Operation Sleep Update

Today was a gorgeous day!  I decided to go for a short 6.5 mile ride before breakfast this morning.  I don’t fuel up prior to a ride this short (30 minutes) and find no difference whether I do or not.

I had a good night’s sleep last night.  Most long-time readers know that I have sleep issues.    I suffer from night sweats, easy waking, and sometimes restless legs.

There are a few things that I *know* disrupt my sleep.  One is what I eat.  If I eat a lot of indulgent foods, I sleep poorly because I always  get hot and sweaty on those nights.  I don’t know if it is my body working overtime on that food or what, but that can sometimes keep me from overdoing it.  That was a weird realization.

Stress also keeps me up, which I am sure a lot of people can relate to.  It can be good or bad stress.

Here are some things I have tried and how they have worked.

Tylenol PM – Yep, this works.  However, it makes me uber groggy in the morning and for a good portion of the early part of the day.  And that is at half a dose!  For some reason, I am very afraid to take a full dose (like I will sleep forever), which then makes the medicine not work because it gives me anxiety.  What a mess that is!  I really don’t like to take a sleep aid like this, but I will if I have aches and pains when going to bed.

5HTP – This is an amino acid that is a natural precursor to tryptophan (the turkey sedative 😀  ).  It is also supposed to help with restless legs.  Now, I don’t always get RLS.  I can go a month without it happening, but then it will happen for a few days in a row.  I honestly did not find much benefit with 5HTP for either insomnia or RLS.

Sleep mask:  This one I am still waffling on.  It does block most of the light, which actually is very helpful. However, it does not block all of the light, which filters in underneath my eyes around my nose.  I also have some problems with it staying on all night.  There have been occasions where I wake up and it is around my neck.  I doubt my thyroid really needs the darkening effect of the mask…  I tried adjusting the strap tighter, but then it smooshes my eyes, which is not comfortable.  I will keep with this for a while, though, because I am seeing some benefit.


In doing a lot of reading, I came across information that magnesium can help with both RLS and insomnia.  And that most Americans do not get enough magnesium on a daily basis. I finally got around to ordering that by the end of June.  I also made sure to get magnesium citrate, which is a more easily assimilated form of magnesium.  I started taking 200 mg at bedtime.  Interestingly enough, this seems to really help me sleep well!  I was very surprised.  I took it for 3 days and slept well.  I forgot it the other night and woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Took the next night and slept all the way through.  I am giving this an initial – yes!  I obviously need a longer period of time to rule out coincidence, but I think between the sleep mask and the magnesium I am doing much better.  I get my magnesium (and most of my supplements) from Puritan’s Pride.  Lots of good specials there, and you all know I love a bargain!

So, there is an update on Operation Sleep!  I seem to do best at 7 hours a night, and that is my goal.  I want 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Question:  How well do you sleep?

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25 thoughts on “Operation Sleep Update

  1. Kim

    I’m not a great sleeper and will take 1/2 of one Tylenol PM sometimes on Sunday nights. I actually bought a FitBit to monitor my sleep because I was curious how many times I wake up during the night. Part of my problem is my silly indoor/outdoor cats wake me up quite a few times during the night either wanting in or out. Maybe I need magnesium and a kitty door (or cats with thumbs:) Sweet dreams!

  2. Lisa

    I suffer from insomnia and refuse to get a prescription for it. Tylenol PM is ok. I used to use that until it stopped working. I currently take the Costco OTC sleep medicine. I can take half a pill and sleep most nights.

    I also use a sleep mask and earplugs. That helps.

    I’ve wondered about the food pre-ride for you. When I commute to work I eat a lighter breakfast because the normal breakfast is too much. But sometimes I wonder about just waiting til I get to work to eat…
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Fruit and Sugar

    1. Lori Post author

      Sometimes I will eat if I am really hungry, usually a protein drink. Anything longer than 10 miles gets fuel.

  3. Karen

    I get up to pee at least once but often twice a night. Other than than, I do okay when my husband isn’t snoring:)
    Karen´s last blog post ..Bite Me

    1. Lori Post author

      I have never had a sleep study, but I doubt that I have apneas. I don’t snore and rarely sleep on my back, plus John has never noticed an apneic episodes.

  4. Amy

    I often have trouble sleeping and it is usually due to stress or being wound up and not able to stop thinking. Sometimes I use valerian, other times passionflower extract. They sort of seem to help. I will have to look into the magnesium.
    Amy´s last blog post ..Made it!

  5. debby

    I sleep pretty good. I do much better overall if I will be disciplined and go to bed by 10 pm. Because either I or the dogs wake up pretty early. I used to be a very light sleeper when I was heavier. Melatonin really helped me to get to sleep and didn’t seem to have any hangover effects in the morning.
    debby´s last blog post ..Celebrate!

  6. Fran

    That’s great news that the magnesium is helping you to get a better sleep.

