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Thread: Insomniac riders -- who's in?

  1. #1
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Insomniac riders -- who's in?

    For years I would suit up and ride at the strangest hours. Late evenings, early mornings. Whenever. Usually my thought went "I'm awake, so ride to deal with the boredom."

    In fact, I labeled my favorite rides (according to length) mental health routes 1, 2, 3, & 4.

    So then two years ago I'm at the doc's for my annual physical and he comes out with "You are probably sleeping ... 5 hours a night, 6 if you are lucky."

    He was spot on, and when I acknowledged that and asked why he commented that as men age they (at least most of them) sleep less.

    I also read quite a bit, but one's eyes can only take so much.

    Anyway, my questions are three:

    - Are any of the rest of you (men) experiencing the same age related insomnia issue?

    - Do you ride to deal with it, and if not, what do you do to fill the time?
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

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    I have the same problem (?). I am sleeping less, but I never thought of just firing up the bike at 2:00 AM and taking a ride. I will do that next summer,though!

    For now, I usually have a sleep schedule of "early to bed, early to rise . . ." so I usually don't stay up late (especially now that it gets dark around here at 5:00 PM). I miss several of my favorite evening shows (antenna only, no cable). So...when I can't sleep, I either watch them from the VCR (yes, I still use one) or I get on the internet (CBS, ABC, or HULU) and watch each show. Some of my favorites? Blue Bloods, Elementary, Castle, The Mentalist, NCIS, Arrow. Used to like Bones until it turned into a slutty soap opera with 90% trash and 10% solving a crime!

    Sometimes I will go down to the basement and do some woodworking (crafts, etc.)

  3. #3
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    I sleep 4 to 5 hours a night & have been doing it most of my adult life. I wake up without a alarm between 3:30 & 4:00 am almost every day. I can't think of many times I hopped on the bike early in the morning unless I had somewhere I had to go. I did go ride an early unplanned ride several years ago after I had installed HID headlights on my LT the night before. I woke up at around 3:30 am & it was raining hard so I decided to find out how well my new headlights worked in the dark during a rain storm. It was a three hour ride to work that morning.
    Dave
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  4. #4
    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    I've read that taking melatonin helps one sleep. Apparently when one ages this is not produced in the brain. Melatonin helps one sleep. Motorcycle Consumer News of May 2012 has an article in the Medical Motorcycling column about this.
    Walter

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    I predict this will become a "sleep apnea thread"

    I cut with a chain saw & pulled logs most of the day yesterday, makes for sound sleep. Throw in some aches too @ my age.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  6. #6
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalterK75 View Post
    I've read that taking melatonin helps one sleep. Apparently when one ages this is not produced in the brain. Melatonin helps one sleep. Motorcycle Consumer News of May 2012 has an article in the Medical Motorcycling column about this.
    My doctor suggested melatonin years ago and I have taken it since then. I sleep fairly well now but I don't know how much it helps since other things have also had an impact.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    I wouldn't really call what I do insomnia, but I rarely sleep more than 6 hours a night. For the most part, I'm blessed with the ability to get to sleep and stay asleep, for at least the 6 hours.

    I've never been one to wake in the middle of the night and then get up and do something. Never ridden motorcycle in the middle of the night, although I could see the advantages in the summer months. I'd probably read or watch some TV until I felt I could get back to sleep, but it's pretty rare for me.
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  8. #8
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    I used to love to take summer night rides, but that was back when I'd stay up late for fun. These days my schedule keeps me going at all hours, so the fun has kinda gone out of it. When I sleep, it's the sleep of the dead. If I'm really beat, after a long run of work, I might sleep 8,9,10 hours straight- if not interrupted by my GF's more "normal" schedule.

    I hope with all my heart that I never "just" or "automatically" wake up. Sleep is a luxury that I wish to hold on to in my life.

    I DO love moonlit night rides tho. In SUMMER. Ha ha.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

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    Quote Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
    ... Anyway, my questions are three:

    - Are any of the rest of you (men) experiencing the same age related insomnia issue?

    - Do you ride to deal with it, and if not, what do you do to fill the time?
    My sleep schedule sounds remarkably like yours. I quit thinking of it as a problem to be solved. Now it is simply my sleep schedule. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I get up so as not to disturb my soundly-sleeping wife with my tossing and turning. I either read, watch TV, work crossword puzzles on the Web or read the daily newspaper if it has arrived in my driveway yet (comes about 0400-ish). But I also have learned to take short naps throughout the day as the situation allows. In my annual physical exams, the doc says such a sleep routine is fine for me.and I am getting a total of at least 5 or 6 hours per 24-hour cycle and that's plenty for me.

    I never considered riding the bike in the middle of the night cuz I don't like to ride at night. But if it works for you, why not? No one on this forum will think you are nuts.
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  10. #10
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    I have about the same sleep pattern, have for many many years, 5 or 6 hours sound sleep then up for the day, even less sleep if Ive been drinking, then its only a couple of hours. I, like you will read some till my eyes or attention span play out, some woodworking but its hard as my wife is a rather light sleeper. Usually surf the web, plan trips, etc. I've not taken off for a ride at night, to many critters and even though I dont mind riding at night, Im a gawker, kinda hard to gawk at night, and if my wife woke and found me gone she'd be worried sick.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
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  11. #11
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    A few years ago I had a work shift that was 3:30 am to noon. Upper management felt it was the greatest thing next to sliced bread but we hated it. That shift has left me with weird sleep patterns on top of only sleeping for 2-4 hours at a time. Six, if I am lucky.
    Also, having a wife that has to be up at 4:30 am for work does not help any. I have never gone insomnia riding but I will consider a brisk ride in the early morning now that the idea is in my brain.

