Late nights and early mornings. How do you get through the days? And what's your take on exercise?

Not going to complain that I've been working 80-100 hour work weeks (because I don't) however I haven't been getting the best of sleep and was wondering how do you get through the day? Coffee/Tea? Nootropics? Drugs? Big breakfast?

Also how does this affect your gym schedule? Do you decide to skip it? Lighter workout? extra scoop of pre workout? At what point in the day do you decide to go to the gym if you do end up still going?

Any suggestions on how to get better sleep as well?

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Comments (73)

Jul 11, 2017

As far as a gym schedule goes, I personally find that the best way to get through workouts when you're reallly dragging is to have a long term tangible goal (don't say "I want to be in shape", say "I want to bench press 225 by this date.") in mind and to not make excuses or let yourself slip on it. If you get into a routine of not letting yourself miss workouts it's a lot easier to get through them when you feel like death. Once you let it go once or twice you're going to just stop going whenever you're tired, which will be borderline always.

Jul 11, 2017

This is a good point. Also, OP if you went from working out say 4-5 times a week to 1-2 times it will effect your sleep a ton. I was working out 5-6 days a week for about three years and I took a week off, a week became a month and a month became a year in no time. I was sleeping terribly, waking up ~7 times a night for no reason, I saw our family doctor and she asked about my workout schedule first and foremost, and I told her that I had stopped working out a year ago, and to make a long story short the main issue was because I had stopped working out. So keep going to the gym!

Also, a close friend is a Psychiatrist, she introduced me to 'Sleep Hygiene' sounds weird but give it a look, or if you have any specific questions I'll see what answers I can get out of her.
- Basics are, don't do anything an hour or so before bed that requires your body to do anything. No food, no drinks, no shower, your body has to work to process all of that. i.e. cool your body temp down after a shower

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Jul 11, 2017

I always skip breakfast. I have one cigarette and 4oz espresso when I wake up. I take caffeine and green tea during the day. I'll eat lunch if coworker asks to go out, but if not, I intermittent fast the whole day. I workout and eat at night.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 15, 2017

Sounds about what I do but I try and eat some oatmeal in the morning and i'll try and meal prep or grab take out for lunch

Jul 11, 2017

Stop the caffeine after breakfast. You'll sleep much better at night.

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Jul 15, 2017

What's the best time for caffeine then?

Jul 11, 2017

I've heard before 2pm

Jul 15, 2017

my ideal last call is 4 pm

Jul 11, 2017

Differs for people. I used to have a coffee at around 2 or 3pm. I am a light sleeper, so after cutting that out, I still wake up at night, but find it much much easier to fall back asleep.

Jul 12, 2017

Melatonin has done wonders for me to help with this. I workout after work around 730pm and my preworkout used to keep me up til 2 or 3am. Now, I take melatonin every night that I workout around 1030pm and I'm out like a light by 1130 and sleep through most of the night.

Jul 15, 2017

How much melatonin do you take? Don't exactly want to take a quasi sleeping pill

Jul 11, 2017

I wanna say when I really wanna zonk out I'll take 2 3mg tablets, I'll usually do this if I need to recover from jetlag. buddy of mine used to take 3mg daily and it helped him, the only thing I'll say is for me personally, I have to get at least 7 hours of sleep on the stuff otherwise I wake up extra groggy.

Jul 11, 2017

Sleep: limit caffeine intake, don't eat as much throughout the day, don't eat before bed, stay hydrated. Instead of watching tv, phone, PC try to read or write before bed. Try using headspace, etc.. before bed

Try to avoid sugar all together

Jul 15, 2017

Good call on the headspace. I got a fitbit recently and the breathing exercises are a great substitute imo if you're not down for headspace

Jul 11, 2017

Workout in the morning before work, no booze during the week/Sunday.

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Jul 15, 2017

Gonna have to pass on happy hour eh?

Jul 11, 2017

Coffee is for closers, happy hour is for unhappy people.

Trade the after work drinks for before work networking coffees.

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Jul 12, 2017

Happy hour was invented to keep the proletariat far away from the bridges and make Marx happy.

"I'm into, uh, well, murders and executions, mostly."

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Jul 15, 2017

Alright Blake I Gotcha

Jul 11, 2017

Most mornings, the second I get out of bed, I drag myself over to the gym and walk on the treadmill for about 15-30 minutes. Pretty much asleep whilst doing this, but by the time it's over I feel energized and ready to start the day.

