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Help me restore to normal sleeping hours!

  1. Sep 23, 2008 #1

    I think I've some kind of serious sleep disorder, my sleeping hours are totally shifted, I usually go to bed when the sun goes up, at 0700-0900 and wake up at 1300-1600.

    It's really messing up with my life, I've skipped most of my classes this semester(to give you an idea, I only went to a single math class, a month ago..), because, well... I just can't go to the lectures when I am sleeping(imagine if you had to go to school at 0300 and one hour bus ride to get there), I am studying them on my own but it's not the same.

    I've tried the usual stuff, like staying awake all day, but as soon as the sun comes up, I feel tired and weak, and since I also suffer from anxiety attacks(smoking weed when I was young was not a good idea after all...) and I've found that I am most vulnerable when I am sleep deprived.

    I don't know which part of my body handles the sleeping cycle but it is totally screwed...

    Bottom line, I feel like a vampire, and I hate it, what should I do? how did you cope out with it ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2008 #2
    you're going to have to do it over a period of time.

    I used to work alternating shifts for a while ie. one week 7:30-16:00, next week 15:30-00:00, next week 23:30-8:00 and then repeat. It's heavy, but I used the weekend to right the wrong and usually was just tired on monday, which is usual anyway you do it :wink:

    My suggestion is this:
    Monday stay awake longer, ie. go to bed at 10:00, set an alarm and make sure you only get 8 hours of sleep, wake up at 18:00.
    Tuesday go to bed at 12:00, wake up at 20:00
    Wednesday go to bed at 14:00, wake up at 22:00
    Thursday go to bed at 16:00, wake up at 00:00
    Friday go to bed at 18:00, wake up at 02:00
    Saturday go to bed at 20:00, wake up at 04:00
    Sunday go to bed at 22:00, wake up at 06:00

    Then you should be back to normal and you should be able to start attending lectures. It will be a crazy week, but rather have one screwed up week now then many many more in the future.

    Your body can handle much greater changes, but imo gradual is best especially if you've been sleeping differently for a while. I used to do it over a weekend by shifting by about 4 to 6 hours, ie. just staying up later and making sure I got up with my alarm. You have to be harsh with the alarm, it will make it harder on yourself if you hit the snooze button and wake up later.
  4. Sep 23, 2008 #3
    I wonder if it might be some sort of sleep disorder. I have a similar problem though I have compensated by always working night shifts. I am much more awake at night than I am during the day. The sun in particular seems to make me tired since I can usually do ok during the day if it is overcast or rainy. Because of this I have always wanted to move to Oregon. Doesn't work out so well in sunny southern California.
  5. Sep 23, 2008 #4


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    You can either gradually shift your pattern or snap straight into the normal cycle by sacrificing a day. The latter needs a lot of committment; just stay awake for 2 days straight and fall asleep at exactly the time you want, using caffeine as necessary. You'll then have to somehow force yourself awake at the time you want and so and so. Expect a few mood swings here and there, tiredness for a week or so, but believe me, it's well worth it. Only way I can ever come to all my exams well (of course, you'll want to do this well before any exams of any sort).

    I notice you said you feel tired and weak - well, tough ****. You'll have to pass that phase or there's not much else you can do.

    Another thing is to make sure you're also eating the right foods and exercising at the right times, if at all. Heavy carbs will knock you into a drowsy stupor before you can say "insomnia".
  6. Sep 23, 2008 #5
    i would say --> ENJOY this lifestyle...once you go to work it is all over !!! trust me

    party as much as you can but make sure you pass those classes ofcourse

    good luck
  7. Sep 23, 2008 #6


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    You could move to Beijing, since you're already living in that time zone.
  8. Sep 23, 2008 #7
    I do the same thing sometimes. Stay up for over 24 hours to reset your clock. That is, next time you wake up in the afternoon or around night time, stay up all the way until 7 pm the next night.

    This should help you be tired.

    Actually, sometimes what happens to me, is that I'll be SOOO tired, that i'll go into this deep sleep, and only sleep for about 5 hours, then up and around again, but I get tired fast and go to bed again. Then I start sleeping in intervals throughout a 24 hour period. It sucks.

    My advice: go outside more, that helps. You may be depressed or something, and need some fresh air.
  9. Sep 23, 2008 #8

    The article is rather general ofcourse but seems to treat the issue you are discribing. It apparently takes at least a few days to get used to a different sleep schedule in most healthy individuals. It mentions persons who seem to not be able to train their circadian rythmes to different sleep schedules but does not go into much detail there.
  10. Sep 23, 2008 #9


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    See a doctor about it. This may be more than just getting yourself off schedule, but a more serious sleep disorder. When you mention a history of drug use and anxiety attacks, there may be other medical issues affecting your ability to sleep. If that's the case, simple behavioral changes aren't going to solve the problem.
  11. Sep 26, 2008 #10
    Great advice, I am following your suggestion, yesterday for example, I went to bed at 1830 and woke up at 0100(phone call). Today, I plan to stay awake until 2000, the good thing is that now I don't feel tired in the morning anymore :) .

    That might not be a bad idea.

    I can sleep just fine, my problem is actually my sleeping schedule, it's messed up, but I'll ask a doctor just to be sure.
  12. Nov 6, 2009 #11
    I'd suggest you hit the gym one day and exhaust your self physically, grab a not too interesting book, or study hard till 8-10pm. You should be naturally tired. You'll notice your sleep pattern will be fixed in a couple of days.
  13. Nov 6, 2009 #12


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    To Brutus : My body is similar to yours on this. If I hadn't a girlfriend to live with, I would be sleeping at 7 am everyday (but contrarily to you, the sunrise doesn't get me sleepy), like I did for a period of some months before meeting her. I agree it's not nice to stay at home all night and see the Sun so few time.

    Right now I go to bed at midnight but fall asleep between 3 am and 4 am. As I wake up before 8 am, I'm extremely tired during the whole day, until the night come where I'm usually not tired. On the other hand I'd wake up to go to University even if I'm ill, tired or anything.

    In my case going to bed earlier doesn't imply I will sleep at a decent time, nor that my body will get used to it. It is the only remedial to live a more common life. Force yourself to wake up early one day and go to bed early the same day. Repeat day after day.
    If I was alone I wouldn't be able to do it. I wish you good luck and try it.
  14. Nov 6, 2009 #13


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    Please note - The Last Activity of Brutus, the OP, was Sep26-08 12:35 PM.

    The OP date is Sep23-08 05:32 AM.
  15. Nov 6, 2009 #14


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    ahahha my bad, I didn't see this!
    I hope he has went over his problem.
  16. Nov 6, 2009 #15


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    You're right! I wonder if he drove into a bus on the way to the doctor.
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