creatine. 




     


    I don't think it is you need more carbs (depends on how much you workout). My doc recommended eating protein in the morning within one hour after awakening. Chris Kresser says follow a moderate carb diet but I for myself discovered that I feel a lot better by consuming whey protein which contains loads of aminos. Look at my sig "how much to eat". I found out that I need to eat more protein. Dropping blood sugar can also come from adrenals. They regulate blood sugar and pressure. I have to restrict my salt intake cause I am sensitive to it. On Pubmed I found out it has something to do with renal dysfunction! If you have low blood pressure salt is good for you...Another problem can be dehydration and ketoacidosis.


    May you be well, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be loved.

    How much to eat:
    advanced | How to train: bulletproof training | HRV: HRV FOR TRAINING HRV BASICS What Affects HRV | Brain  & Memory dual n back training advanced training

     

     

  • PS

    One more thing to consider... If it is your adrenals, then watch out for stimulants, and intense exercise. With adrenal burnout you want to get your energy from things rebuild and nourish you gently..  from rest, sleep, nourishing foods, and nourishing activities.  You don't want your energy from stimulating herbs or caffeine that push your nervous system and create energy quickly. I usually drink decaf and avoid explosive exercise for this reason. 


     



    This is not an idea from BP, but if you read about adrenal burnout, you will see this come up time and time again. I think I've even read some articles explaining the reasons why, but I don't remember : )  All I know for sure is that I have a predisposition to adrenal fatigue, and I feel better living this way.


     

  • Damn, I have this exact problem. I can't remember the last time I slept all the way through to my alarm in the morning. I always wake up at i'm guessing around 4-5am, usually taking anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour to get back to sleep. Often though I feel absolutely awake and fine on the initial wake up but when I finally wake up again at my alarm I feel like shit.


    I have a semi consistent night time pattern of chamomile tea with mct oil, big spoon of raw honey and occasionally some gabawave. I'll lie on my sleep induction mat and also take some magnesium malate. I take about 10-30 minutes to fall asleep and wake up pretty easily of there's any noise.


    Pretty annoying! side note is i'm still attempting to come off anxiety medication (mirtazapine) and my sleep length varies on when I take it (once weekly) so i'm sure this is having the biggest impact on my sleep.


  • mrdanger and Carlosis,
    Do you know if you are over-producing cortisol, or low cortisol/adrenal burnout? When I was tested this past summer, I had very high cortisol. Except for mid-morning, I am on the high end of the reference range, basically 24/7.

    I have the same sleep issue. I feel sleepy at night, I go to sleep easily by 10 pm and rarely have trouble falling asleep. However, I wake up generally between 1 and 3 am, often can't fall asleep again, and then get out of bed at 4:30 am and start my day. Luckily, I am not tired most of the time. I personally do generally okay (not optimal) on 5-6 hours of sleep, though I try hard to get 7 hours.

    My NP has me taking phosphatidyl serine in the late afternoon, and then a supplement called "cortisol manager" right before bed (contains phosphatidylserine, magnolia extract, ashwaganda, and a few other things). I can often fall back asleep if I use spray melatonin, but it has to be the liquid spray, not a sublinqual. I also had a neurotransmitter test (urine and saliva, sampled when I woke up at 2 am), but I am not a low melatonin producer (low seratonin, though). I am having some success and getting back to sleep easier.

    Phosphatidylserine might be one thing for you hyper-cortisol producers to try taking in the evening (if you know you over-produce cortisol). Phosphatidylserine is known for being quite effective at lowering cortisol.

    Mary

  • Are you drinking BPC?




    mrdanger and Carlosis,

    Do you know if you are over-producing cortisol, or low cortisol/adrenal burnout? When I was tested this past summer, I had very high cortisol. Except for mid-morning, I am on the high end of the reference range, basically 24/7.


    I have the same sleep issue. I feel sleepy at night, I go to sleep easily by 10 pm and rarely have trouble falling asleep. However, I wake up generally between 1 and 3 am, often can't fall asleep again, and then get out of bed at 4:30 am and start my day. Luckily, I am not tired most of the time. I personally do generally okay (not optimal) on 5-6 hours of sleep, though I try hard to get 7 hours.


    My NP has me taking phosphatidyl serine in the late afternoon, and then a supplement called "cortisol manager" right before bed (contains phosphatidylserine, magnolia extract, ashwaganda, and a few other things). I can often fall back asleep if I use spray melatonin, but it has to be the liquid spray, not a sublinqual. I also had a neurotransmitter test (urine and saliva, sampled when I woke up at 2 am), but I am not a low melatonin producer (low seratonin, though). I am having some success and getting back to sleep easier.


    Phosphatidylserine might be one thing for you hyper-cortisol producers to try taking in the evening (if you know you over-produce cortisol). Phosphatidylserine is known for being quite effective at lowering cortisol.



  • Thanks Marielle.


    Garrett yes i have one BPC in the morning only, i tend to alternate mixing in Collagen protein too so i'm not always fasting. I've never considered the waking up due to the caffeine as i get to sleep easy enough. I know my own case is separate due to the medication i'm on and it's safe to say it's the main factor in my issues.


  • GarrettGarrett
    edited November 2014

    Have you gone for a week or 2 without caffeine, just to run the test on yourself as to whether caffeine IS subtly effing up your sleep cycle? I cut out caffeine for 3 days, and noticed a pretty substantial sleep difference...




    Thanks Marielle.


    Garrett yes i have one BPC in the morning only, i tend to alternate mixing in Collagen protein too so i'm not always fasting. I've never considered the waking up due to the caffeine as i get to sleep easy enough. I know my own case is separate due to the medication i'm on and it's safe to say it's the main factor in my issues.



  • Well I'm currently on day 2 of no caffeine. I took my medication last night though which is always guaranteed to knock me out all night so from tonight onwards I can fully gauge if the caffeine is affecting my sleep. I'll keep it up for a few more days and see what happens. I know I've built up a slight caffeine dependency as I've not really had many days off from it so it's good to have a reset of it. I'm also not taking any supplements that may have stimulatory effects (nootropics, creatine etc) just to see what happens there also.


Sign In or Register to comment.