I can't Sleep. Due to cycling

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by michaelbaker, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. michaelbaker

    michaelbaker New Member

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    Hi, i know this sounds stupid ''i can't sleep''. But it's really annoying, laying awake thinking about the sport or how to improve, races, training, and other things in your life.

    But i didn't have this problem much before i took up cycling 4years ago.
    So basically for about 4years i don't get to sleep for about an hour.

    Has anyone got any help on how to shut off and get to sleep faster, even if your head is always in overdrive.
    My current training sessions last 4-6hours a day. clocking up to 300-400miles a week.
    So even though my legs do feel a bit...tired after the session, later on in the day, by the time i hit the hay i feel full of energy again, so thats why i struggle to sleep. I don't eat any high energy foods before bed time either, i hate tea or coffee, and the room is black dark. And i do 'you know what' like any man.........yet still no sleep? how do i get to sleep quick? i need that extra hour. Its frustrating laying awake not knowing why, pointless.

    I don't want to try any drugs of any kind to aid my sleeping, as i don't want the risk of side effects, or to fail drug tests if i have any in the future.
    I hope for some advice on this, thanks.
     
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  2. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    Try some meditation?
    If all else fails, more 'you know what' til you're fatigued :D
    Seriously tho, if you dwell on it it'll make it harder to relax and fall asleep. Hence my suggestion to try meditation.
     
  3. Pendejo

    Pendejo Member

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    A glass or two of red wine in the evening will probably help. And when you hit the bed, you need to try to attain the "empty mind" that Zen Buddhism talks about. It's really a form of discipline that you should be able to master - stop thinking about stuff. It's within your control if you work at it.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Just do an extra couple of laps of the TT course. I'm sure Snaefell will knock enough stuffing out of you to make you a little snoozy. :p

    One of the best things that I've found is not watching TV in the hour before I go to bed. I always watched some interesting stuff on a science or history channel and just get so interested in it that I wouldn't be as relaxed as I should... Just read a book or put the radio on for a little bit.

    Maybe you're over training a bit. I know the Isle of Man aint exactly the flattest place on earth - 400 miles a week aint exactly the lightest training load.
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Try reading cycling forum threads before bedtime......zzzzzzzzzzz........
     
  6. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly Swampy.

    FWIW, restlessness at night, trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep are one of my most reliable early warning signs for overtraining. It usually happens after a couple of back to back awesome training days when the power just seems to flow and then one night my body is tired but my mind is on overdrive and I can't sleep. When I've ignored that and stayed with the hard program I've paid the price.

    YMMV,
    -Dave
     
  7. bubsy

    bubsy New Member

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    Yes l have been down this road a few times myself frequent awakenings throughout the night and not able to get back to sleep despite being exhausted from training.
    Given your current training load l agree with Dave & Swampy, l think you need some time of the bike or believe me this can manifest and become alot worse and take many months to fully recover from if not nipped in the bud maybee try 2 days OFF and see how you sleep then ease back into training, don't worry about fittness you will not loose much, and more than likely will do more good than harm as far as performance goes.
     
  8. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    +2. It's one of the classic signs of overtraining. When I was routinely overdoing it years ago (before I got a clue), I had similar issues sleeping. It's an easy way for you body to try to slow you down - if you're tired all the time you're not going to be able to ride as you could - but if we ignore that sign, things just get worse, IMO.

    You mentioned "no high-energy foods before bed". OK, but try having a lighter dinner and have it many (3-4) hours before bedtime. This may mean eating more earlier in the day. It works for me.

    You also mentioned "no drugs". Otherwise I would suggest melatonin, which is a pretty light sleeping aid that is more natural, though I can't tell you that all the makers of that remedy are watching for things that are on the WADA list so it's best to stay away.
     
  9. wiredued

    wiredued New Member

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    Calcium citrate an hour or two before bed helps me sleep sometimes. Over training might be the cause of a deficiency in water soluble vitamins and then minerals if you keep doing it.
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    A 12 pack of good beer does the same for me...

    But then again I wouldn't use myself as a role model for cycling performance right now. :p
     
  11. spinner32

    spinner32 New Member

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    Yea, unless you're P.R.O. Lay off the miles, take a week or two off. This is a sign of your nervous system saying it's getting fried - catch it at the sympathetic state, before it evolves into full blown OTS and triggers a change in your parasympathetic nervous system response. It's closely linked with what is becoming known as "adrenal exhaustion" syndrome. In lay-person's terms, your adrenal gland becomes switched "on." You will be restless, have trouble sleeping, and even display signs of depression.

    Here's a great article on the Overtraining Syndrome. Don't lie to yourself when you read through the symptoms. Just be honest, and take some steps towards correcting it if you feel that you are displaying any of the signs of OTS.

    http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/training/what_you_dont_know_overtraining.htm

    If you have a membership to any peer-reviewed article databases, check out some of the articles by Armstrong and Van Heest. They have studied OTS, and its links to many psychological conditions - including sleep issues.

