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Good days and the other kind

Camino(s) past & future
Oct. 2006 - Roncesvalles to Los Arcos
Oct. 2016 - Los Arcos to Burgos
#1
A German pilgrim said there are lots of ups and downs on the Camino and I said that yes it's a bit hilly. She said that's not what I mean. Now I know what she meant...The day before yesterday, my legs ached terribly and yesterday I had no problems at all (begging for a spare ibuprofen might have had something to do with it.) Now I'm finishing up a sleepless night and a bit worried about what today's walking will bring. Any help on getting better sleep and not letting the down days get to you would be appreciated.
 

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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#2
I am not medidacally trained, yadayada, but I used to take a muscle relaxant at night and a slow release voltaren in the morning. Then at Casa Fernanda this s'ring someone suggested I do things differently: immediate release voltaren at bed time, to give it time to work on inflamation, and Ibuprofen in the morning. Worked like a charm for achy legs and my weak back.

Now, I hear ibuprofen in Spain is sold in much higher dosage than in North America, and of course voltaren can play tricks on some tummies. Both available over the counter in Spain.

Stretching is also important, from toes to hips, etc.

Many forum members have also been known to try Vino tinto therapy. Helps them sleep while it keeps the rest of the albergue up :eek:.

Hope you feel better soon.
 

PAUL1179

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy -> Conques 2004 and 2015
SJPP -> Léon 2102
SJPP -> ?? starting October 16th 2016
#4
Insomnia following an intense and unusual effort or physical stress is a very common occurrence.
You might want to ask a local pharmacist wether "dyphenhydramina" (benadryl) is safe to use for you considering your age, allergy history and current medical treatment if any. It's OTC and serves as a remedy for motion sickness approved for kids too so normally not a huge risk of interaction. I use this kind of 1st gen antihistamine every time I have to cope with jet lag. Works well for a night or 2 then you stop feeling the effects.
Obvious as it might seem, do not walk more than 3 or 4 hours after a sleepless night before you take a long break or nap - otherwise you'll be taxing your body unreasonably and this is how accidents happen. Of course if you are a 30 year old Navy Seal in fighting trim this does not apply, please by all mean do as you fancy.
 
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S

simply B

Guest
#5
@Calimocho -

Better sleep? Try a reasonably full belly topped with a glass of wine (maybe 2).

When really down? Just ask yourself three questions:

1. Is there a higher number of good people I meet everyday in my "other life" than I am finding here?

2. Do I generally get this much fresh air and fitness at home?

3. Seriously now, would I really rather be at work?

I'm pretty sure that will renew your perspective on the "down" days. (And I actually like my job...kinda/sorta;))

B
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#6
On the more natural side of remedies you could try eating plenty of bananas to help with your leg pain (replace lost minerals and the natural sugar helps the (over)exercised muscles. Also, nothing wrong with a rest day or a short day. Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#7
Just listen to your body and rest when it tells you too. I'm not a great lover of pills but realise that thee odd ibuprofen does help. For me it's also about having the right diet intake.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#9
Good hydration may help with the muscle aches. Bananas and sports drinks should be easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Hydration affects your tendons as well as your muscles. The muscle aches may have subsided if you were just starting and had not acquired your walking legs. Light stretching is a good idea.

The vino tinto sounds more fun than the vitamin I. However, according to the findings, alcohol does allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply for a while, but it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. You may feel more tired the next morning.

Are there environmental issues affecting your sleep? Are you a light sleeper? Maybe consider using earplugs, and a sleep mask. We all want a good nights sleep, but do not fret about it. Don't ruminate about the sleep you will not get, but try to relax and focus on the positives. What experiences did you have today? Visualize positive images that bring you comfort. You are on a camino and NOT at work, school, etc. Give yourself a break and live in the now ... all you need to do is walk, eat, SLEEP, repeat. REST assured your body will take the sleep it needs. Sleep is rejuvenating and will come once you find your rhythm.

I pray that you will have a great nights sleep tonight.
 

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#11
Hi @Calimocho
Up days and down days on the Camino, as you've discovered, refer to both exterior and interior landscapes along the Way. I'm with Kanga on this one and tend to find that the walking helps to sort things out eventually.

Not too much help though if you're lying awake trying to get to sleep and feeling a little down. I've had weird sleep patterns all my life and have learned not to fight or worry too much but just accept what is at that particular moment.

How different is your current experience from the last time you were on the Camino? Much would have changed since you were last on the Way. Did you have any expectations?

Be gentle and kind to yourself. Walk shorter days if your legs ache or rest if you are really tired. Don't forget to Breathe!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#12
We all want a good nights sleep, but do not fret about it. Don't ruminate about the sleep you will not get, but try to relax and focus on the positives.
I realized early on that I will not sleep well each night. And so I resolved to just accept that fact, but to also do what I could within my control. I took anti-inflammatory pills as needed, plus I got an herbel sleep aid from the Farmacia. (And used the mandatory sleep mask/ear plugs.) I slept as late as I needed, based on how I was feeling, not worrying about keeping to an artificial schedule.

Buen Camino.
 

vlebe

Walker Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001; 2004; 2009; 2013, (2016/2017)
#14
I'm not sure if this is Available in Spain but Melatonin also helps A LOT!!!

edited: Just with the insomnia bit... Not for your injuries and tired body! For that I guess what people already said... I do eat a lot of bananas and take Magnesium supplements.

:rolleyes:
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#15
I almost never, ever put salt on my food (except any kind of egg served with a soft yolk) but find salt helps with leg cramps enormously (for me).

As for the sleeping there's pacharin/endrinas or orujo and "laser lite" ear plugs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Oct. 2006 - Roncesvalles to Los Arcos
Oct. 2016 - Los Arcos to Burgos
#17
@Calimocho -

Better sleep? Try a reasonably full belly topped with a glass of wine (maybe 2).

When really down? Just ask yourself three questions:

1. Is there a higher number of good people I meet everyday in my "other life" than I am finding here?

2. Do I generally get this much fresh air and fitness at home?

3. Seriously now, would I really rather be at work?

I'm pretty sure that will renew your perspective on the "down" days. (And I actually like my job...kinda/sorta;))

B
The
A German pilgrim said there are lots of ups and downs on the Camino and I said that yes it's a bit hilly. She said that's not what I mean. Now I know what she meant...The day before yesterday, my legs ached terribly and yesterday I had no problems at all (begging for a spare ibuprofen might have had something to do with it.) Now I'm finishing up a sleepless night and a bit worried about what today's walking will bring. Any help on getting better sleep and not letting the down days get to you would be appreciated.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Oct. 2006 - Roncesvalles to Los Arcos
Oct. 2016 - Los Arcos to Burgos
#18
Thanks to all of you for your replies and support. I'm finished with my Camino for this year and, in truth, my sleep never improved much but I never had such a bad day again and even the sleepless nights were worth it. I even had a profound, mystical, I can't describe it kind of a thing one of those nights - so maybe exhaustion has it's up side! In retrospect, I think I got myself in trouble when I didn't drink enough water, tried to go too fast, and didn't eat enough. I think the sleepless nights were partly do to having so much wonderful stimulation, friendships and conversation that it was difficult to unwind at the end of a day. Next time, though, I'll try to implement some of the advice all of you suggested. Thank you!
 

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