Like I said, the insomnia comes and goes.  Up all night over the weekend, then the past two nights I’ve crawled into bed and fallen asleep with no problems.  Eight or nine restful hours, woke up feeling fine and dandy.

Just no pattern to it that I can spot.

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13 Responses to “Pleasant Dreams”
  1. Jen says:

    Some people find that Vitamin D supplements, when taken before bed, can disrupt sleep, and that the sleep issues resolve themselves when they switch to morning supplementation. I wonder if early-day versus late-day sun exposure would have a similar effect? Just random speculation.

    BTW thank you for your blog. The world needs more voices like yours.

    I take mine in the morning. I experienced a similar effect to what you described when I made the mistake of taking a B-complex supplement at night. It was like a hit of speed.

  2. Tom

    Check your vitamin d levels. If low supplement. If already supplementing try switching to 1-2 hours before bedtime.

    You can also check your testosterone levels. Many women have intermittent insomnia a few days before their cycles.

    I take vitamin D every morning, but I’ve never had the test. Wouldn’t hurt to get that checked someday.

  3. Amy Dungan says:

    It’s 3:23 am. I went to bed at around midnight and dozed off and on for about 45 minutes, then woke up and my brain wouldn’t shut off again. So I finally got up and have been reading ever since. Decided to check some blogs and will attempt sleep again in a bit. Looks like tomorrow (er… today) will be a very long day, with naps when ever possible.

    Ah, yes: the night-time nap. I know that one well. Go to bed, drift off to sleep, pop back to consciousness maybe 20 minutes later and think “What the @#$% am I doing awake?!!”

    Except your brain may not use that kind of language. I hope you get a nap in there today.

  4. RobR says:

    I’m glad your insomnia periods are so short Tom. I know people where it can last for weeks, months or years at a time. The only solution I’ve heard that worked for them was counseling. Occasionally things like melatonin, vitamin D, and yoga can help, but never really seemed to be permanent solutions.

    If it were a chronic problem, I’d be looking into anything and everything. Since it comes and goes and I have the luxury all day if necessary, I can live with it.

  5. Todd says:

    I’ve battled insomnia for as long as I can remember. Nothing short of Ambien or Xanax seems to have much effect when I’m unable to fall asleep. Neither seems to be much of a long-term strategy for getting enough rest.

    I greatly enjoyed the book Sleep Thieves about a dozen years ago; it’s a good read on what’s known about sleep, problems regarding sleep, impact on individuals and society, and tips for improving sleep and our own individual study of sleep.

  6. Elenor says:

    Some brain-fodder for your sleepless nights?

    Saturated Fat: Still No Association With Cardiovascular Disease

    On a list I’m on someone wrote:

    If you go to http://www.itsofinterest.com, I also provide a lot of links there pertaining to this issue. On that website, I wrote about a recent Japanese study of some 58,000 people found no relation between saturated fat and heart disease – but did have some interesting stroke findings. You should be able to access that article from that website.

  7. Lori says:

    I hesitate to suggest such a simple explanation for some cases of insomnia, but maybe it’s often a matter of having too much on one’s mind. Maybe something distracting like a funny TV show or confidence that things will work out might help.

    It’s definitely a matter of the brain not wanting to quit. When I’ve got a specific problem on my mind it makes sense. What’s weird is when I go to bed happy, relaxed, stress-free, and my brain just keeps tossing random thoughts at me.

  8. Jay says:

    Hey Tom. Something else you might want to consider is magnesium. A lot of people develop sub-clinical Mg++ deficiency and one of the symptoms is insomnia. When you do low-carb and start excreting sodium, the sub-clinical condition can become unmasked and you may find yourself having muscle cramps, maybe leg cramps at night. You can’t do a blood test for Mg++ deficiency because it is mostly intracellular. If you have muscle cramps and hyper-reflexia (something your doc can check for), this nails the diagnosis. The best remedy is a slow-release supplement. I recommend mag64 from Costco.

    I do take magnesium. It seems to have helped a bit.

  9. Ellen says:

    I have had this problem for years. Always fell asleep easily, but then woke in the middle of the night. It has gotten much, much better over the years with the help of a low carb diet. But still, sporadically have some problems of varying intensity.

    The problem is that though I feel much better, I still can not count on having consistent energy, since there are days when I just need a good long catch up nap. Hard to make plans.

    I think that regular meditation is the key for me. I cannot say for sure because I have been quite sporadic in doing this. But from my attempts over the years, it appears to improve both the quality and quantity of my sleep.

    So right here on your blog I am committing to doing this twice a day. I will let you know how it goes.

    if you are inclined to try it, I think any kind of meditation that you are comfortable with would do. But it must be regular.

    One thing that happens is that “You” learn not to be so attached to your thoughts. Don’t worry, this will not dull your thinking. Thoughts will still be there, and actually, you might find you are better able to sort through which are the better ones. It is possible you will find solutions to your puzzles more quickly AND get a good night’s sleep.

    Thanks for your great blog.

    Ellen

    Good luck with this. It is a pain.

    Ellen

  10. Ellen says:

    Oh, and by the way, it is rare for me that there is a specific issue that I wake up thinking about. It is usually just as you describe going to sleep happy and relaxed.

    Ellen

    When I wake up without a specific issue in mind, I figure it’s just chemical reactions in the brain. Since it’s sporadic, I don’t worry about it.

  11. Wanda says:

    Have you had your thyroid tested? Insomnia can be a symptom of problems with the hormone levels since the thyroid regulates our body’s metabolism. I think either high or low levels can cause it.

    I haven’t had it tested, no.

  12. Sungrazer says:

    Hi – first of all. Thanks for an amazing blog!

    Second, I find that the days I have been very low carb I also find it hard(er) to fall asleep. I’ve been low carb high fat for nearly a year now, and tracking back that is the only thing I find in common. I’ve also heard other people talk about the same.

    I am usually between 30 – 80 grams of carb each day. I also supplement with 4400 IU Vit D, 4-500 mg magnesium and other stuff each day, usually early afternoon.

    I’ve heard that can happen, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference for me. In fact, some of my up-all-night insomnia episodes occurred after indulging in pizza and beer.

  13. Debbie says:

    Boy, nice to know I’m not alone. LOL. I’ve been an insomniac for about as long as I can recall, going back to my teenage years at least (and I’m now in my 50′s). Nothing seems to make it better. I was a huge insomniac when I was still eating the SAD. I’m a major insomniac when I’m on low carb, I was a major insomniac back in the mid-80s when I was on strict low-fat diet. I supplement with 5000 IU D3 (in the morning) and 400 mg magnesium (in the evening). I *am* battling thyroid issues now, being recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Syndrome, but I was just as insomniac during the many years my thyroid measured normal. I’ve taken melatonin, had warm milk at bedtime, tried to do deep breathing and relaxation at bedtime. tried tryptophan …. none of which helped me sleep better in the least.

    About once or twice a month I actually go to bed, go to sleep, and sleep all night long (last night was not one of those nights – was up reading for 3-4 hours during the dark week hours). On those nights I wake up so REFRESHED feeling compared to my normal mood when I wake up. But I have no idea what combination of circumstances cause those good nights. I wish I did so I could replicate it! And maybe make my fortune too if I found it was replicatable in a population greater than n+1. :-)

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