There was a week in early February this year, right after surgery, where I felt like a million bucks. Normally, I have a pretty low-grade chronic headache (yeah, it's as horrible as it sounds). However, that week, my head felt "clear". I don't know how else to explain it other than I felt like my brain had been washed. I was going to bed at 9-9:30pm, and waking up at 5am, and felt incredible. I reverted not long afterwards, and believe I recently figured out the root of the issue (fingers crossed!), but I 100% believe that you need deep sleep to function well. IMO, it's not sufficient to get light and REM sleep; deep sleep is when true brain recovery occurs. I feel like I should know; before I started treatment, I would go to bed at 9-9:30pm and sleep until 8 and still feel exhausted. You need quality sleep in addition to quantity.
Wrist-based sleep trackers are basically useless, FWIW. I've been using one pretty consistently since before my health issues started and they really can't discern the difference between light/REM/deep sleep phases. If there's anything which mirrors how I feel after waking up in the morning, it's HR dip, but even that isn't 100% reliable.
Also, not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your hormones.
"Men who sleep 5 hours a night have significantly smaller testicles than men who sleep 7 hours or more. Men who routinely sleep 4-5 hours a night will have a level of testosterone of someone 10 years their senior."
Yep, and that was a part of my problem. Unbalanced hormones lead to poor sleep, and poor sleep leads to unbalanced hormones. My pituitary just stopped working correctly, and no matter how many hours I spent in bed, my body just wasn't doing what it needed to dial up the deep sleep requirements. Horrible negative feedback loop.
Seems logic. I wonder what this men could do to kill time in all of those extra hours in the bed.
Don't leave us hanging, what is the root cause?
This is somewhat conjecture, but bloodwork indicates that my pituitary gland completely shut down at the beginning of 2018, following multiple viral infections and a year of intense triathlon training. My hormone levels were just completely out of whack. I've been getting shots from my endocrinologist, and a week and a half later, I'm feeling like a different person. Hopefully I just need it temporarily as a kick-start, and can then wean off.
Otherwise, my sleep habits are functionally pretty close to perfect.
* No food or blue light after 6pm
* I only use my bed for sleep (no reading)
* No caffeine of any kind after noon
* Black-out curtains
* In bed by 9pm
Falling asleep and staying asleep has never been an issue for me; it's just getting good sleep that's been the problem.
Can you expand on this. Is this something like melatonin to help reset your circadian rhythm for sleep? Or supplements to jump start your pituitary gland?
I guess am curious is the pituitary shut down was caused by the lack of sleep, and getting the good sleep will reactivate the gland, or if the gland is an issue you are addressing with the supplements directly.
Shots. I'm seeing an endocrinologist. OTC supplements did nothing for me.
> I guess am curious is the pituitary shut down was caused by the lack of sleep, and getting the good sleep will reactivate the gland, or if the gland is an issue you are addressing with the supplements directly.
My sleep habits were fantastic prior to my illness. The issues started after I got two bad viruses in succession. In early 2018 I got the Flu followed by Hand, Foot, and Mouth. I just never really recovered; my body just kind of sputtered out. Hormone production tanked, which led to poor sleep, which further messed up my hormone production, etc.
I had a similar issue (and like you I was engaged in serious endurance training). I would also go to sleep early, wake up at 4AM without an alarm and knock out a 2 hour run. I ended up with pityriasis rosea (which is kind of a medical mystery in terms of cause but linked to viruses), and thereafter some sleep/hormone disruptions.
In addition to what you are currently doing to address the sleep issue, consider testing your microbiome. Often bacterial infections and viruses change the makeup of the microbiome which also has significant negative influences on hormone production/regulation. In my case gut health helped break the negative feedback loop.
Unfortunately exercise didn't help me either; I'm convinced it's just body chemistry (although, if you're already somewhat healthy, I think daily exercise can influence that). I was at a point where exercise had no effect.
My theory is that HR dips lead to what the article suggests; lower blood flow in the brain opens up space for cranial fluid to flush things out.
