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  1. I've suffered from early waking insomnia all my life. Until a few years ago, it was fairly minor, and manageable. But a few years ago, in connection with some other andropause-like changes I went through, I started to wake and not get back to sleep after 4-5 hours of sleep instead of 6-7 (8 hours is optimal for me). I was also losing weight, though I don't think I was eating less. I think I moved into an aged phenotype all at once. (Long story there.) Regardless of the strange changes that took place a few years ago, the early waking, which was always a problem, became worse. I've had my early morning cortisol tested several times over the last few years, and it's always been above the reference range. This is no big surprise for a person on CR: low blood sugar causes an increase in cortisol (which keeps blood sugar from falling "too low"). It's not that I'm tense, it's not that I'm hungry (well, I am, but I always am). I'm just awake. Well, my 2:1 diet plan has yielded some interesting results. The night after Feast Day 2, I sleep beautifully! The night after Feast Day 1, I often sleep fairly well. The night after the fasting day (right now around 700 calories/day), I sleep worse than ever. I wake too early, and can't get back to sleep. I'm happy, non-tense, not really hungry even. Just really awake. So now I'm thinking I might take timed-release zolpidem or something on fasting days before going to bed. But I'm wondering if anyone else has tried any cortisol lowering strategies that have helped with sleep. A lot of supplements that supposedly lower cortisol seem to do so (if they work at all...) by lowering stress. I'm not stressed. Phosphatidylserine blunts the post-exercise cortisol spike, but it’s not clear it would help with low glucose-induced cortisol. Suvorexant might be a better choice than timed-release zolpidem (or one of the other Z-drugs), but I haven't studied the relation between orexin and cortisol enough to know whether it would help me. Any CR folks with early morning insomnia have any strategies they'd like to share?
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