Cant sleep night before test day

jarofsoup
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Cant sleep night before test day

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:10 pm

I have taken the LSAT four times. 145, 154, cancel, 157. Before I took the last LSAT I was practice testing between 161 and 171 with an average of 164. For some reason every night before I take the real test I just cannot fall asleep and it screws up my score.

Before this test I tried exercising excessively for about a month before the test, but it didnt work out.

Anyone experience this? Suggestions?

I was thinking that if I took it again sleeping pills, or xanax. but worried about a hangover from it.

I am going to try to get into law school with my numbers and transfer, but may take again in dec. Advice is welcome.

almostfamous
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby almostfamous » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:20 pm

Ugh, the exact same thing happened to me before the LSAT this time. I literally got NO sleep the night before. I've since tried taking 3 or 6 mg of melatonin about 30-40 min before I want to go to bed and its helped me a lot. It doesn't make me drowsy the next morning or anything, which is a big problem for me with other sleep medicines like tylenol pm.

mah2012
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby mah2012 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:32 pm

jarofsoup wrote:I have taken the LSAT four times. 145, 154, cancel, 157. Before I took the last LSAT I was practice testing between 161 and 171 with an average of 164. For some reason every night before I take the real test I just cannot fall asleep and it screws up my score.

Before this test I tried exercising excessively for about a month before the test, but it didnt work out.

Anyone experience this? Suggestions?

I was thinking that if I took it again sleeping pills, or xanax. but worried about a hangover from it.

I am going to try to get into law school with my numbers and transfer, but may take again in dec. Advice is welcome.


Haha, take Tylenol PM at 7pm the night before. You'll wake up at 5am happy as a clam. You think a sleeping pill hangover is anything like getting no sleep?

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby AVBucks4239 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:07 am

Do what the above have said or have enough beers to give you light buzz.

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artichoke
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby artichoke » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:10 am

Honestly this is a serious predicament you're in. If I had any advice I would recommend only sleeping 3-4 hours the night before the night before and exercising rigorously the day before. Other than that, I would suggest diphenhydramine and an early bedtime so you have a lot of time to "wake up" before the test. Good luck.

jjlaw
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby jjlaw » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:38 am

Try melatonin. It helps regulate your sleep schedule, and it's a natural hormone.

hax123
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby hax123 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:09 am

artichoke88 wrote:I would recommend only sleeping 3-4 hours the night before the night before and exercising rigorously the day before.


+1

secretasianman
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby secretasianman » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:28 am

The amount of sleep you get two nights before the test is actually more important than the hours you get the night before. That being said, your sleep the night before is obviously still important. So, what worked for me was to go to bed at like 10/11 or whatever time you would go to bed the night before the test every night for the two weeks leading up to the test. This way you're used to it and more importantly you're rested, even if you dont get the 8 hours or so of sleep the night before.

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Tolmanator
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby Tolmanator » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:34 am

I am not sure I would follow the "only sleep for 3-4 hours the night before the night before" crowd. I understand the logic (don't get much sleep two nights before and stress the body out the day before = force your body to sleep the night before test day). If that worked for them, great. However, I too had the same problem as you except I could also not sleep 3 nights before test day, 2 nights before test day, and the night before as well (I think I received a total of 10 hours of sleep b/t the two nights and only so much because I took some sleep medication the night before the test because I HAD to get some sleep).

Instead, I would treat the whole thing as an experiment, albeit not on the day itself. Take some sleep medication on some other non-consequential night where you can wake up as you would on test day and take a PT and see how you do/feel. If you do fine, I would try that method on test day, maybe even getting the 4 hours two nights before and exercising vigorously just to ensure fatigue. For me, even after taking a full dose of ambien at 9:00 p.m., I woke up WIDE awake at 5:00 the next morning once it wore off. I felt alright and performed alright (albeit not as good as I wanted) on test day.