You can think of your airway as tube of cartilage and soft muscle. As we age (there are also other contributing factors) this tube may be narrowed or collapse under the weight of adjacent tissue. Excess weight (more adjacent tissue), alcohol consumption (more tube muscle relaxation) also contribute to the narrowing/collapsing of this tube.
The airway tube has the least amount of pressure from adjacent tisue when you are on your side. And the highest amount of pressure when lying on your back.
What parent is dismissing is that Positional Sleep Apnea is a fraction of all sleep apnea cases. I.e. his solution of sleeping on the side would 100% resolve sleep apnea for a fraction of all sleep apnea patients but certainly not everyone.
Source: Did contract work for a sleep apnea startup.
The most frustrating thing was that doctors doubled down on their initial diagnosis of clinical depression. Surely there's no way that a young, "healthy" male could actually have a problem!
I hope you feel better soon.
I elaborate in more detail here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21419313
Love it! Do it twice a day for 20 minutes. Sadly it had no positive benefit on sleep. :(
How do you know this? Are you going to bed with an EEG every night?
I had a sleep study done which indicated I get very little deep sleep, but no apnea.
Another data point is that I remember almost all of my dreams; I could literally write a few short stories if I wanted to every morning. Frequent dream recall is not a good sign since it indicates that REM is getting disrupted. REM is the precursor to deep sleep, so if REM is getting disrupted, you're probably not making it to Phase 3.
Have you found any good sleep trackers that aren't wrist-based? Any recommendations?
Unfortunately not. :(
Whoever can crack that nut is going to be very wealthy.
Their recent research comparing Dreem to a regular PSG  is pretty impressive, but I'm skeptical of their business model, and am concerned they won't survive for long.
- fellow crappy-quality-sleeper
For the past 4 or 5 years, I shower in the dark and walk to my room and pass out. I avoid "turning on" after that shower. No phones, no lights, no anything
Your body needs to know when its time to sleep. Texting, reading, and computer time in bed counters that.
If you buy directly from Fitbit's website, the satisfaction guarantee is 45 days so you have plenty of time to try it out and see how well it works for you.
It also easily tells between activities in bed (even motionless ones like reading or watching) vs sleeping (and all the assorted cycles). It also measures heart rate, breathing (and how many times you stop), and even snoring.
a shitty sleeper
I've tried Magnesium, Melatonin, turning off all devices hours before bed, turning off all lights hours before bed, sleeping in a cold room, etc.
I'm not overweight or unhealthy. I take in zero caffeine, zero alcohol/zero drugs. I do take a daily PPI.
I feel tired a lot, and I seem to feel more tired on days when my watch (Xiaomi Smart Band 3) reports the lowest deep sleep scores (I consider how I'm feeling first, then look at the sleep score to compare).
I want more deep sleep, but try as I might I don't know how to make it happen.
This may sound stupid but it's the first time in a while that I ditched the internet in a place where I normally would have it. Now I'm wondering if our more primitive ancestors would have viewed it as a cesspool of negativity that not only freaks us out but distracts us from more obvious personal issues.
Anyway the connection to sleep is that stress obviously can mess with your sleep.
Have you thought about going to a sleep lab to get some higher quality data? It’s near impossible to diagnose someone over the Internet, especially when the subject matter is so complex.
There are a few sleep headbands that use an EEG though and in my experience they've been reliable (e.g. mine correctly judges when I actually fall asleep and has correctly judged that I was in REM sleep when I woke up from a dream).
I'd like to do a sleep study, but it's over $1,000 out of pocket, so not a small investment.
Didn’t know they were that pricy, ouch.
Perhaps you are not breathing right during your sleep. A possibility is sleep apnea. I do have allergies which make me tired after sleep, during some seasons. One of the ways I cope is to do breathing exercises before I sleep. This does help sometimes.
“Working out” is difficult for many, but it can be so many things. For a year or so we spent time on movement training, something I highly recommend in general.
To babble a bit more: in August I tried taking a part time morning delivery gig (4-8m 24h/week) thinking it would feel the same but not at all (newspaper delivery is physically stressful), so I quit drained after a month, even though it required no effort and was less time per week than the truck thing.
Right now I have a 30h/week food delivery gig, it's just right to keep me active and the rest of the day I'm writing vue code now.
