Insomnia — My battle
My long term battle with insomnia — which started whilst CEO of a company, but never went into remission.
Note: A lot of my insomnia is due to my autoimmune disease: Grave's disease, where I had my thyroid nuked and I have to take thyroid hormones by mouth. Any form of HRT causes you to have a constant stream of hormone instead of release according to circadian rhythmic release - this will screw up your sleep by default. I believe the best way around this problem is to "get used to it" or just pretend it doesn't exist and accept it for who you are. We cannot all be disease free.
- I usually only sleep when I am depressed and have nothing to get up for. e.g. when I sold my company and felt like life was finished, my insomnia vanished... for a few weeks. After that, it was back to fight or flight awakenings.
- When I have a plan and goal in life my mind is constantly on fire. I wake up almost in a panic of excitement of things I need and want to do.
- Sadly, I have resigned myself to accept that 5 hours of sleep is a miraculous achivement. Typically, I live on 3, where I feel like shit and look like shit. And, yes, this is a sob story and I'm not afraid to admit it. Sleep deprivation drives you insane eventually.
What sometimes works
- Keeping T3 at mid-low end of normal. If it's high, I have zero chance of sleeping, even if I throw the kichen sink of drugs at the problem.
- Correction of sleep apnea
- Z-drugs — temporary respite, but withdrawal cost is too great
- Benzos — as above, temporary withdrawal - short term usage only
- OTC Anti histamines (e.g. diphenhydramine - Nytol in the UK) - temporary relief only
- TCAs with antihistamine mechanism of action, e.g. amitriptyline. This only continues to work with dosage escalation.
- Indica based cannabis - low dosage. Often needs "re-smoking" during the night causes difficulty in getting up and is a bad idea when my problem is mostly premature awakening.
- Modafinil — helps reset sleep cycles. On a day after 0 sleep, instead of trying to go back to bed, sometimes I find it better to just suck it up and use modafinil for wakefulness
- Deloading / removing overreaching (if you train with weights). Being overtrained directly causes insomnia.
What has not worked
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
- Any other form of non medication based therapy
- "Sleep hygiene": Nonsense such as using sunset mode on screens, no electronics before bed — nice idea, but doesn't work for legitimate insomnia
What is quackery or an outright con
- Topical magnesium oil
- Meditation before bed
When I get heavier (80kg+) I develop sleep apnea to a mild degree. I have yet to use a CPAP machine at home but have done sleep studies which indicate it may provide some relief.
About Kishore Naib (Kit Naib)
Kishore founded the e-commerce company Watch Shop in 2007 and exited in 2014 after an acquisition by Watches of Switzerland at the age of 34. Watch Shop was a medium sized enterprise (£44 million sales) and was one of the UK's fasted growing companies, doubling turnover every year.
After leaving Watch Shop Kishore did a few coding projects but decided to follow his true and first passion: Lifting and bodybuilding.