Jul 11, 2017

adderall

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Jul 11, 2017

hit by monkey shi wow your a lame

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Best Response
Jul 11, 2017

Work out. Every day. Doesn't matter if it's a walk or run or cycle or who gives a damn. Get the heart pumping first thing in the AM.

Second, if you're needing some energy there's this thing called the EC stack. It's very similar to like legal Adderall. It's 25MG of Ephedra, and 200MG of caffeine 3 times a day (spaced out). Get's rid of you appetite, gives you way more energy/focus and of course.. will keep you awake.

Also I like to keep a cold towel in the company fridge. Call me crazy, but when I start to get lazy or tired, I simply take it out (ice cold) and press it against my face. Helps me cool down, but also gives you a bit of a jolt like a quick ice shower. 10/10 would recommend.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Jul 11, 2017
UTDFinanceGuy:

Work out. Every day. Doesn't matter if it's a walk or run or cycle or who gives a damn. Get the heart pumping first thing in the AM.

Second, if you're needing some energy there's this thing called the EC stack. It's very similar to like legal Adderall. It's 25MG of Ephedra, and 200MG of caffeine 3 times a day (spaced out). Get's rid of you appetite, gives you way more energy/focus and of course.. will keep you awake.

Also I like to keep a cold towel in the company fridge. Call me crazy, but when I start to get lazy or tired, I simply take it out (ice cold) and press it against my face. Helps me cool down, but also gives you a bit of a jolt like a quick ice shower. 10/10 would recommend.

  1. Is ephedra even legal
  2. That's a really lame SEAL quote

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 11, 2017
  1. If you buy it OTC in the form of Bronkaid or Primatene.
  2. Rather be sexy and dead, than ugly and alive. - Navy SEAL

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Jul 11, 2017
UTDFinanceGuy:

Work out. Every day. Doesn't matter if it's a walk or run or cycle or who gives a damn. Get the heart pumping first thing in the AM.

Second, if you're needing some energy there's this thing called the EC stack. It's very similar to like legal Adderall. It's 25MG of Ephedra, and 200MG of caffeine 3 times a day (spaced out). Get's rid of you appetite, gives you way more energy/focus and of course.. will keep you awake.

Also I like to keep a cold towel in the company fridge. Call me crazy, but when I start to get lazy or tired, I simply take it out (ice cold) and press it against my face. Helps me cool down, but also gives you a bit of a jolt like a quick ice shower. 10/10 would recommend.

Also, with ice, another spot is at the base of the neck on the spine - you'll be very alert, it's startling

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Jul 11, 2017

I use to put a pillow in the freezer before bed because this was the best for those late night aches. Great advice. SB.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Jul 20, 2017
Isaiah_53_5:
UTDFinanceGuy:

Work out. Every day. Doesn't matter if it's a walk or run or cycle or who gives a damn. Get the heart pumping first thing in the AM.

Second, if you're needing some energy there's this thing called the EC stack. It's very similar to like legal Adderall. It's 25MG of Ephedra, and 200MG of caffeine 3 times a day (spaced out). Get's rid of you appetite, gives you way more energy/focus and of course.. will keep you awake.

Also I like to keep a cold towel in the company fridge. Call me crazy, but when I start to get lazy or tired, I simply take it out (ice cold) and press it against my face. Helps me cool down, but also gives you a bit of a jolt like a quick ice shower. 10/10 would recommend.

Also, with ice, another spot is at the base of the neck on the spine - you'll be very alert, it's startling

you oughta try Kratom. Completely legal and taking the right dose, is quite uplifting. Not sure about how prevalent it is on the East Coast but West Coast its everywhere.

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Jul 12, 2017

Wouldn't recommend EC stack, that shit just doesn't feel right.

Agree on working out every day. I only take caffeine before working out around 7-8pm and I still sleep without trouble by 1am.

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Jul 15, 2017
UTDFinanceGuy:

Work out. Every day. Doesn't matter if it's a walk or run or cycle or who gives a damn. Get the heart pumping first thing in the AM.

Second, if you're needing some energy there's this thing called the EC stack. It's very similar to like legal Adderall. It's 25MG of Ephedra, and 200MG of caffeine 3 times a day (spaced out). Get's rid of you appetite, gives you way more energy/focus and of course.. will keep you awake.

