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View Full Version : Poll- What do you do to relax before bed?


Greg Davis
05-23-2008, 05:19 AM
Curious what people do to relax and wind down at the end of the day?
(aside from a bout with the significant other)

Recently I've been trying out Tim Ferriss' suggestion of reading fiction (haven't read fiction in a loong time- I think he might be right that non-fiction is for during the day and fiction is a good place to visit before bed).

Garrett Smith
05-23-2008, 06:08 AM
No talking about business before bed. No suspense/drama/horror/action TV either.

Chamomile tea. L-tryptophan. PharmaGABA. Revitalizing Sleep Formula. Mix, match, omit, whatever's clever.

Hot shower/bath.

There's two main options, IMO. Avoiding things that excite the CNS and doing things to downregulate the CNS. If I do the former, I'm good to go.

Darryl Shaw
05-23-2008, 06:38 AM
I wind down for the day with a good book and a glass of whisky followed by a set or two of pull-ups which for some reason I find relaxing.

Derek Simonds
05-23-2008, 07:25 AM
I have read Tim's book and enjoy reading before bed to relax. I don't have the problem with fiction vs non fiction. I can read either and still go to sleep. I do have a very thick book on the Kennedy brothers that I am trying to finish and whenever I am struggling with relaxing I bust that out and am asleep within a couple of minutes.

Other than that I have found the most relaxing thing I do is putting my children to bed at night. We will read a little together, recap the day, plan for what tomorrow is going to bring then snuggle. If you have kids you probably know what I am talking about. On more than one occasion my wife has had to wake me up after I fell asleep holding my daughter or son.

After putting the kids to sleep I don't turn on the TV or the Computer unless absolutely necessary. That and a couple of other things I picked up from Lights Out really make it easy for me now.

John Alston
05-23-2008, 07:41 AM
One more vote for the Revitalizing Sleep formula.

Also, I'm a fan of letting it get darker inside as the night progresses. Spend some time with the lights out, not staring into the tv.

Steven Low
05-23-2008, 09:41 AM
Doesn't really matter for me. Just get in and roll my eyes back and I can usually fall asleep within 5 minutes. Even after doing a set of pushups or pullups or whatever.

However, if I've had a nap within like 4-5 hours I usually can't fall asleep for like 30+ minutes. Kinda sucks.

Dave Van Skike
05-23-2008, 10:15 AM
Laudanum

Veronica Carpenter
05-23-2008, 10:37 AM
I surf the net until I fall asleep on my keyboard because dialup is too slow. :p

Mike ODonnell
05-23-2008, 10:40 AM
Family Guy.....it dumbs down my brain nicely!

I can't read a book (fiction or non-fiction)...as that wakes up my mind too much.

Garrett Smith
05-23-2008, 11:16 AM
Dave,
Is that to counter the mescaline?

Jay Cohen
05-23-2008, 12:08 PM
Walk dog(soon to be dogs), Read, glass of cheap red wine

Dave Van Skike
05-23-2008, 03:41 PM
Dave,
Is that to counter the mescaline?

mescaline is a recreational.

it's the maintenance dose of yohimbe/methylphenidate/tyrosine that requires a chemical step ladder to come down.

Garrett Smith
05-23-2008, 04:15 PM
OK, I can definitely see the need for some downer after that combo...yowza.

Derek Weaver
05-23-2008, 05:10 PM
Doesn't really matter for me. Just get in and roll my eyes back and I can usually fall asleep within 5 minutes. Even after doing a set of pushups or pullups or whatever.

However, if I've had a nap within like 4-5 hours I usually can't fall asleep for like 30+ minutes. Kinda sucks.

You're lucky that a) you can fall asleep that fast and b) that you can take a nap at all.

I'm lucky if I can get to sleep inside of 30 minutes ever.

I read and that helps, but I'm not much on booze anymore in any amount or of any kind.

Supposedly I never slept well whether I was a baby or as a mid-20's adult.

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2008, 11:32 AM
You're lucky that a) you can fall asleep that fast and b) that you can take a nap at all.

I'm lucky if I can get to sleep inside of 30 minutes ever.

I read and that helps, but I'm not much on booze anymore in any amount or of any kind.

Supposedly I never slept well whether I was a baby or as a mid-20's adult.


I slept like that when I was in my 20's. Then..... job, house, kids and some challenging hobbies.

I'm pretty much down to 3-4 hours straight through and a couple 20-50 minute segments if all goes well. It used to really bug me, now I believe sleep to be overrated.