I may try to find something that would make my body more fit. Maybe having a woodworking shop or something similar.
My wife and I are thinking of buying and renovating an old apartment ourselves. Of course economically it would be better for me to work and pay someone else to do it, but the benefits of learning a new skill and doing something physical are worth it IMHO.
I guess I should try lifting heavy, consistently over weeks, and see if that does anything.
HIIT/interval/crossfit style are prime examples of in my opinion the most efficient way to achieve "exhausting" workouts (lowest time commitment, and with group gym style, lowest mental effort to formulate workout plans; it's all left to the trainer).
Exactly the wrong advice. Ambien decreases NREM 3 duration and amplitude. Do not ask for Ambien.
Sleeping pills do not provide natural sleep, can damage health, and increase the risk of life-threatening diseases. (p. 282)
On Ambien specifically:
If you compare natural, deep-sleep brainwave activity to that induced by modern-day sleeping pills, such as zolpidem (brand name Ambien) or eszopiclone (brand name Lunesta), the electrical signature, or quality, is deficient.
It destroy sleep, by creating an addiction making it impossible to fall asleep without it.
And it is bad sleep as the brain does not go into deep sleep
I wish there was safe pills in the US. I use benadryl.
I pour about 1/5th of a capsule into a glass of water.
The default dosage is far too high.
Ambien is for inducing sleep, not maintaining it. It should be treated as a "in case of emergency break glass" option.
"In a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers offers compelling evidence of a link between long-term use of anticholinergic medications like Benadryl and dementia."
what about social / emotional life ?
these are the two most impactful factors I've experienced so far. Good physical exhaustion made me sleep like a baby. And a stress free job (min wage) made me sleep better too.. the simplest call for an IT job made me wake up in the middle of the night and thinking.
Here's what I did:
1. Sleep alone in a separate bed since your SO other might wake you up inadvertently - this helped me
2. Wim Hof method for a few weeks: deep breathing and cold showers in the morning.
I'm not sure which of these worked. I did these two things simultaneously and my sleep significantly improved over a couple of weeks. I'm fully recovered in the morning, feeling energized and can actually remember dreams which never happened before. I don't need Melatonin anymore and can even have an espresso in the morning. Good luck!
The first time I did this it was revelatory. I woke up feeling like a new person. Sadly I don't much these days, because sleeping through a hungry/wet/scared infant isn't as acceptable (also I was a little disturbed what I could, in fact, sleep through, and whether that included smoke alarms)
I have a watch, an under-mattress tracker and a headband with a ton of sensors (including an EEG). Typically, none of these agree with each other (and I trust the headband to actually be accurate).
I'd strongly recommend consulting a sleep specialist.
One thing you haven't mentioned is cognitive behavioural therapy, which is often the first thing people will be recommended.
I chose Dreem at the time because it looked more comfortable (no ear covering) and was more readily available in my part of the world. It looks like Philips also has consumable components, which I'm not a fan of.
I've been using it for months now and I'm happy with it.
It also has a feature to "stimulate" your brain to improve deep sleep and it tells me it's quite effective (comparing with stimulation sleep to without stimulation sleep), though I can't say I've noticed a huge difference.
It puts me to sleep within 45 ~ 60 minutes, pretty much without fail.
But then my deep sleep is still far too low.
I think there’s something special, too, about a morning nap after some caffeine has started to kick in.
And the deep sleep issues are constant across home, hotel rooms, etc.
IF its just because your watch said so, don't worry about it.
The basic instructions for are to say (or think),
“May all beings be happy.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be free from suffering.”
In this way you intentionally cultivate a peaceful, benevolent state of mind. I started doing this for entirely selfish reasons—it made me feel better! But doing this regularly for a few months I noticed an undercurrent of deep peace developing in me.
You can replace “all beings” with “I”, loved ones, or people you are experiencing difficulty with. You start with whichever person feels easiest to appreciate and work your way up, so to speak :)
The only solution is to leave your phone on the other side of the room or if you can help it, another room entirely.
But seriously, sleep hygiene is an important aspect of basic hygiene that should be more broadly taught, but isn't.
