When I was in college, I never had issues falling asleep or staying asleep. My every day norm was going to bed sometime after 10PM and waking up with just enough time to shower, eat, and walk to my 8AM class (I always stacked my schedule so I finished classes before noon and had the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted - usually play sports or do something stupid). I would rarely wake up in the middle of the night, but something has changed since then. For the last 4+ years I've spent most nights waking up 3-4 times.
In fact, I discovered in during my 4 years away at school that my ideal sleeping position was on my back. I could never get comfortable sleeping on my stomach, not to mention it’s actually an unhealthy habit and can lead to spine and neck problems. Sleeping on my side was often the most comfortable position for me and I’d fall asleep quickly, but I would often wake up tangled in my sheets from shifting around all night. I discovered early on that sleeping on my back yielded the best results for me. While falling asleep on my back wasn’t the most comfortable position (close second though) I would often wake up in the exact same position and spot where I’d fallen asleep. Sleeping on my back seemed to yield the deepest and most undisturbed sleep.
Fun Fact: In high school, I slept through an earthquake. I was sleeping on my back.
After college, my sleep habits continued undisturbed for another year before everything changed.
I got married (despite my changing sleep patterns, I love being married 😁).
All of a sudden, this enormous queen mattress I’d had to myself had another full-size human sharing the space. To be candid, I actually slept just fine for the first month or so of marriage. I didn’t notice much of a difference. It wasn’t until a few months in that it became glaringly obvious I’d become a light sleeper.
Instead of sleeping through the night, I found myself waking up at the slightest sound. Living in an apartment at the time, that meant the simple sound of an air conditioning unit or barking dog outside could make me snap awake.
About this time, we adopted a kitten. While insanely cute, he seemed to always get a burst of energy in the middle of the night. For weeks I’d wake up to him running and jumping around our apartment. Even if he wasn’t in the bedroom, the pitter patter of his paws could easily wake me from the other room. Slowly his habits mellowed out, but I still found myself waking up 3-5 times a night, regardless of my sleeping position.
I could fall asleep any number of ways and I would still wake up time and time again in the dark of the night. After a while, I got used to these interruptions. Whenever I woke up, I would turn over, find the most comfortable position, flip the pillow to the cold side, and pass out again within a minute or two.
Over the next two and half years I came to accept this as normal. Listening to older people talk about their sleep habits (or lack thereof) I came to assume that getting older just meant a decrease in the amount of time spent asleep and the quality of said sleep.
I assumed it was normal to sleep for 4-6 hours a night and to wake up 3-5 times during that period. Then I saw an article about a lack of deep sleep having ties to Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen first hand what Alzheimer’s and Dementia can do to people and these studies encouraged me to find a solution.
I tried a number of different things suggested from a Google Search:
- Wake up at the same time each day
- Eliminate stimulants (caffeine, etc)
- Don’t nap
- Don’t eat or drink before bed
- Get comfortable (duh!)
It’s the same old tired suggestions over and over again.
Believe me, I tried all of those suggestions, but found no success. I’ve used sleep tracking apps on my phone with little improvement. In fact, the sleep tracking apps confirmed that I was getting very little deep sleep. I started looking for alternative solutions.
I used some Tim Ferriss methodologies (some unorthodox ones like an ice bath included) and experienced minimal improvement (woke up 3 times instead of 5).
I actually tried melatonin as well and that helped a little, but I was still prone to waking up a minimum of 2 times a night. After trying all of these different potential solutions, I was close to heading to a doctor to see if I had an other options or if I might need something like Ambien (which I wasn't too excited about). I've seen Ambien do weird stuff to people and I wanted to solve my problem in any other way if possible.
I found my solution before going to the doctor in the place I least expected. A tweet.
Gummies for Days
A friend, for whom I have the utmost respect, tweeted out a link to a new blog post he’d written. I read it and didn’t think anything of it until he mentioned a new vitamin he was taking called Olly. He mentioned the Olly Sleep supplement in particular and how it was changing his life. With that in mind, I sent him an email to inquire a bit more about the “vitamin”. His response was simple. It helped him sleep deep and he loved it. That was all I needed to give it a shot.
Now, it’s worth noting that I am not an insomniac. I don't think...
I fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Getting deep sleep and staying asleep without waking up is my biggest issue.
Olly Sleep has changed that.
I am not getting paid by Olly. They don’t know me and I’ve never spoken with them.
Olly Sleep is a simple product that comes in gummy form and who doesn’t love gummies? Flavored with blackberry & mint, this supplement has a combination of melatonin (naturally occurring hormone that promotes sleep cycles), L-Theanine (amino acid that promotes calmness and found in certain teas), chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm (soothing elements).
The directions are simple. Take two gummies, orally, 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep.
I bought those gummies, popped a couple, and had the best night of sleep I’ve had in years. I fell asleep and didn’t wake up a single time. I'd forgotten what that felt like and was amazed when I woke up 8 hours later.
I now take two gummies every night before bed. In fact, I have found Olly to be so effective, that some nights I take a half dose. These things knock me out and I've found getting such deep sleep that on occasion I am groggy when I wake up.
While I appreciate 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I've found myself wanting to get deep sleep for a little less time and taking even just one gummy helps me accomplish that goal. That also helps me stretch my supply a bit further.
If you have questions about my sleep routine, Olly, or anything related I'd love to chat! Thanks for reading!