Derek Weaver
05-25-2008, 02:05 PM
I have a habit of running pretty bad sleep debts that crush me. I'm only 24, and will go weeks or months where I sleep just like you Dave. I suppose once I settle down with a family, mortgage etc. I'll consider sleep to either be highly overrated or underrated.

Maybe I need to start meditating or, God forbid... yoga...

Dave Van Skike
05-25-2008, 02:14 PM
start meditating or, God forbid... yoga...


Ugh. I know.

"sleep is overrated" is just a thing I'm trying out. if meditating or yoga worked I'd be all over it like a wet t-shirt.

Scott Kustes
05-27-2008, 09:47 AM
I typically read for anywhere from 5-30 minutes, depending on how quickly my eyes slam shut. Non-fiction typically.

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-27-2008, 01:17 PM
I typically foam roll and do some yoga right before I take my Advair and Melatonin. Then I read a hodge podge of Dreschler/Newton/Kono/Hauer/etc. (ie., weightlifting books) on technical aspects of the snatch and clean.

Oh, south park/family guy and that 70s show help sometimes when the above doesn't work.

All the best,
Arden

Kris Reeves
12-10-2008, 05:15 PM
Other than that I have found the most relaxing thing I do is putting my children to bed at night. We will read a little together, recap the day, plan for what tomorrow is going to bring then snuggle. If you have kids you probably know what I am talking about. On more than one occasion my wife has had to wake me up after I fell asleep holding my daughter or son.


Hey...me too! :)

Frank Needham
12-12-2008, 05:19 PM
If you're not passing out within minutes, 15-20, at the most. Then you are just plain not working hard enough. Every night when I hit the sack I'm sleeping withing minutes. The schedule I keep guarantees me to pass out almost right away.

Chris Salvato
12-12-2008, 05:47 PM
If you're not passing out within minutes, 15-20, at the most. Then you are just plain not working hard enough. Every night when I hit the sack I'm sleeping withing minutes. The schedule I keep guarantees me to pass out almost right away.

Erm, i somewhat disagree. While I'm no expert on sleep its not that simple. Hormones, mental anguish, stress, low self esteem, a bad day, a lifestyle that is constantly in strife -- any of these are unrelated to training and can make sleep an issue.

Sometimes I can't sleep for an hour or so -- then I put on a warmer pair of pants or take off a layer and I pass out within minutes -- body was just too hot/cold to sleep that way or something.

If you're having a chronic sleep problem, squatting more might help....but i don't think its the solution you should really be looking for if you're up all night worrying if your light bill isn't going to be paid tomorrow -- or worrying if your barracks might get bombed.

I would explore Derek's personal life/training a bit more before saying he doesn't work hard enough...but that's just me...


Ugh. I know.

"sleep is overrated" is just a thing I'm trying out. if meditating or yoga worked I'd be all over it like a wet t-shirt.

I'm a bit confused. Can you define "worked"? What exactly are you hoping to get out of your meditation or yoga? Pseudo-sleep effects/faster recovery?

Meditation and yoga do work....just depends on what you want them to do. Meditation (even though I think its a waste of time..) brings you down to a relaxed state pretty quickly and easily. Lowers heart rate, thats for damn sure. Yoga is useful (albeit not optimal) on increasing flexibility, active and passive, as well as a relaxation technique similar to meditating.

IMHO, anything "works" it depends on what you are looking for. Everything has its place...

Jamila Bey
12-13-2008, 01:20 AM
I enjoyed Ferriss' book- though clearly not written for someone who makes her living as a journalist! (He recommends a news "fast" where you strike up conversations by having your colleagues tell you what's important in the news.)

I do read- non-fiction before bed, but between that and nursing my son, I'm out before my head hits the pillow.

Reading, my weekly candelit bath (the ONLY time I get to relax while wet!), and soft music are my top faves. I used to rather enjoy more strenuous nighttime activities, but I'd trade almost anything for sleep these days!

Brian DeGennaro
12-13-2008, 05:40 AM
I use the time before bed to [day] dream. Why wouldn't you use that one free time you have to have the best and fantastic dreams? Doing that has given me some pretty sweet REM dreams and it keeps me bored if I'm taking longer than normal to fall asleep.

Patrick Donnelly
12-13-2008, 10:33 AM
Stretching or foam rolling before bed seems to help. However, the best thing I've done was to black out the window with construction paper, then cover all of the little lights in the room. In a dorm room with two students (therefore, two computers, two alarm clocks, etc.) it made such a huge difference. Previously, I was waking up at least once during the middle of the nght most nights of the week for over two months. Slept like a baby since I blacked out the light. It can be the middle of the day and I can take a nap in complete darkness. Kicks ass.