Also I like to keep a cold towel in the company fridge. Call me crazy, but when I start to get lazy or tired, I simply take it out (ice cold) and press it against my face. Helps me cool down, but also gives you a bit of a jolt like a quick ice shower. 10/10 would recommend.

I actually stick to a caffeine + l theanine stack tbh. My friend took EC stack for a while and she couldn't go to sleep. I'll look into the ice trick though!

Jul 12, 2017

I'm surprised that the "best response" in this thread is someone advocating the daily mixture of 600 mg of caffeine and bronkaid

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Jul 11, 2017
geology rocks:

I'm surprised that the "best response" in this thread is someone advocating the daily mixture of 600 mg of caffeine and bronkaid

yeah doesn't sound the best for healthy heart and sleep habits

If I recall, ephedra puts holes in your heart, right

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 12, 2017

Yeah don't go on an EC stack to help you get through the day. It started as a tool to help people get lean (without steroids etc). You're supposed to taper your usage up slowly, and taper it down slowly when you're done. And not be on it for long periods of time. I've done it with no real issues, but I would NOT recommend it for most people.

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Jul 30, 2017

An E/C stack is what natural bodybuilders and fitness models do after bulking and during a cut to get their body fat down to the lowest possible levels in preparation for a competition or a photoshoot. They typically cycle on and off the stack. I don't think it's something that is recommended to do on a daily basis year round.

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Jul 11, 2017

Stay hydrated and eat well, this is going to keep your body awake and from feeling lethargic. I only have one cup of coffee a day, in the morning (10ish).

I try and workout 5 times a week, so if I miss a day during the week I'm forced to go on the weekends, but this makes me accountable to myself and more likely to go after work.

Jul 11, 2017

Interested in thoughts on nootropics, since OP mentioned them. I tried a couple (Nexus and one I can't remember the name of) after Eddy's post on them last year. The one I can't remember the name of did nothing for me and I thought Nexus did very little. I didn't notice a difference in my ability to focus but I did perceive somewhat of a calm energy that lasted through the day. Made it hard to fall asleep though if I took it too late in the day. It's possible what I perceived was just a placebo effect though. I guess nootropics affect people differently because others on that aforementioned post claimed they really helped. Anyone use them and benefit from them?

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Jul 15, 2017

look into a caffeine + l theanine stack but it's basically just a combination of pure coffee and green tea

Jul 11, 2017

I'll take a look. I tend to be fairly caffeine sensitive. I drink a cup (probably ~6 oz) of iced dark roast (slightly lower caffeine) coffee every morning. I normally already drink tea in the early afternoon, but I drink one that's not very caffeinated.

Jul 11, 2017

Some solid advice above about getting in the gym and staying motivated. But if all else fails, bust out some pushups at your desk, or if that's taboo at your shop, find an empty office/conference room. Shouldn't take more than 5 mins to do several sets of however many you can do. Gym is best, but pushups are far better than doing nothing.

[Edited for typo]

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Jul 12, 2017

trading hours so I'm up early anyway what's the extra 30 min to workout. I'll either run a 5k-7k or just do 5x5 bench or 5x5 deadlift depending on the day. I found just doing those 3 as my primary weekday workouts is good enough for me and it takes no longer than 35 min. Waking up a little earlier is easier to me than going to the gym after a long day, plus I get a nice natural energy, focus, and mood boost from it.

Jul 12, 2017

A 7k in 35 minutes is a pretty gnarly pace, brother. If I tried to run 4 consecutive 8 minute miles first thing in the morning I would probably die somewhere around mile 1.6.

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Jul 12, 2017

If you can get a legal prescription, is Adderall bad to abuse?

Jul 12, 2017
newyorkermonkey:

If you can get a legal prescription, is Adderall bad to abuse?

I've heard it's pretty addictive.

Jul 12, 2017

I got a prescription when I first started work and I wouldn't recommend it. Yes, it is wonderful when you are on it, but it took a while to adjust off.

Jul 11, 2017

Yeah don't use that stuff daily, I had a friend who was prescribed it kill himself after getting off it.

Jul 12, 2017

Up at 5. Gym at 5:30am. 20 minute high intensity cardio. Two upper body super sets no rest, max out, 3 sets (15minutes). Abs 5 minutes. Drenched and out it 40 minutes. Do that everyday followed by a Steam/Sauna/Steam. I try to go without food as long as possible to stay lean. Office life is tragic.

Jul 15, 2017

Got a guide to high intensity cardio?

