Insomnia and waking up at 3 AM

TheosisSeeker

Robin
Orthodox Catechumen
I've had a stretch of about a month where this has happened nearly every night. I've taken it as an opportunity to pray with a prayer rope, still it's been making me less productive and tired during the day.

I tend to avoid caffeine and excess fluids before bed, exercise frequently, and am in general in great health so I believe this may be spiritual in nature. I usually wake up with anxiety for no reason with my mind swirling with many thoughts.

Anyone else experience this? How did you resolve it?
 

JuanGalt

Chicken
Other Christian
This is most likely related to blood sugar issues. When you're sleeping, your blood sugar drops during the night, hitting its lowest point between 2 - 4 am. This triggers your adrenals to pump out cortisol/adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels, thus causing you to awaken.

In order to avoid this, you have to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the night. You can achieve this by eating a snack of slow releasing protein with some fat and carbs before bed. My favorite choice is cottage cheese with a little honey.
 
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aguy01

Pigeon
Orthodox
You say you exercise frequently. This is a textbook sign of overreaching/overtraining. There are some short term bandaids you can apply like magnesium supplementation, herbs that aid sleep, etc. but ultimately your programming will need to adjust to account for proper recovery relative to your calorie intake.

Pushing through symptoms like this will ultimately condition your body to remain in a state of elevated adrenal activity, and lead to clinical overtraining that can take months to recover from. Good programs are periodized so that after overreaching a bit to stimulate progress, you eventually drop the accumulated fatigue through some sort of deloading, of which there are many different approaches. Increasing calories goes a long way but is obviously not ideal when doing a cut, so the program must adjust to be made easier.
 

scotian

Peacock
Gold Member
Get a bright light therapy light from Amazon, blast that at your face every morning for 20/30 minutes, they’re $40-80 on Amazon.
 

Hypno

Crow
This is most likely related to blood sugar issues. When you're sleeping, your blood sugar drops during the night, hitting its lowest point between 2 - 4 am. This triggers your adrenals to pump out cortisol/adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels, thus causing you to awaken.

In order to avoid this, you have to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the night. You can achieve this by eating a snack of slow releasing protein with some fat and carbs before bed. My favorite choice is cottage cheese with a little honey.
That's terrible advice. snacking will spike your insulin, making you alert, then crash.

A better long term solution is intermittent fasting. Or said differently, confine all of your eating to 8 hours per day. If you have breakfast at 8AM, have dinner no later than 4pm. You will probably find it easier to skip breakfast or delay breakfast to mid morning.
 

Maddox

Kingfisher
Protestant
This is most likely related to blood sugar issues. When you're sleeping, your blood sugar drops during the night, hitting its lowest point between 2 - 4 am. This triggers your adrenals to pump out cortisol/adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels, thus causing you to awaken.

In order to avoid this, you have to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the night. You can achieve this by eating a snack of slow releasing protein with some fat and carbs before bed. My favorite choice is cottage cheese with a little honey.

I'm not a doctor but look into Adrenal Fatigue as this may be causing insomnia from low blood sugar early in the morning. Seek the help of a naturopath or functional medicine doctor if you have any of the other symptoms that are listed.

I agree with the snack before bedtime mentioned above. A smoothie with protein powder and flax seeds would also be a good choice to keep your blood sugar stable while you're sleeping.
 

aguy01

Pigeon
Orthodox
That's terrible advice. snacking will spike your insulin, making you alert, then crash.

A better long term solution is intermittent fasting. Or said differently, confine all of your eating to 8 hours per day. If you have breakfast at 8AM, have dinner no later than 4pm. You will probably find it easier to skip breakfast or delay breakfast to mid morning.
2011 called, it wants its intermittent fasting fanaticism back.
 

Hypno

Crow
I'm not a doctor but look into Adrenal Fatigue as this may be causing insomnia from low blood sugar early in the morning. Seek the help of a naturopath or functional medicine doctor if you have any of the other symptoms that are listed.

I agree with the snack before bedtime mentioned above. A smoothie with protein powder and flax seeds would also be a good choice to keep your blood sugar stable while you're sleeping.
Having a milkshake smoothie before bedtime is probably why one has adrenal fatigue in the first place.
 

Viktor Zeegelaar

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
How many hours do you sleep and what time frame? You go to bed and wake up same time every day? Our body easily adapts to waking time e.g. So when you wake up 6am all week and then stay in bed at Sunday, you'll likely wake up at 6. It could be that you make too long sleeping hours, you could try to modify it a bit, sleeping less/more hours and going go sleep and wake up earlier/later.
 

JuanGalt

Chicken
Other Christian
That's terrible advice. snacking will spike your insulin, making you alert, then crash.

A better long term solution is intermittent fasting. Or said differently, confine all of your eating to 8 hours per day. If you have breakfast at 8AM, have dinner no later than 4pm. You will probably find it easier to skip breakfast or delay breakfast to mid morning.
The fat and casein protein in the cottage cheese is slow releasing, and will not spike your insulin. The fructose in honey can help keep liver glucose stores stable, preventing an adrenaline/cortisol dump while sleeping.
 
This is most likely related to blood sugar issues. When you're sleeping, your blood sugar drops during the night, hitting its lowest point between 2 - 4 am. This triggers your adrenals to pump out cortisol/adrenaline to raise blood sugar levels, thus causing you to awaken.

In order to avoid this, you have to maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the night. You can achieve this by eating a snack of slow releasing protein with some fat and carbs before bed. My favorite choice is cottage cheese with a little honey.
Yes you should basically eat as much food as you can before bed if this is your issue
 

CSH2C

Sparrow
Protestant
This is happening to me but is lasting for 3 months now. I can't keep going at this rate. This morning I woke at 3 but didn't return to sleep. I've had thoughts of self harm due to constant fatigue.
 

cosine

Woodpecker
This is happening to me but is lasting for 3 months now. I can't keep going at this rate. This morning I woke at 3 but didn't return to sleep. I've had thoughts of self harm due to constant fatigue.
Are you exercising? Eating reasonably healthy?

Could be cortisol fluctuations, could be some other hormones. There are tests for those.
 

SaintPiusX

Robin
Trad Catholic
It’s sleep apnea. Your anxiety is cortisol that is being pumped into your system to wake you up when you stop breathing. It often coincides with lifting because lifting increases your weight and the size of your neck. Get a sleep study done, and until then, sleep on your side with a body pillow.
 

Maddox

Kingfisher
Protestant
It’s sleep apnea. Your anxiety is cortisol that is being pumped into your system to wake you up when you stop breathing. It often coincides with lifting because lifting increases your weight and the size of your neck. Get a sleep study done, and until then, sleep on your side with a body pillow.

You don't know that's the problem. And frankly, I'm not even sure which guy you're responding to.
 

Samseau

Eagle
Orthodox
Gold Member
I've had serious insomnia before - had months without getting good sleep, if any sleep, at all. You know what cured me? I quit coffee. Daily coffee seriously messed me up. Had to stop it cold turkey and it made a world of difference.

The other short-term fix which also helps is prayer. If I wake up too early, say around 3 or 4, usually it's because I need to go to the bathroom, but to get back to sleep I pray to God my daily prayer and ask him for the gift of sleep. 99 times out of 100 I fall asleep within 15 minutes. God always helps me on this, he knows sleep is really important, so I would imagine it would be the same for anyone.

Sometimes I just stay in prayer, almost meditating, asking for sleep and other things, until I pass out. Try it.
 
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