I know that Garrett also recommends no electric things plugged in within six feet of your head, but I don't have space in here for that right now. If I could, I would, since I'm sure it couldn't hurt.

Daniel Olmstead
12-13-2008, 02:48 PM
Puzzle Quest. But lately I've been having dreams about it, so maybe I need to go back to Michael Pollan books. Puts me straight to sleep.

Mike ODonnell
12-13-2008, 08:51 PM
Guinness and Family Guy.

Kevin Perry
12-13-2008, 11:35 PM
A book + some classical music or the Eagles.

But I have chronic insomnia and deal with phases of sleep problems so there is always something new to experiment with.

Steven Low
12-14-2008, 09:12 AM
Stretching or foam rolling before bed seems to help. However, the best thing I've done was to black out the window with construction paper, then cover all of the little lights in the room. In a dorm room with two students (therefore, two computers, two alarm clocks, etc.) it made such a huge difference. Previously, I was waking up at least once during the middle of the nght most nights of the week for over two months. Slept like a baby since I blacked out the light. It can be the middle of the day and I can take a nap in complete darkness. Kicks ass.


I know that Garrett also recommends no electric things plugged in within six feet of your head, but I don't have space in here for that right now. If I could, I would, since I'm sure it couldn't hurt.
Haha yeah black construction paper. I remember telling someone to do that.. worked out well, eh?

I agree with removing the cell phones/electronics though. I try to place my phone at least 6 feet away; noticable difference in sleep quality.

Jason Tanner
12-14-2008, 01:03 PM
I'll be good to go if I'm in bed by 8 and home at 11.

Patrick Donnelly
12-20-2008, 06:24 AM
Haha yeah black construction paper. I remember telling someone to do that.. worked out well, eh?

I agree with removing the cell phones/electronics though. I try to place my phone at least 6 feet away; noticable difference in sleep quality.

Yes, it worked amazingly.


I'll see what I can do about the electronics. I'm moving all of my stuff out of the dorms and into my own room off campus today, so not only will I have more space, but more control over that kind of stuff too.

Daniel Labuz
12-20-2008, 09:31 AM
This thread is interesting to say the least, I always had very restorative sleep when I slept outside (during the summer at least). I have a lot of outlets in my room as well, so maybe there's some truth to it.

Kris Reeves
12-20-2008, 12:28 PM
I'll see what I can do about the electronics.


Patrick -

One thing that has worked well for me is to use a strip of blue painter's tape over any electronic display (cable box, clock, etc.). It looks a little goofy during the day, but things like the clock are readable at night time, as it shines through the tape, but it's not nearly as bright.

Emily Mattes
01-01-2009, 11:16 PM
The past couple of weeks I've been having terrible sleep problems. I'm exhausted during the day, but come night I'm completely wired awake (though yawning too). When I fall asleep I wake up around 1:00am-2:00am like clockwork and can't sleep for another couple of hours. This is despite heavy lifting twice a day . . . I have no clue how to correct this. The thing is, the only major lifestyle changes I've made recently are good ones:

- I started doing heavy lifting twice a day beginning of last week
- I started seriously cleaning up my diet three weeks ago.
- I've been taking magnesium for a little over a month now, 500mg of magnesium oxide once a day--I haven't felt like I slept properly since then, but it may be confirmation bias.

The only good sleep I've had recently has been when I've had alcohol that night, that is obviously not an ideal solution.

I'm thinking I may try the following, could anyone give any further thoughts on fixing my sleep issues?

- Unplugging electronics (does this include lights?)
- An hour before bed staying away from the computer
- Buying a sleep mask
- Melatonin
- Possibly dropping the magnesium (?)

Garrett Smith
01-02-2009, 04:33 AM
All of the things you're thinking of trying sound good.

Try moving your magnesium to the morning. If that doesn't work, you might want to try a different type of magnesium, the oxide form is poorly absorbed.

If you can, move your second workout of the day as early in the afternoon as you can, so that you aren't wired from adrenaline before bed.

No nightshades, they tend to cause a middle-of-the-night wakeup like you are describing.

Scott Clark
01-02-2009, 09:06 PM
Reading, so long as it's not any sort of action book like Black Hawk Down, Lone Survivor, etc. Lately I've been reading Richard Dawkins and some work by Paul Chek. It's been working well.