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Tolmanator
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby Tolmanator » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:37 am

secretasianman wrote:The amount of sleep you get two nights before the test is actually more important than the hours you get the night before. That being said, your sleep the night before is obviously still important. So, what worked for me was to go to bed at like 10/11 or whatever time you would go to bed the night before the test every night for the two weeks leading up to the test. This way you're used to it and more importantly you're rested, even if you dont get the 8 hours or so of sleep the night before.


I've heard this bit of advice before, particularly in athletic circles, and I do not think it is backed up by serious scientific evidence. However, I would second Seccretasianman's advice on setting a consistent schedule (every little bit helps). But, again, I did all of the above in the weeks leading up to the test and still experienced serious sleep withdrawals for several days leading up to T-day.

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BigA
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby BigA » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:58 am

damn. You took the LSAT four times before you wanted to address this? I just took an ambien at 1 a.m. the night before. I was fine. I don't think it gives me any kind of "hangover." That said I wish I had gotten better sleep the nights leading up to the test. I noticed the next few nights after the test feeling pretty exhausted.

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eandy
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby eandy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:00 am

At around 7pm the night before the test, take a Benadryl. JUST ONE. You will be tempted to take more than one. That is a mistake.

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3|ink
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby 3|ink » Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:09 am

mah2012 wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:I have taken the LSAT four times. 145, 154, cancel, 157. Before I took the last LSAT I was practice testing between 161 and 171 with an average of 164. For some reason every night before I take the real test I just cannot fall asleep and it screws up my score.

Before this test I tried exercising excessively for about a month before the test, but it didnt work out.

Anyone experience this? Suggestions?

I was thinking that if I took it again sleeping pills, or xanax. but worried about a hangover from it.

I am going to try to get into law school with my numbers and transfer, but may take again in dec. Advice is welcome.


Haha, take Tylenol PM at 7pm the night before. You'll wake up at 5am happy as a clam. You think a sleeping pill hangover is anything like getting no sleep?



I took sleeping pills the night before. They didn't work.

shoop
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby shoop » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:13 am

Whatever you do, do not do what I did in a sleepless panic the night before my first college final exam, which was pound 3 vodka shots and a half bottle of Nyquil.

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3|ink
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby 3|ink » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:21 am

shoop wrote:Whatever you do, do not do what I did in a sleepless panic the night before my first college final exam, which was pound 3 vodka shots and a half bottle of Nyquil.


College finals were so much easier to study for than the LSAT. At least there was a reasonable limit to the potentially tested material. As long as you spent a day or so preparing, college finals were a joke. I have a feeling Law school exams will be much harder and will have a much wider range of material to prepare for. However, they can't be as bad as the LSAT.

lmi
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby lmi » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:21 am

jjlaw wrote:Try melatonin. It helps regulate your sleep schedule, and it's a natural hormone.


+1
Last edited by lmi on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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goawaybee
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby goawaybee » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:38 pm

Tough issue.

I had trouble for a week leading up to the test date. I have mixed feelings about melatonin. I was never able to get a solid night sleep, always waking about 3 hours before I wanted and most of the time would suffer from nightmare/bad dream kind of thing.

I am not huge fan of pharm. route but ativan or something like that (anti-anxiety type of meds) seems to work very well. I didn't suffer any of the drowsiness and felt really good upon waking up. Exercise is good, diet, etc...All need to be addressed as well. The problem with a lot of this stuff is that your mind can just be too powerful at times to allow drug to have an impact. I remember many times when I used to be stressed when drinking, would drink 8-9 beers and wasn't even phased in the least bit when normally I would have been half in the bag. Same goes for natural/pharm. type approach.