    I sleep good although I often wake up once or twice a night but fall asleep again right after that happens. I have a “bad” night occasionally if I have something exciting or difficult to do the next day. On weekdays I sleep around 6.5 hours but it would be better if I slept for 7 hours, that works for me best too.
    Fran´s last blog post ..A day in my life: Wednesday July 6, 2011

  7. Linda @ Lemons

    Between my husband snoring, the dog in my face, and getting up to pee a couple of times, you can say that my sleep is always interrupted. I take Nyquil before bed. Interesting about the magnesium – I take it for muscle cramps.
    Linda @ Lemons´s last blog post ..On The Cookie Dough Ball Wagon

  8. Helen

    I’ve heard that about magnesium too so please do keep us updated!

    I sleep like a menopausal woman. Not well. Couple hours, wake up. Lay away at least an hour. Sleep an hour, get night sweats, wake up. It feels like when I had a baby who wanted to eat every 2-3 hours all night long only now I’m 30 years older and I need my sleep!
    Helen´s last blog post ..If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say

  9. Joanne

    I’m with you on the night sweats from certain foods or food combos. It seems anytime we go out to dinner (every Friday), I suffer night sweats. That COULD be from wine or it could be from higher fat foods. Either way, it’s annoying and I refuse to give up my wine. Tough love!
    I can’t take any OTC’s at night. I wake up with the “heebie-jeebies”, all uncomfortable in my own skin. It’s a horrible feeling.
    As for the restless leg, I TRULY sympathize with you on that. My dad suffers with it terribly. The scripts. for that will certainly leave you groggy all day.
    Take care – keep riding that bike like a maniac and have a super weekend.
    Joanne´s last blog post ..Joy Bauer Slim & Scrumptious Book Review

  10. Lilac

    Haven’t slept well in YEARS….. Recently bought light-blocking curtains which hang UNDER my existing corners which cover a set of mini blinds. I have massive street lights shining into my bedroom. I’ve learned to lighten up and let that A/C run and NOT feel guilty. I tend to wake up when I’m warm…. I also have a fan running which blows on me…. AND, I deal with NOISY upstairs neighbors–they are up and about for toilet flushing, etc. 3-4 times a night and one gets up at 5:00 am to start her day — floor creaks and all. I also have had to resort to ear plugs — which are okay, but hurt sometimes. Oh boy… I also take magnesium — for years! I have NOT had a night of interrupted sleep in 10 plus years… What a fantasy that would be to sleep the night through…. Perhaps someday I’ll get there.

  11. Biz

    You will be very jealous of me Lori, because I literally am asleep within 5 minutes of going to bed, and I don’t wake up until the alarm goes off (although I have noticed that I have been waking up at 4:30 the last few nights to pee!), but I fall right back to sleep.

    You will think its weird, but when I lay my head down, I say to myself “it’s time to sleep.” I don’t think about work, laundry, bank balance, bills to pay, etc. – my mind completely goes to sleep.

    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Biz´s last blog post ..Spread the Love . . .

    1. Lori Post author

      John is like that. Head hits the pillow and he is out like a light. He can’t even feel my frowning at him LOL!

  12. Roz

    Hi Lori, this is amazing….I was literally talking to a friend of mine with very similar sleep issues to you on Wed…and she’s recently discovered magnesium. (a naturopath suggested it) Like you, she’s giving it a cautious thumbs up!! Hope it continues to work for you both. Have a great (no flat tire) day Lori!!!
    Roz´s last blog post ..And the alarm went off….

  13. Jody - Fit at 53

    Lori, thx for the update!!! I have probs too due to age/hormones. I take a calcium/mag supplement since I can’t handle dairy but will check the exacts of the mag. I have a friend, will call her Pixie lover for now, ;-), who has RLS so will be passing this on to her.

    Jody – Fit at 53´s last blog post ..Vinegar’s Magic Powers

  14. kalli

    have you tried melatonin? i have found an excellant one that is timed release and it is wonderful………glad you slept well last night though 🙂
    kalli´s last blog post ..Savory bran

  15. Alissa

    I’m glad that you are finding some relief! I have no problem sleeping. Sometimes I worry and can’t get to sleep–but I have found ways of making myself relax like starting at my toes and relaxing every part of my body. I find that really relaxes me and I fall asleep almost every time. My Mom has a terrible time sleeping though and nothing seems to work except sleep medication.
    Alissa´s last blog post ..Back to Myself

  16. Susan

    I had the same problem with my eye mask coming off at night too, but then I started bobby pinning the strap into my hair and haven’t had a problem since! Have you ever thought about ear plugs? I personally don’t find them very comfortable, but my mom spent $100 a few years back to get ones custom made for her ears. Years of sleep troubles now solved and she sleeps like a rock.

    The nurses at the hospital give my immovane (a sleeping pill) every night and that also seems to work wonders 😉
    Susan´s last blog post ..Wigging Out

  17. Anna

    I have problems falling asleep if there is too much light…OR if my husband is snoring, so I use earplugs on those nights and I turn off and block every light that I can. Some nights I resort to a sound of storm type sleep app on my iPhone with earplugs and that seems to help.
    My two daughters have trouble falling asleep too and I give them melatonin and that really helps. In fact they refuse to take it too early if they have something they want to get done before they sleep because it works so fast for them. (Hmmm…maybe I should try it)
    My husband on the other hand is asleep BEFORE his head hits the pillow! Can we say JEALOUS!!!

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