Are your walls conductive, eg, largely made of water with various electrolytes? Because otherwise the comparison is senseless. Imagine putting an 8mm or so layer of of skin/fat/bone across each wall. By what factor would that reduce received power on the other side of the wall.
The max power out of a wifi router is 100 mW, that is a tenth of a watt. The amount of power impinging on your body from any reasonable distance will reduce that power quadratically. The amount of power which makes it through your skin and bone to get to your brain, considering it is 2.2 GHz or 5 GHz, is another factor lower.
Also, why do they use the term emphatically in the title of the article and then state, "...presumably removing toxins associated with Alzheimer's, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science." That comes across as, "We don't actually know what this is doing but we're going to take a guess and just run with it."
In fact, from the abstract of the paper itself, "Sleep is also associated with increased interstitial fluid volume and clearance of metabolic waste products. It is unknown why these processes co-occur and how they are related."
I don't understand how metabolic waste products automatically equates to "Alzheimer's toxins" nor how they're reaching these conclusions if they don't understand their coincidence - whether accidental or intentional.
Can anyone help a stranger on the internets and connect these dots? =]
Anyway that amateur explanation aside - the woo community is inherently appropriative of things they don't understand - witness "quantum" anything buzzwords outside of the physics or numerical context.
- how do "the toxins" get out of the cerebro-spinal cavities
- if the flow is not unidirectional (with new fluid comming in), why would not the toxins just settle at slightly different place, after those fluid movements end
- how is the fluid itself cleaned
- what about the blood-brain barrier
> how do "the toxins" get out of the cerebro-spinal cavities
It gets caught up in cerebrospinal fluid. Note sure if it is has to be properly dissolved in it or if it also transports mechanically.
> if the flow is not unidirectional (with new fluid comming in), why would not the toxins just settle at slightly different place, after those fluid movements end
Cerebrospinal fluid is constantly being created and then deposited to the blood stream. According to wikipedia you produce 500 mL a day and there is 125ml at any given time, so the cycling rate is pretty fast if we compare to how long Alzheimer takes to form.
> how is the fluid itself cleaned
It is extremely filtered blood, so it is basically cleaned blood. In other words it is cleaned in the creation step.
> what about the blood-brain barrier
Seems entirely unrelated, cerebrospinal fluid seems to be like its own circulation flow where blood doesn't reach. I guess it basically being a lot cleaner blood makes it another layer of protection for these parts of the brain.
Unfortunately, the precipitate then becomes a constituent of the arterial plaque that will lead to all kinds of hypertension and heart disease. You can't win with handwavium. that's why they never tell you about it.
It seems the answers to these questions are either intuitive or irrelevant.
> - how is the fluid itself cleaned?
See the intuitive and imaginative answer would say something along the lines of white blood cells would consume the toxins.
How is bacteria during an infection cleaned? White blood cells consume them!
Why would this point even add to your discourse? It has no relevance. Either the fluid gets cleaned or it doesn’t. Either way there is a correlation between brain health and the fluid.
Also it’s not like a fucking snow globe. Or mouth wash. It’s not just a fluid reused and swashed back and forth.
Again, this is why I’m asking what your background is. Did you even read the article?
Why would it not be relevant? While there are white blood cells in CSF, it's several orders of magnitude less than in blood. Is it enough to clean anything? White blood cells don't pass the brain-blood barrier. So yeah, it's somewhat like a snow-globe for a lot of molecules and cells.
So yeah, how is the fluid cleared?
Also article states, that there's even less blood flow during the sleep cycle, so at the same time, there's even less opportunity to wash away things that can pass through blood-brain barrier away to the kidneys and out.
My background is watching a lot of biology and trying to understand.
I think while it is okay to ask questions and to be curious you should be careful of imply or imparting logical fallacy and making judgment on such fallacy.
Do some research and try to understand more about the CSF and the cleaning process. There are articles out there.
Again the research shows correlation, while correlation does not imply causation until you can falsify the hypothesis you should be careful creating bias. Maybe the mere act of the fluid passing around in the brain is enough to dilute and weaken the toxin bonds, which then dilutes the effect over certain areas of the brain.
