Sleep Supplement Recs by an Insomniac

Insomnia is a very common issue. People do not get enough sleep or enough quality sleep these days. I’ve struggled with insomnia for literally decades. I’ve tried every aid out there and I’ve got a list of aids that work well. I alternate them depending on how I feel before bed. I take supplements every night.

We use various supplements to get sleep because we are notoriously bad sleepers. Here are some tips from long time insomniacs:

– DO NOT take a shit ton of melatonin! 3mg or less ONLY. Melatonin can turn on you if you take too much.
– Do not look at electronics before bed. If you do, get a blue blocker screen cover or use NIGHT mode.
– Same for when you wake up at night. This is one reason why I keep paper books! I try to avoid screen use when I’m struggling with sleep.
– Don’t bother with Rx shit like Ambien. It’s too much and overkill IMO.
– Be cognizant of your pre sleep habits! No caffeine, nicotine or alcohol.
– Get enough sleep. When you sleep badly, you’ll need MINIMUM of 8 hrs in bed, even if you toss and turn. We generally require 9 hrs to get enough REM sleep to feel refreshed, so give yourself enough time!

Sleep Supplements
Sleep supplements from Vitacost.

There are tons of supplements out there, just be careful of the amount of melatonin in them. Here are some that I’ve personally used and how they work for me:

Nature’s Plus Sleep Assure: I’ve used it forever, it’s got herbs and 3mg melatonin. Great stuff.
Herbs, Etc. Deep Sleep: all herbal, no melatonin. Great stuff, hella expensive.
OTC sleep aid Doxylamine Succinate (NOT diphenhydramine aka Benadryl) this works well, I’ve used it for years.
Synergy Sleep Support (Vitacost brand): Herbs and 3mg melatonin. Works very well!
Superior Source GABA melts, 100mg: GABA helps you fall asleep.
Bluebonnet Sleep Support: herbs and 5HTP. It has been working well.
Enzymatic Therapy Sleep Tonight: all herbal and VERY good! We are liking this one a lot!
Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep PM: no melatonin. This one has GABA and 5HTP, but overall doesn’t seem as effective as some of the others.
Jarrow Formulas Sleep Optimizer: This one has GABA and tiny bit of melatonin. It’s ok, but the ET is better.

Here is the list over at Vitacost, I highly recommend them for supplements, they have great pricing.

VSG Anniversary coming up!

On May 16, it will be two years since my Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy in Mexico. I’ve not posted here or at YouTube in quite some time, simply because I am very stable and not much has changed. I hit a hard plateau at 180 pounds which translates to size 12 jeans (actually like a half size below that) and 12-14 dress. I’m fine with that. Without surgery, I’ll never get rid of the belly flab, and I’ve decided against tummy tuck surgery. It is HORRIBLE to recover from and I just don’t have time for that shit. Or the money, honestly. And there are things like Spanx to deal with it!!

In addition to that, Nick’s 45th birfday is May 10. It’s a Thursday, so I’m not sure what we’ll do.

And, of course, we’ve got the pub thing ongoing. I’ve been working on the menu, trying not to FREAK OUT that there is no real estate available.

And on top of all this, my friend Kenny dropped dead of a heart attack on Friday April 13, so that has been rough. Friday 13 has always been a good day for me, but now, not so much. Sigh. He was my age, too. He had untreated heart issues and literally dropped dead. At least he didn’t suffer. The memorial was yesterday and of course: it sucked. His wife Carole has stage 4 ovarian cancer, so it’s all just really terrible. Sigh.

So, as you can see, the VSG anniversary is not very important to me with all this other stuff going on. I’m still grateful I did it and I still feel FABULOUS, and I still recommend it if you’ve been struggling with your weight your whole life like I did. It is absolutely worth it. Save yourself the agony of US healthcare and just go to Mexico. You, too, can have a new life in 4 days and $5000. Fuck your insurance company and their bullshit “plan” that forces you through hoops for a year then offers you no follow up care. Just DO IT.

I think I will lose that last 10# when I am crazy busy with the pub. I did lose 5# when I was working 7 days a week there for a month. But whatever, I’m not dieting and I’m not getting plastic surgery, so it is what it is. I’m happy with the way I look in clothes, so it’s all good. :)

I’d like to wish Nick a Happy Birfday in advance and myself a happy VSG anniversary!

Workout Update!

So, since HeroesCon and all the jackassery from that, I’ve fallen off my workout schedule. This week, I’m back on. OWIE! I’ve changed up what I’m doing a little; here are the deets:

Treadmill 30 min programme, about 1.5mi (that FitBit Alta NEVER gets right)
Jog at 4-4.2mph for 5 mins, about .34 mi (ditto^^)
Leg Extensions, 70#, 3 sets 15 (not hard enough, going to add 5# more)
Need to add leg curls back, 35#, 3 sets 15
Shoulder press, 10# hand weights, 2 sets 15, going up to 3 sets
Need to add rows and triceps back, 3 sets 15 with 8#
Bicep curl, 8# hand weights, 3 sets 15, going back up to 10# soon
Need to add squats back in, 70#, 15 reps
Sit ups, standard legs bent, 50
Sit ups, pedaling, 25
Leg lifts, lifting bent legs for lower abs, 25
12# medicine ball side lifts from sitting/legs bent position for obliques, 25

I’d like to point out that most of this is done with simple hand weights. You don’t need to have a bench to get a good workout with weights. Rather than the extensions, do lunges with 10# in each hand. You’ll feel it, I promise! I try to avoid lunges since I’ve got weak knees. I have to be VERY careful with squats, too, or I’ll blow out my trick knee, which I did a couple of months ago. Get creative! You can do most weight training w/out fancy equipment. I also recommend Kathy Smith videos if you’re just getting started. She is just fair at weight lifting technique, but it’s a good place to start – the Staying Strong one is good for a beginner.