    Anytime I have tried sleeping pills, I have been a zombie for the next 24 hrs. What works for you folks?
    Lynn
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  12. #12
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    I have been retired now 6 months and still can't get my sleeping pattern down, maybe because in the 28 years of working in the automotive industry I worked midnight shift 20 of those years.
    I stay up till 11:00 pm most nights but have very interrupted sleep waking up several times and usually just get up and go on the computer to brush up on news and stuff. I never felt the need to go for a ride at the early hours due to so many critters out there sharing the road.
    tried the sleeping pill thing without success, maybe I need a bigger hammer!
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  13. #13
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    My sleep schedule sounds remarkably like yours. ... snip ...

    I never considered riding the bike in the middle of the night cuz I don't like to ride at night. But if it works for you, why not? No one on this forum will think you are nuts.
    LOL. I regret to inform you there are people on this forum who already think I'm nuts. Don't believe anything they say about me!

    Thanks to all for the feedback. Reading through the posts --

    I've tried Ambien, Sonata (sp?), and Melatonin, and even though a tee-totaler -- after talking with my doctor in the past I've tried the evening glass of wine and several varieties of a mixed drink.

    Ambien in the 5 mg will help me get to sleep and does not leave me hung over, but it does not extend the length of time I sleep. The Sonata left me groggy, as did the Melatonin. Other than the expected "buzz" the wine and whiskey really didn't have an effect on my sleeping pattern. Aside from a mugging that happened in San Diego in 1972, the only other time I was ever in a scrape that I really got the s**t kicked out me was when drunk. After that I generally swore off alcohol for all of the usual impairment, judgment, and potential legal reasons.

    The main thing I've found that gets me to bed time relaxed and able to sleep all night (meaning more than 4-1/2 or 5 hours) is a hard day in the yard doing yard work, or an intense workout at the gym. The problem there is that to get yard work into the schedule every day I would have to change careers and take up cutting grass for a living. And the gym does not always work into my schedule. Basically, as a professional type working in an office and over meals, the root of my problem is a lethargic lifestyle.

    In terms of dealing with the boredom the early morning ride works well for me as I live in a medium sized southern town and can make a 15 mile loop without encountering any type of four-legged critter larger than a tom cat. Naturally, if I branch out into the country side the risk of BIG creatures with horns, hooves, and nocturnal grazing habits becomes an issue.

    Perhaps I should organize a local ghetto of insomniacs to meet a waffle house...
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  14. #14
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Not to derail the thread (completely)

    Here's some Wiki info RE: melatonin. Many folks talk about it, but I always wonder how many really understand it? I've used it to adjust to time-zone changes when traveling internationally, an idea I got from my sister, who travels world wide for a living and has for decades. For me, it had mixed results, and after a few days I am back to sleeping normally anyway.

    I originally heard that we humans produce melatonin (or an enzyme like it) in our brains naturally but this is reduced when we are exposed to too much light- look at the world at night and it's easy to understand the term light pollution. Wiki goes a bit further to suggest that certain kinds of light affect us more than others. Turns out, Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant! The article also seems to suggest melatonin be used in certain ways IE: timing and dosages to be effective RE: sleep.

    Just out of curiosity how DARK is your house at night, or your bedroom? What kind of light are you exposed to at work? As an aside, I "heard" that computers and TVs are killers of sleep patterns due to the light they produce... Might be worth a look to see if this is true or not. I mean, IF you view this sleep "thing" as a problem... You seem to have a regular "day" job, so I can see how it could be an issue.


    WIKI EXCERPT:

    Light dependence

    Production of melatonin by the pineal gland is inhibited by light to the retina and permitted by darkness. Its onset each evening is called the dim-light melatonin onset (DLMO).

    It is principally blue light, around 460 to 480 nm, that suppresses melatonin,[36] proportional to the light intensity and length of exposure. Until recent history, humans in temperate climates were exposed to few hours of (blue) daylight in the winter; their fires gave predominantly yellow light. The incandescent light bulb widely used in the twentieth century produced relatively little blue light.[37] Wearing glasses that block blue light in the hours before bedtime may decrease melatonin loss. Kayumov et al. showed that light containing only wavelengths greater than 530 nm does not suppress melatonin in bright-light conditions.[38] Use of blue-blocking goggles the last hours before bedtime has also been advised for people who need to adjust to an earlier bedtime, as melatonin promotes sleepiness.[39]

    When used several hours before sleep according to the phase response curve for melatonin in humans, small amounts (0.3 mg[40]) of melatonin shift the circadian clock earlier, thus promoting earlier sleep onset and morning awakening.[41]
    Antioxidant

    Besides its function as synchronizer of the biological clock, melatonin is a powerful free-radical scavenger and wide-spectrum antioxidant as discovered in 1993.[42] In many less complex life forms, this is its only known function.[43] Melatonin is an antioxidant that can easily cross cell membranes[44] and the blood?brain barrier.[6][45] This antioxidant is a direct scavenger of radical oxygen and nitrogen species including OH, O2−, and NO.[14][46] Melatonin works with other antioxidants to improve the overall effectiveness of each antioxidant.[14] Melatonin has been proven to be twice as active as vitamin E, believed to be the most effective lipophilic antioxidant.[47] Different from other classic antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E, melatonin has amphiphilic properties. When compared to synthetic, mitochodrial-targeted antioxidants (MitoQ and MitoE), melatonin proved to be a better protector against mitochondrial oxidative stress.[48]
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