Alzheimer research is very limited, and any insight into the potential cause and effect is important to give funding to. Dissent like the one you are trying to create only harms society.
She was a brilliant colorectal surgeon and highly regarded and referred in the area but she also lived for her work, spending nights sleeping on the floor under her desk for two hours before pulling another full day of work.
I am sure this lifestyle for the better part of 30 years took a toll on the body and more and more I've been hearing about the lack of sleep being related to Alzheimers
For over a year now I’ve been averaging around 5.9 hours of sleep. Usually I’m up at 5am and can’t fall back asleep. Compounding this, bad nights I wake at 2 and it takes an hour to get back to sleep. Even then I’m up before 6.
So, two problems: always wake up early and often wake in the middle of the night for an hour.
I can get my brain to spin up at a good level if I get six hours. If I get 5 hours the day is mostly ruined.
My Oura ring data doesn’t suggest sleep apnea and my wife says I don’t snore. I’m not waking up super fresh - so it’s not like I’m rested after six hours. I used to sleep just fine so I don’t think I have the genetic mutation that makes you not need 8 hours. I just can’t sleep much more than six hours lately.
I’ve tried all the usual things; last meal at 4:30, exercise in morning, consistent bed time of 10pm, no devices after 9, cool room, no alcohol, black out curtains, etc. I’ve tried every supplement you can think of. Phenibut will prevent 2am wake ups but even with phenibut I can’t get more than 6.5 hours. You also shouldn’t take that more than 2-3 times a week.
I’m not sure what to try next. I’d love to get back to 7-8 hours though.
What I do is I take a THC tablet 2-3 hours before bed. Specifically, 5mg of delta-9 THC and 5 mg of TAC. It makes me sleepy enough that when I have to wake up for my toddler, I can quickly fall back into a deep sleep.
(I live in a state where pot is legal without a prescription.)
Many people don't realize this, but pot's effects vary widely with the strain. I suspect that the combination of THC and TAC makes the tablet very similar to an indica strain.
I’ve taken a THC tablet before and it does work but I wake up with a bit of a weed hangover. It’s also not something that I’d want to do daily.
I’ll have to research TAC, never heard of it.
How strong was the THC tablet? Sometimes I see dosage that's 10, 20, 25mg. That will give you a weed hangover unless you're a pothead.
(Related: I enjoy the weed hangover more than getting high!)
I just read the label, I'm assuming that TAC is some kind of cannaboid.
I go through this exact same pattern if I don't get enough exercise. If I do 60-90 minutes of treadmill/elliptical/rowing in the morning then I sleep like a baby for 7-8 hours and wake up feeling fresh. On the other hand if I do less than 30 minutes of cardio or skip the gym on a given morning I start regressing into the pattern you describe.
Compared to other healthier-living choices I can make (healthier eating, less drinking, etc), exercise seems to provide by far the most consistent and tangible results.
Best of luck, I hope you figure out something that works.
In my experience phenibut is the strongest medication easily available for staying asleep at night, although I switched to 10mg baclofen that is somewhat less effective than 600mg phenibut for me but I feel more confident about the safety and it is less addictive. At one point I took 600mg phenibut one day, 10mg baclofen the next, and nothing the third then repeat and that seems to work well for at least a month (I also recently tried taking baclofen for a few weeks at a time and while it didn't do much after a few days I'm fairly sure it did still do something, although I worry about using anticholinergic medication so frequently). Magnesium (600mg before bed) helps me as much as phenibut but wipes me out even more than usual the next day. I also use 150mg uridine monophosphate sublingually a few hours before bed, which doesn't help much with staying asleep but helps me feel more rested (nootropics depot is the highest quality source of the powder I have been able to find). That works best taking a few days off every month and a few weeks off every year. But I think in your case trying to figure out the cause is likely to be the most effective thing to try at this point.
The effects went away when I had taken a pause from the the activities and Normal sleep returned when I resumed them
Then I started yoga and mediation back in March.
Meditation daily before bed, Vinyasa five days per week after work and Yin on Sundays.
I sleep like a corpse. I get into bed at 11:00pm, close my eyes, and then open my eyes and it has been seven and a half hours.
edit: Yoga and meditation are no joke.