    If it's any consolation, I had the same problem last year - and it only got worse with more riding. It took a good 2 months to get sorted out, and then another 3-4 to finally get back into riding on a regular schedule - DON'T let it happen to you. Take this as an early sign that you need rest.

    Until you can sleep again, SERIOUSLY lay off the riding, and engage in something completely unrelated. No training, mental or physical. Read, lounge, get into a cooking clas, share more time with your spouse/significant other. Whatever it takes. Don't jeopardize your favorite sport by overdoing it!

    I tend to go overboard on OTS posts, but it really screwed up an entire season for me, and I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

    If you, for any reason, even think in the slightest that you may be having symptoms of overtraining:

    1. See a doctor (perhaps one in sports medicine or sports psychology), and give them the run down on your training schedule, rest cycles, and any/all symptoms that you have been experiencing. They'll be able to accurately diagnose you, and get you on the road to recovery.

    2. REST
    Rest
    Rest
    Rest
    Eat more CHO and drink more water.
    Rest
    etc.

    Best of luck, hopefully you're just having some restless nights and not OTS. :D
     
  12. michaelbaker

    michaelbaker New Member

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    This seems like a good idea. Because i know from experience...1-2 glasses of wine make me tired and want to sleep...anymore make me pissed.

    I can't believe i haven't used it as a way to sleep... no halm in the odd glass.
    It's just a case of finding something to relaxe the mind.
    i have 2 rest day a week anyway... where i do almost nothing.. (apart from on one of them i'd do leg squats scattered over 20min) nothing much.
    so it's not over training, i know my body in tht sense.. I'll try the red-wine idea, just before i go to bed, on a ''not very full stomach'' so it goes to my head quick. because i can imagine it will work. i heard a rumor that a glass of red wine a day is good for you...
    All i need is something to make me feel tired, and shut off, somin thts gone on to long.

    Thanks for everyones advice, its been a great help.
    Snaefell ain't anythin special when your a hill climber... i could go up nd down it all day hehe. But it's shut off for a faire bit of time during the TT for obvious reasons :).
    Winchester in hampshire area is where i'm based atm and clocking the miles up.
     
  13. Piotr

    Piotr New Member

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    Overtraining, blah, blah, whatever... Leave the man alone you quacks. Can't you see he's in love? 4-6 hrs/day on the bike, can't sleep because he thinks of cycling... I'm just saying. :D
     
  14. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    I was overtraining even with two rest days per week.

    Quack! Quack! Quack!
     
  15. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but Steve you were probably training hard and long, not a measly 20 to 30 hours per week. Come on get real, nobody's gonna overtrain on 300 to 400 miles a week :cool:
     
  16. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    It's not a hard climb. Even my sorry ass could get over that quite easily all day. Once you get past the hairpin and gooseneck it aint too bad. The only thing that I found tricky about mountain road was the wind and close encounter with a sheep at creg-ne-BAAAAA. I didn't know they had sheep on the island until I was staring a fluffy beaste with huge devil horns in the face at more than a few miles per hour and it wasn't for moving...

    I'm guessing you won't be up there on Mad Sunday then? ;)
     
  17. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    Kind of like Monty Python's killer rabbit, huh?
     
  18. Steve_B

    Steve_B New Member

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    If he's riding 4-6 hours/day, I'm assuming he doesn't have a full-time job. That should make things easier. The pros do this but they don't get to where they are by just jumping into the deep end; they had to build up their volume over the years.

    One thing that bugs me: 5 days of riding/week (2 rest days), 4-6 hours/day, 300-400 miles/week, so on the median that's 350 miles/25 hours = 14 MPH (22.4 KPH). Either that's a lot of ascents on "the mountain" or a lot of noodling around.
     
  19. michaelbaker

    michaelbaker New Member

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    yeah but when in the gym doing the leg presses, i go straight from working out to going on the exercise bike to use my sprint muscles.
    20-30min of mixed sprinting/normal cycling/out of the saddle climbing. what miliage does that come to?
    during my 4-6hour ride i'd stop at a midway point and do some stretches on the monday. aswell as empty a satchet of creatine into water bottle and make myself my juice. i guess i should take out various things that slow me down.

    like blimmin traffic lights, lorries that pull out in front of you, junctions where you naturally have to slow down at,
    for some reason i like main roads for cycling, then i do need to make phone calls/take calls/text, which i all do on the bike, but it disturbs my rhythem....
     
  20. michaelbaker

    michaelbaker New Member

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    Also i've had more time off recently, so it's been a bit more leisurely my days.
    but i'm back on the barracks. so my training will still be there where i can. but a 08:00-17:00 job will be time i sit around, evenings will be training, and so will weekends. my training pattern will be totally out of sink again, but it's flexible hours. And you never know... The army might help me even more than just offering me a job................tour de afgan here i come!
    lets hope not.
     
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