Jul 12, 2017

Some American pscho-esque responses here.

I think you can be normal, healthy and work a lot of hours. Get coffee in the morning (you're human, it's okay), drink A TON of water (really was a game changer when I started doing that), and take 40-60 minutes in the evening to hit the gym and do your thing. I can't stay up to 2/3/4am without at least some cardio and weights. I also try to avoid milk and wheat, not sure if it's just me, but I feel like they build up in my gut. Makes me queasy.

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Jul 11, 2017
Prepfordays234:

Some American pscho-esque responses here.

I think you can be normal, healthy and work a lot of hours. Get coffee in the morning (you're human, it's okay), drink A TON of water (really was a game changer when I started doing that), and take 40-60 minutes in the evening to hit the gym and do your thing. I can't stay up to 2/3/4am without at least some cardio and weights. I also try to avoid milk and wheat, not sure if it's just me, but I feel like they build up in my gut. Makes me queasy.

does no milk equal no cheese for you?

yeah I avoid wheat and dairy as well. but I like cheese in salads sometimes and also frequently break and get a pizza

yesterday I had to get a pizza though because I was in such a severe calorie deficit that I needed a ton of calories quickly after a hard sweat workout

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 12, 2017

Yeah I mean where I work, within the building we have a really intense health foods cafe (all vegan, gluten free and whatnot) so it's made easy for me. I went a few weeks this winter where just because of timing constraints and having to go there all the time I basically only ate veggies. felt amazing.

Jul 15, 2017

Always intrigued by vegan/gluten free diets. I'm trying to bulk up so just curious what do you usually eat?

Jul 15, 2017
Prepfordays234:

Some American pscho-esque responses here.

I think you can be normal, healthy and work a lot of hours. Get coffee in the morning (you're human, it's okay), drink A TON of water (really was a game changer when I started doing that), and take 40-60 minutes in the evening to hit the gym and do your thing. I can't stay up to 2/3/4am without at least some cardio and weights. I also try to avoid milk and wheat, not sure if it's just me, but I feel like they build up in my gut. Makes me queasy.

I actually carry a 2L refillable water bottle these days so I know I've actually drank my daily intake

Jul 12, 2017

Wake up, double espresso, hit the gym, cold shower. Cold showers are great for waking you up, especially after a lift.

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Jul 11, 2017

I only take cold showers about twice a week because sometimes I am just too pissed to wake up and do it, but God do they help.

Jul 15, 2017

Whats your routine?

Jul 12, 2017

Big breakfast (not big every morning, but breakfast every morning), coffee, mid-day meal, lunch, snacks throughout day, lift heavy, post workout meal, dinner.

I find that running has the best effect at making you feel more energized. Working out heavy typically drains me and I just want to sleep.

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Jul 15, 2017

What kind of snacks do you eat? I have a bag of peanuts and granola bars. Any suggestions?

Jul 12, 2017

Crunch Clif bars
My mid-day is Tuna salad rn. Probably will keep it cool for the summer but switch to a pasta salad next time.
I also eat corn puffy pop chips, which are high in protein, low in salt, and tasty.
I try to eat low salt and low fat/grease because I don't like the way it makes me feel.

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Jul 12, 2017

light beer and heavy women are the keys to staying in shape

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Jul 11, 2017

"The secret to good health is to drink, smoke, and above all, do no exercise."

-Winston Churchill

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Jul 12, 2017

UK University Student POV during final term before exams - fitting gym and working in the day w/o getting tired
TL,DR: I missed half the year due to surgery and so had to cram 5 exams worth of revision and 5 exams worth of learning into 4 weeks and so can say this works (the most stressful time IMO with pressures somewhat similar to working life) drink plenty of water, and train 2 times a day on weekdays i think gives the kick up the pants to re-wake you up. Also blasting heavy metal in the AM is a shout. regular eating and do self shocks (eg be cold, get fresh air, get the heart pumping etc)

my routine was (if interested)