Whatever your approach is def. spend some time testing out your methods over the course of a few months. The hard thing is when that "stress" kicks up near test time you are programmed to flip, really hard to break that programmed response. There are tons of other supplements you can use that will help. Unless you go the pharm. route I think you need to address it as a holistic/overall wellness type of thing. instead of just melatonin, look at all types of supps. I take amino complex, 5-HTP, st. johns wort, Huperzine A, cal-mag with B complex and a few others. Keeps me dialed in and I feel balanced and alert. You can go on sites like iherb.com and read reviews of products search by symptom or product.

Def. try different things and find what works for you. It is a serious PITA to deal with.


Good luck.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby amputatedbrain » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:44 pm

goawaybee wrote: Whatever your approach is def. spend some time testing out your methods over the course of a few months. k.


TITCR

You should have been trying different things as part of your testing regiment to see what helped, and get lots of sleep going into the test so that a few less hours on test night won't impact as much. I know I definitely tossed and turned a few extra hours before my test day. On the pharmaceutical end, maybe try propranol if you can get your hands on it. . . it's a blood pressure medication that doubles as a stress reliever that worked wonders for me.

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eandy
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby eandy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:46 pm

One thing I thought of--Melatonin doesn't really work well for LSAT purposes unless you are deficient in Melatonin to begin with. As in, if you normally have no problem falling asleep, taking a melatonin tablet the night before isn't going to help you sleep when you have the pre-test jitters.

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sundance95
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby sundance95 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:47 pm

I suffer from this as well, so my solution was to go to an early dinner (5:30 reservation) and drink. I had three manhattans and a glass of wine, then went back to the hotel and had a beer. The key was that I went to sleep at 9:30 so that I had plenty of time to sleep it off. Also, I took the June test, which is administered at noon. Finally, I ate a great meal along with it-its not like I was throwing them back and giving myself a surefire hangover the next day.

Final note: I'm 6'2", 250 lbs, so YMMV on the number of drinks.

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eandy
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby eandy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:50 pm

sundance95 wrote: I had three manhattans and a glass of wine, then went back to the hotel and had a beer. The key was that I went to sleep at 9:30 so that I had plenty of time to sleep it off. Also, I took the June test, which is administered at noon. Finally, I ate a great meal along with it-its not like I was throwing them back and giving myself a surefire hangover the next day.

Final note: I'm 6'2", 250 lbs, so YMMV on the number of drinks.

DO NOT DO THIS. Eating dinner early is a great idea, drinking alcohol is not. Alcohol helps you get to sleep, but it ruins the quality of sleep.
Many people who suffer from insomnia try to solve the problem with alcohol – the so-called night cap. While alcohol does help people fall into light sleep, it also robs them of REM and the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. Instead, it keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep, from which they can be awakened easily.

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brai ... _sleep.htm

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby amputatedbrain » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:28 pm

The above science is sound, but you can't argue with what works for someone . . . a lot of it is just a head game against yourself

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3|ink
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby 3|ink » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:08 pm

eandy wrote:One thing I thought of--Melatonin doesn't really work well for LSAT purposes unless you are deficient in Melatonin to begin with. As in, if you normally have no problem falling asleep, taking a melatonin tablet the night before isn't going to help you sleep when you have the pre-test jitters.


But if you already have sleeping problems, would it help if you start taking supplements 2-3 months before the exam?

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eandy
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Re: Cant sleep night before test day

Postby eandy » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:15 pm

3|ink wrote:
eandy wrote:One thing I thought of--Melatonin doesn't really work well for LSAT purposes unless you are deficient in Melatonin to begin with. As in, if you normally have no problem falling asleep, taking a melatonin tablet the night before isn't going to help you sleep when you have the pre-test jitters.


But if you already have sleeping problems, would it help if you start taking supplements 2-3 months before the exam?

Yes. Just take it as directed(ask your doctor or pharmacist). It will help regulate your Melatonin levels over time. Some studies are showing that you can build up a dependency on the supplements, so if you don't think you have low levels, it might not be the best option. Usually older people and people on weird meds(epilepsy for example) have low melatonin levels, not 20 somethings.




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