I do this big workout 2x week and I do cardio 3x, but I need to up that to 5x/wk. More challenging cardio (JOGGING! GAH!) will help me lose this last 10-15# I need to lose. As will beefing up (no pun intended) my weights. What I do is divide this workout into 2 and alternate arms/legs. I do the abs and squats every workout. That way I can get it done in 45 mins or so. I get VERY bored and 45 mins is about my limit for boring workouts. :)

Summertime and the Conning is Easy!

Not really, cons are HARD when you shlep arcade games! LOL

We’re in the middle of our 6 weeks of cons. MomoCon is in the can and it was AWESOME!! The fan base is excellent, the staff of Momo is nice and responsive – we were treated very well. Even the dock of the GWCC was great! They let us drive the truck right onto the floor to our area and unload! It took 15 minutes! SAHWEET!! Even with $900 of expenses (truck and hotel), we made a little money.

Speaking of trucks, if you use rentals as much as we do, I highly recommend setting up a business account with Penske. We get a great rate on the rental, plus uber cheap mileage and we can pick up the truck the night before. Very handy!! We use 16′ trucks with liftgate currently, it’ll probably go up next year when we have more games. We had an issue with a truck last weekend – nails in tire – but they got us fixed up and back on the road in about an hour and credited us for lost time. The Penske truck yard is next to Nick’s work, so that helped. If you use trucks often, get a business account. It will save you hundreds!

I’ve finally broken the 185 barrier. My current weight is 184.2, but we all know that it’s probably 188 today, since that’s the way my weight goes. I’m happy that it’s moving again. Cutting back on the vino and starting harder exercise is probably helping.

Speaking of exercise, I’ve got a weight routine going. Sadly, I blew out my left knee with squats yesterday, so those will be skipped for a week or so, but hopefully I can still do extensions and curls despite my knees being little bitches. Here is what I currently do 3x/week:

Treadmill: 1 mile walk/jog warm up (or a full 30 min routine depending on my mood)
Free Weights:
60# leg extensions 3×12 (sets/reps) [this one needs to go up to 65-70#]
35# leg curls 3×12 [might go to 40# for this]
50# squats 3×12 [if my knees will tolerate them; we shall see]
8# bicep curls 3×12 [need to get 10# weights]
8# tricep rows 3×12 [need to work on form for these]
10# medicine ball core side to sides 25 sets

That’s it currently. I’ve got to go back on turmeric for my crunchy knees and see if I can convince them to allow me to do squats. ::fingers crossed:: Squats are really very good for what I need: leg strength. They work the whole upper leg as well as glutes and core. I’m going to dial back the weight to 30-40# and see if that helps, but I’m not feeling confident. Stupid knees. Stupid marching band. Ugh.

Other than conventions and exercise, not much going on around here. The usual insomnia problems, etc. I’m trying to keep Nick on an even keel by providing good food and a calm space for him.

We’ve got Southern Fried Gameroom Expo next weekend, then Heroes right after that. SFGE is an unpaid con, so we’re taking whatever we feel like. Heroes is our vacay con, no worky! We are taking promo material to put out, but that’s it. We plan to take it easy and drink our way through the weekend! We’ve got dinner plans with some folks we rarely get to see but other than that, NO PLANS and NO SCHEDULE. Aaaaaahhh!

Once we’re back from vacay, we’ve got commissions to do and more games to prep for DragonCon (Labour Day weekend).

We have tickets to Heroes and Villains con in November. There was a special 2 for 1, so I picked up a pair. We’ll see what this con is all about! [It sucked. BUT Barrowman made the whole thing worth it! -A]

So that’s our summer! If you’re at Heroes, HOLLAH! We’d love to hang out!

New Workout Progress

Or: how I made myself crippled AGAIN. Oy! [UPDATE: This workout cured the soreness! So for me, it appears that doing a lighter workout when sore is the key to getting through it! Yay!]

So I started doing the Kathy Smith weight training (Ageless with Kathy Smith: Staying Strong) on Tuesday and did both the 15 min arms and 15 min legs after a mile or so on the treadmill. OOF. I’ve been doing the arms one for a while, so that was not too horrible, but the leg one kicked my ass. Ha! Leg kicked ass! As with most of Kathy’s stuff, the actual exercises seem pretty simple when you do them, then the next day you are DEAD. OMG. It was not as bad as The Tabernacle Incident™, but OW OW OW.

I rested for a couple of days and just walked on Thursday, which was fine. Today I did 1.5 miles on the treadmill (jogged a little and didn’t die!!) then I did a modified version of both the arms and legs workouts. Hopefully I did not do too much, but I’m sure I’ll be sore again. ARGH.

I don’t know how bodybuilders put up with being sore all the time. ARE they sore all the time?? I just know that I MUST get my strength back. And I’ve still got at least 20# more to lose, dammit. I’m stalled at around 190 and it’s really pissing me off. I think that I’m going to have to work to lose any more weight. Since I started off relatively light compared to most people who get VSG, I think my overall loss is going to be less. Which means I’ll have to work for the last 20#. One of the youtubers I follow had the same problem. UGH. I still won’t diet per se, but I’m hoping that upping the calorie burn will do the trick.

So that’s what’s going on in my world. Lots of OW OW OW. :)

OW OW OW