5 wake up (shower and get dressed) have meal + coffee and wash up everything from the day before. pack the days food
6 start studying before seminars
8:30 another meal and head to campus for lectures and seminars (15 min walk - fresh air etc)
Between 11:30 - 12:15 gym (compounds only ie 5x5 of either bench/deadlift/squat/military press incl. 5 min warm up and cool down either side)
Between 12:15-12:30 post work out lunch (2 chicken breasts, salad, and a pack of rice) and then onto studying/lectures etc
16:00 snack or mass gainer shake
Between 18:00-18:30 head back to room (to dump off books etc) and bust out callisthenics for 15-20 mins (15 push ups, star jumps, burpees, sit ups, squat thrusts) and shower. change into t shirt + shorts (so you feel cold and stay awake)
18:45 - 23:00 Go to A/C study rooms and study (take snacks, protein shake and a banana)
23:10-23:30 head back to room and eat a meal and go to sleep.

saturday is spent studying and doing isolation work in the gym. Sunday is spent bulk cooking in the and then sleeping

Jul 12, 2017

1 year doing the Keto diet and its the best thing I've done

https://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/

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Jul 11, 2017

+SB. It seems people either love it or hate it. It's not the most economical diet, but for me it's super effective for what my goals are (low bodyfat, muscular gains).

Jul 12, 2017

Take Melatonine. It induces sleep

Jul 15, 2017

To be honest I've found what can consistently work for me is the following:

Base:
1) Up at 5:45/5:55 - 5mins of just 'waking up' without the pressure to go do anything.
2) skip breakky get ready for work.
3) In office by 6:40/6:50
4) work till 6:30/7pm - go gym from here
5) grab food on way home

That pattern holds pretty well for the Mon-Weds part of the week, with Thurs and Fri a bit touch and go.

My only advice sleep wise is try get your best sleep and exercise/healthy crap the first three days of the week, rough the last two days and then have the weekend to recover.

Terms of supps; ALCAR stack + caffeine work (plus hydration etc).

Probably should add cardio in too...

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Jul 12, 2017

I gave up on breakfast two years ago. I find that I can focus better and more alert. Digestive system takes a lot of energy. Note I have a pretty slow digestive system. Rarely take caffeine either. Both take about 1 month to get used to (your (my) body starts to wake up naturally). But benefits I've noticed: always calm and very Clear Thinking. This all assumes: Water, 5:30am workout, and steam. If I miss any of those, which is rare, I am pretty much useless. In terms of the calmness from fasting, until lunch, it may just be me, but I have heard similar things from my buds.

Jul 16, 2017

dude

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Jul 11, 2017
Rags to Hermes:

dude

I agree with dude

except for caffeine

I do well with a high caffeine intake .... but it is important to drink lots of water and work out hard

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Jul 17, 2017

I've tried all sorts of schedules.

Used to be prescribed adderall and would take 1.5 20mg tablets daily. This sucked because it destroyed by appetite and I lost a ton of weight and would feel extremely burnt out by the end of the day so I could never get into the gym.

Also I had issues with the adderall "crash" where by the time I was home from work I would be too tired to focus on anything let along make it to the gym but could still not fall asleep until like 3 AM -- quite shitty.

Decided to cut out adderall entirely and feel a ton better these days.

Weekly routine after tons of trial and error is currently as follows and I can now sleep uninterrupted from bed time to alarm:

--No alcohol Mo-Fri (unless I choose to go out Friday night)
--Go out only 1x in a 7 day time span -- max
--Multi-vitamin + fish oil in the AM
--Protein bar breakfast + 0 calorie monster
-- Lunch: usually meal prep on Sundays, but also buy something healthy if in time crunch i.e. Salata, grilled chicken sandwich wtc.)
-- Green tea & water throughout the day

Once I get home from work I'll eat a light snack take a pre-workout supp and head to the gym.

When I get home from the gym I eat my biggest meal of the day, take a warm shower to unwind, watch some relaxing TV or read a book and pop 1-2 melatonin around 11pm targeting a 7am wakeup. (if you're supplementing with melatonin aim for 8 hours) also, melatonin is an anti-oxidant and is non-habit forming I often go weeks without using it but prefer to continue its use at this point more for the health benefits than for the sleeping benefits.

Note that melatonin isn't a sleep hormone, rather it regulates your internal clock.. essentially it makes you start to get tired at the same time each day and thereafter improves the quality of your sleep. So remember to take your dose at the same time each night.

Summing up, the most important thing is to establish a routine that can be repeated on a daily basis with some room for schedule adjustments/flexibility. Aim to wake up and go to sleep at the same time each night including weekends where you don't go out and workout 5-6x per week.

Since doing this a few months back I've been feeling great, put on a lot of muscle mass, and have more focus in the office.

Jul 17, 2017
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Jul 30, 2017