Last night's sleep: https://i.imgur.com/F7IJKy3.jpg
Last night I got into bed an hour early at 9:50pm because it was thundering raining and trick-or-treating was cut short. I meditated and read for 30 mins, noticed I was falling asleep, put my book on the nightstand, rolled over and was out like a light until 6:30am. The wake-up spike at 1:20am was probably me stirring over because my cat was trying to sleep on my face.
Before meditation and yoga, I would have been awake, lying in bed despairing, until 1am and then groggily rolling out of bed after a restless night barely making it to work on time.
The other pieces you may consider is some form of restless legs. Sleep docs diagnose a lot more than apnea. Best of luck.
EPA fish oil
If I stop the above regiment, and my insomnia flares up again, I find the following to help break the cycle until the magnesium and fish oil ramp back up.
Take an Aleve
Eat a half bunch of celery an hour or two before bedtime.
I stopped taking fish oil a while ago but worth adding back in.
Why do you think Aleve is helping?
Haven’t tried Magtein. The Magnesium Glycinate was prescribed by my sleep doctor. The rest I’ve picked up from online forums which others recommend and have worked for me. There are good studies to back the Magnesium. The rest.... works for me.
Do you drink alcohol regularly? Its counter intuitive but alcohol simultaneously prevents people from entering deep sleep and can cause them to wake up early.
Generally I'm fine with 1-2 beers, but 3-4+ and I always wake up at ~5am with a foggy head. And usually an ache in my arms.
And here is the Dutch Design Week exhibition that explores how vibroacoustic sound healing might promote similar effects through somatosensory entrainment U(neuromodulation). The sound healing bit is only partially tongue-in-cheek.
But the thing that's been an absolute game changer with sleep has been red glasses. So the idea is that blue light and to a lesser extent green light, both interfere with your brain's melatonin production. Everyone tells you to avoid looking at screens or your phones after dark, but who actually manages to do that? Also, these "night light" programs like flux just tone down the blue light, they don't eliminate it. These glasses block almost all blue and green light. They also have a barrier on the side so no light comes in through the side.
Sure, these glasses make you look like a dork, but they're great. If I'm in any state of lacking sleep, I find everything much less stimulating, and I get tired really fast. But even better, I sleep like I went into a coma, and I feel like I've been dreaming a lot more than usual.
There are tons of tips for sleeping better that I think all work, but from my experimentation, the unnatural blue and green light after sun down is by far the biggest problem that we all have.
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about.
I wouldn’t be surprised if lack of sleep could help contribute to Alzheimer symptoms, if not the actual disease side effects of brain structure deterioration.
I am wondering if the lucid dream training I did made my sleeppatterns like this; lucid dreaming is so much better than lsd or shrooms or games; it is free, does not harm anything and you can do anything you want (fly, infinite strength, immortal, ...) so I cannot wait to go to sleep every night.
It takes patience though: the first 15-20 times you will likely just fall asleep and remember nothing.
Outer body experience (OBE) books, although nonsense mostly, usually have very thorough guides; I used one because I was convinced that what people call OBE is actually lucid dreaming and I was right. You can train yourself with those books (the one I had mostly had the above trick) and once in a while you will sink through your bed and hang on the roof in the room below or you ‘visit friends’ etc; obviously you are just dreaming but it is fun. You are awake enough to realize what is going and to manipulate the situation.
This made the rounds a few years back, but its nice to see they are still at it.
I find cannabis completely removes dreams from my sleep which come back very vivid after stopping use. Many people online report the same.
- People selected don't have sleeping disorders. They must abstain from caffeine and stimulants 24 hours before test.
- Sleep deprivation may be used.
- Ear plugs, active noise cancelation, possibly polyurethane hood in magnet bore
- lower spatial resolution and slower gradient switching speed
When you take measures outside MRI, you may have to play the MRI sound to get comparable results.
You’ll sleep better.
I haven’t done any actual tracking but others have.
There are studies linked at the bottom of this article: https://www.bulletproof.com/sleep/sleep-hacks/inclined-bed-t....
An inclined bed would probably be even better.
If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.
If you've got toxins in the brain you've got bigger problems.