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Sleep issues update

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:46:03 GMT

So last year and the year before, my sleep was pretty crappy, and it resulted in various run injuries and DNS's. So over the past few months, especially after being home for a total of about 5 weeks in the first quarter of the year (home is NJ, and I always sleep SO well there), I've really started cleaning my sleep up and making it a big priority. I think I've finally dialed in my sleep at this point, and I'd like to share some of the issues, and what worked in negating them. The biggest issue was temperature. I feel like I'd always wake up hot in the night, and then I would toss and turn and maybe fall back asleep after an hour. No good. Another issue was noise. I actually live in a pretty quiet area of LA (they do exist!), but my apartment is a studio, and my fridge is not more than 20 feet from my bed. So when I would wake up hot, I'd already be kind of agitated, and then the fridge would click on, and I would basically toss my hands up and curse this poor sleep environment. I would always fall asleep no problem. I walk my dog for quite a while every morning, and be tween the exercise and sunlight, I would typically fall asleep within 10 minutes of getting in bed and opening a book. The issue was really waking up in the night at various points. So the first step was measuring what was going on, because if you can't measure it, you can't change it. To this end, I picked up an Oura ring. Yes, they are pricey, but the data is really useful, and it has the added benefit of providing really insightful recovery scores too (great if you're someone like me who will overtrain if given the chance...having a number tell you DON'T TRAIN is very useful). The second step was making some interventions. I had always heard of the ChiliPad, both from Tim Ferriss and Kelly Starett, and so I plunked down more money for this absurd looking but very effective device. Essentially, it is a thin pad you put under your fitted sheet that pumps cold water beneath you all night. As someone who has always slept hot, the change was pretty immediate, although the device is not perfect. (I eventually noticed that it works relative to the ambient temperature of the room, so I still needed my AC on to around 68-70 in order to allow the CP to function well.) To deal with the noise, I actually just used my HEPA filter set on a higher level, about 8 or so feet from the foot of my bed. I eventually bought a smaller white noise machine to place under my bed to add to the white noise party. I also use a big eye mask (the sleep master pro...awesome name) and paper black out shades I can clip to the window shade closest to my bed. Finally, in the interest of throwing everything at sleep, I bought the little Delta Sleeper device, which I find has been most useful if I do wake up in the night. It's basically: press the button, fall asleep for me. Kinda weird, but it works. Oh, and I replaced my SUPER HOT memory foam mattress with a Purple Mattress (I was due for a new one anyway). Between all these things, my sleep has probably never been better. I'm also staying in bed a little later these days too, so if I wake up at 5:30 or 6, I'll often just go back to sleep for another hour. In the end, I would say the ChiliPad has made the biggest difference in how I sleep, and I can't express how happy I am to not be worried about my sleep anymore. I used to literally get into bed resigned to another bad night's sleep. Not the best path to health and wellness, let me tell you. Very excited to add some training volume to this newly solid foundation.

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 21:50:14 GMT

PS I often post my sleep data on my IG account if you're curious. There are still random off nights where I sleep poorly, but those are are exception these days instead of the sad rule.

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:36:02 GMT

Are you happy with the Purple mattress? I have been on a Tempurpedic for the last 15 years and it's time for something new.

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:03:42 GMT

I am indeed! It's wonderful.

Tawnee Gibson
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:11:51 GMT

I've noticed a huge difference in sleep quality with adjusting noise and temperature alone. John and I used to live right on a busy highway (pacific coast highway for those familiar) and it literally almost made me go insane after some time. when we'd travel and have a quiet room I truly realized the negative effect that the noise had back at home -- even sporadic car noise throughout the night was disruptive, it wasn't necessarily always constant noise. We moved to a bit quieter of a place last year, and it's heavenly. Bedroom is like a dreamy quiet oasis. I also agree that temp is a huge one. I don't run hot like most of you dudes, but in certain environments, e.g. in a stuffy room with too many blankets or heat coming from the outside, I'll sleep like shit. Our room now has tile flooring (instead of carpet) and I think that's been the biggest factor in creating a cooler environment. If that's not an option for you guys, I totally am on board wth the recommendations laid out by Greg! Also, when I went through my autoimmune stuff I realized our bed was about 15 year s old and shitty (there are risks associated with that), so I got new stuff (organic). I got a mattress from the, and that ended up being too hard, so I got an organic latex 3" pad from I also switched to wool pillows and wool comforter, also from, which believe it or not are said to be COOLER than down or cotton (but also warm when you need it to be) - sounds crazy but it's true. The wool pillows were a bit stiff at first, but now they're broken in and great. The wool comforter is awesome - warm in the colder months (dude, it gets to the 30s F here!) and stays cool in summer months!