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Sleep and Activity Levels
Old 12-19-2007, 02:07 PM   #1
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Sleep and Activity Levels

I think I have discovered that I need a really high daily activity level to sleep really soundly. If I walk 6-7 miles a day, in hilly neighborhoods but without weight, I sleep OK but if I wake up early in the AM I have to try tricks to get back to sleep to get the 7.5 to 9 hours that make me feel best.

If a couple of those miles are weighted with 30# to 40# on my back, it makes a big difference. I often go out dancing at night, which is moderate exercise, and the stretching etc is useful, but it looks like for me at least that the key to really gobbling up the ZZs is getting a reasonable volume of burdened walking. I am sure that digging up garden beds, carrying mumber around, anything that involved heavy whole body work would work, but a weighted pack is easiest in my circumstances.

With this heavy exercise, I don't even wake up till I am done sleeping. I never would have expected that I needed this much.

Ha
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:15 PM   #2
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Is it the exertion, or is it the enhanced sun/light exposure?
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:22 PM   #3
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Or restoration of hormones that we normally lose when we get to be your age?

I've never had trouble with sleep. Except that my "natural" day seems to be about 25 hours long, so I get to sleep an hour later each night until I reset.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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Or restoration of hormones that we normally lose when we get to be your age?

I've never had trouble with sleep. Except that my "natural" day seems to be about 25 hours long, so I get to sleep an hour later each night until I reset.
Delayed sleep phase syndrome. Here's a Wiki on it, which I did not have time to "vet." I did note that one of the treatments is cannabis .

Chronotherapy works (advance sleep by 3 hours a day until you reach the desired bedtime). Benefits last for months in most cases.
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:45 PM   #5
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Attempting to force oneself through 9–5 life with DSPS has been compared to constantly living with 6 hours of jet lag.

Ah yes, my motivations for ER have been exposed.
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:19 PM   #6
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Ha, I've thought the same thing---but about stress rather than heavy weights. In some ways, I slept better (at least fell asleep faster) when working since the stress tired me out! Maybe I should go your route and try the weights before I attempt to introduce stress into my life!
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #7
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The sleep book I recently read says that older people sleep poorly not because of age but because of decreased activity.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:27 PM   #8
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I guess it could be the light, the weights, hormones, or all of it together. I don't remember getting the same benefit from lifting weights the normal way in the gym. And I know I look forward to going out to walk, and if I look carefully at the mental image that is drawing me it is partly the open sky and the light.

No way could a working person indulge himself this much, that is sure.

And TangoMonster- definitely try weights before you go looking for stress! In my life, stress looks for me anyway, so I am not looking for him!

Some years back I did heavy hands. The negative with that for me was it often gave me elbow tendonitis which was no fun. So now I use a pack or vest with weight. I don't have to be exhausted, just kind of "used-up" in the capacity for heavy loads.

Ha
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:50 PM   #9
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Have you been following that evolutionary fitness guy?

Art De Vany

You're doing just what he says you should be doing. Carrying an antelope on your back. In theory, that's what you need to do to keep those hormones flowing and prevent muscle loss.

I tried the interval training thing for a while, but went a little too far with my uphill sprints and inflamed my friggin achilles tendon.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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Yes, I sleep better if I have done a thorough workout at the gym including weights.

I sleep best if I am taking time off from work, so that I don't have to go to bed (or get up) at any certain time. I tell you, I'm SO ready for ER. The first thing I want to do, will be to catch up on my sleep for a few months.

Interestingly, I have discovered when I am taking time off from work, that now I really don't need more than 7 hours or so each night to feel fully refreshed. When I was younger, I needed 9-10 hours each night.

Unlike Tangomonster, I can't sleep when I'm stressed out. Too much going round and round in my head.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:40 PM   #11
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I think I have discovered that I need a really high daily activity level to sleep really soundly.
If a couple of those miles are weighted with 30# to 40# on my back, it makes a big difference. I often go out dancing at night, which is moderate exercise, and the stretching etc is useful, but it looks like for me at least that the key to really gobbling up the ZZs is getting a reasonable volume of burdened walking. I am sure that digging up garden beds, carrying mumber around, anything that involved heavy whole body work would work, but a weighted pack is easiest in my circumstances.
With this heavy exercise, I don't even wake up till I am done sleeping. I never would have expected that I needed this much.
Yep. The body shuts your brain down until it's caught up on the extra repairs.

Unfortunately I haven't worked out the compensation math on the benefits of going through an extra hour or two of daily exercise just to get an extra hour or two of nightly sleep. And sometimes I can barely stay ahead of the dehydration, which creates quite a different problem between sleep cycles...
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:42 PM   #12
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I can sleep after a lot of activity . I can sleep after little activity .Stressed ,I sleep some more .I'm one of those lucky persons who can sleep except for an occasional restless night .It drives my SO bonkers !
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:46 PM   #13
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A little too much stress and I'm awake all nite...

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Old 12-19-2007, 11:47 PM   #14
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I have sleep apnea and even with my CPAP (full face) I get about 6 hours a night of sleep..usually less. Before CPAP I was not getting into Stage II steep so my body was not getting a full repair job during the night. My Doc. says my sleep debt could only be made up if I were in a comma the rest of my life. I have had chronic sleep issues since I was even a young child and it shows no evidence it is going away.

I just hope the CPAP does the job with keeping my heart and brain healthy. Too many relatives have died from heart disease and strokes...all caused by apnea. And of course neurologicial issues with brain dysfunction due to lack of Stage II and III sleep. I worked with a sleep specialist for a year on ways to improve my sleep. She finally said I was the one in a million she could not help.

Sleep is a luxury I wish I could have more of. I don't dare nap during the day or I will be awake all night. Physical fatigue helps some but makes the apnea worse.

A lot of my forum postings are after my DW has gone to sleep and I have the time to read and post.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:19 AM   #15
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Steve that sounds rough. I feel for you.

Twaddle- I have looked at Art's stuff. He gets me all fired up, and like you I go out and injure myself. So now, I emphasize volume and weight which seems less risky than speed for those of us with little sense. I can't remember where but I read that hills can substitute for speed.

Also, I think he may be wrong about his idea that paleolithic hunting involved mainly bursts of speed and lots of ambling. A favorite buffalo hunting method on the plains was to stampede them over a cliff. Then the hard work started- butchering with stone tools, carrying up out of the canyon, and getting them back to camp.

I used to hunt elk on the peninsula with some Indians and loggers. One method was to walk down the elk, following trail and sign. They get tired and lie down. Then if you are lucky you shoot some and damn near kill yourself carrying the quarters out to the logging road. I can remember my heart beating so hard in my chest that I wondered if it coiuld be heard up ahead. It seemed to me that this hunting which used guns but little else modern relied mostly on endurance and strength, and balance to not fall into rivers walking on logs etc.

Pretty hard for any man to outsprint an herbivore, that is their game.

As an aside, this was a great way for a young man to live. Some of the old-timers fondly remembered the Depression-"We had all our time for fishing, fighting and f'ing."

Even now, when I get out and really use up my energy, it makes me feel great, and also I must radiate something positive because young women sometimes smile at me just walking down the street- which is not typical unfortunately.

Ha
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Old 12-20-2007, 09:28 AM   #16
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I swim a mile or more nearly every day. By the time 11pm comes around I can barely stay awake. I average 8 to 9 hours sleep a night. By early morning my chronic back problems usually cause enough discomfort that I can't get back to sleep after getting up to pee. On days I don't get to swim, I generally stay up an hour or two later and sleep an hour later. I have been in this swimming routine for 30 years so I don't really know how my sleep would be effected by an extended period with no exercise.

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