Since I’ve stopped drinking and removed that bittersweet source of weekly depression, I’ve been able to observe the effects of other factors on my mood in isolation, to better understand how they are affecting me. One of them that seems to make a massive difference is sleep.
Sunday night, I got 9 hours of solid, deep sleep, and awoke feeling like champion of the world. I had a brilliant day, brimming with confidence, opening girls on autopilot without even stopping to consider what I was doing, and got a ton of work done.
Last night, I went to bed in enough time to get 8 hours’ sleep, and fell asleep within about 5 mintues as I always do. However, after only a couple of hours, I begun to drift in an out of a confused, half-sleep state, my dreams intermingling with reality (Roosh was even in one of them for some reason, speaking with a squeaky voice after inhaling helium – don’t ask, my subconscious is a weird, dark place), which went on until I finally dragged myself out of it and went for a piss. Only to then promptly re-enter the same state about an hour later, which repeated for the remainder of the night. I am now tired, grainy, grumpy, have massive bags under my eyes, and in no mood to talk to anyone. Although as discussed in a previous post not being “in peak state” is no reason to not push yourself to approach, there’s “not being in peak state” and then there’s “feeling like I’m going to rip someone’s head off if they look the wrong way at me”.
The difference between the two nights? I dosed myself with 2.5mg of valium before going to sleep on Sunday night, and did not last night. Obviously, this is fine once or twice a week when I need a good rest, but is no long term solution – the body rapidly becomes tolerant of the effects of valium, and its effectiveness is greatly reduced.
I’m sure we’re all aware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep – establishing a regular sleeping pattern, making the room as dark as possible to help melatonin production, eliminating noise, keeping the temperature below about 21C/70F, electronic devices off a couple of hours before bed, take a bath/shower, no caffeine, plenty of exercise etc etc. However, even when taking all of these factors into consideration, my unsupplmented sleep is still utter crap. The quality of my sleep started declining noticeably once I turned 30, and I don’t think I’m alone in experiencing this phenomenon.
I’ve tried melatonin supplements, and they work to an extent, but leave me somewhat groggy the following day, and I’d prefer not to mess with the level of one of my body’s more important hormones on a daily basis.
ZMA supplements are massively cited anecdotally as improving the quality of deep sleep, despite there being no official studies supporting this claim. It could be the case, as with many areas of supplementation, that the issue simply isn’t important enough to warrant propert clinical trials. I’ve ordered some of these anyway, which should be arriving this week, so hopefully this will knock the issue on the head.
Having witnessed the difference in my levels of energy, sociability and confidence that a solid night’s sleep can make, I’m now determined to get this issue covered. To use a phrase which betrays my geeky heritage – it’s like a free +10 upgrade to my level of game. I shall report back with results.