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Sleep Patterns All Screwed Up

  1. Jul 26, 2007 #1

    G01

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    My sleep patterns are all screwed up as of late. I'm tired when I need to be awake, and restless when I want to sleep. I've been going to bed sporadically between 11 and 3. 11 is not a problem, but I hate not falling until 11 when I have work the next day. Anyone have any suggestions on how I could make my sleep cycles more......predictable?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2007 #2
    How did this happen?
    Are you sleeping/napping during the day?
     
  4. Jul 26, 2007 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    Anything stressing you right now? Any changes in caffeine consumption?

    There are some relaxation exercises that might help. Or I could just send you my nervous system anatomy textbook which will knock you out within minutes.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2007 #4

    G01

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    Haha! :rofl:

    Seriously though, my caffenine patterns have changed during the summer, since my lab has an espresso machine:rolleyes:, but I don't think this is a problem. I drink a cup in the morning and around 4:00, but not any later. I doubt it's the coffee.

    I started staying up late on the weekends and when the week rolls around, I still wanna stay up late. I should have just stuck to my normal patterns. O well, more excuses to be on PF! (Seriously, my post count has sky-rocketed in the past couple weeks. If I don't get back to sleeping normally I'm going to crash the server!:biggrin:)
     
  6. Jul 26, 2007 #5

    EnumaElish

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    You can try Melatonin (OTC, e.g. vitamin shops), and/or anti-jet-lag regimens.
     
  7. Jul 26, 2007 #6

    turbo

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    When I was working shift-work, I found that one caffeinated drink a day was about tops for me. For years, it was the Southern Swing (a brutal routine) and then, we got switched over to 3 12-hour days, three days off (on average) and 3 12-hour nights, alternating. One big mug of strong coffee when I got up, and then no more caffeine during the day, and a VERY moderate sugar intake helped me reset my internal clock well enough to survive that.
     
  8. Jul 26, 2007 #7
    Well, I sleep at 6 am and wake up at 2 pm, if that's any comfort.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2007 #8

    cristo

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    That sounds terrible. How come you do that-- do you work night shifts or something?
     
  10. Jul 27, 2007 #9

    Moonbear

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    It could be the coffee, especially the one at 4:00. Caffeine doesn't just work by keeping you awake/jittery while it's in your system, but also by shifting your circadian rhythms. It could easily account for your difficulty sleeping at night. Try cutting the afternoon coffee out and see if things improve after a week of that.

    Exercise during the day can also help you sleep better at night. If you're spending most of your day trapped in a lab, if you can get away for a half hour to an hour to work out somewhere, whatever working out means to you (long walk around campus, hit the gym for some weight lifting, a bike ride somewhere, a pick-up game of one-on-one, etc.), that might help invigorate you during the day (as long as you don't go to complete exhaustion) and sleep better at night.
     
  11. Jul 27, 2007 #10

    Astronuc

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    I agree. Late in the day (afternoon) coffee can affect sleep later on.

    Exercise, e.g. go walking for about 20 minutes at lunchtime, will help. But don't exercise too late in the day.

    One could take a sleep aid (medication) temporarily in order to force the body into sleeping at night. Be consistent on the time.
     
  12. Jul 27, 2007 #11

    JasonRox

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    I wouldn't suggest this until someone has tried atleast 3 other natural methods first. Most of the time all someone needs is a small tweak in the diet (change of coffee consumption or something like that) and a little bit of exercise.

    Taking the drug will just get rid of the current symptom and not the actual problem, such as bad diet and no exercise. You can take drugs all you want to hide this fact, but it's going to hit you hard as a ***** later. I don't even care if you only plan on using the stuff for a week. Tried natural first. Sometimes it's as simple as hiking out in the woods and getting in touch with nature.
     
  13. Jul 27, 2007 #12

    Monique

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    One advice would be to stay up all night and not sleep, get up in the morning and start going through your routine. DON'T sleep until 11 pm, go to bed around that time and you'll sleep just fine. It works for resetting your internal clock.
     
  14. Jul 27, 2007 #13
    I work at an agency with 24/7 costumer service.
     
  15. Jul 27, 2007 #14
    The fatigue becomes near unbearable.
     
  16. Jul 27, 2007 #15

    G01

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    I'll try cutting out the coffee, it may help. I also have another problem in that I eat my third meal late sometimes (9:00PM or later). I hear this may also keep me up.
     
  17. Jul 27, 2007 #16

    Moonbear

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    That's also possible. Unfortunately, having an unpredictable work schedule myself, I understand that you need to eat, and you don't always have a choice on time. My only suggestion, if you can't take a break for dinner earlier, would be to make it a lighter meal so it's not so heavy in your stomach so late at night. Then again, I have the problem that I can't sleep well if I'm hungry, so if I eat too early, I need a snack before going to sleep, but if I eat late, I sleep just fine. So, I don't think it's just a matter of eating late, but more a matter of how much you eat and if it's giving you stomach discomfort when you should be sleeping.

    Having a routine an hour or two before bedtime will help too. A lot of people have problems falling asleep if their mind is too active and they are thinking of a million things and not relaxed enough to sleep. Deciding within a few hours of your bedtime that you're ready to sit down, relax, maybe read a little for pleasure instead of for work, etc., will help you unwind and prepare for sleep. Again, many of us don't have such a luxury, get home late and then spend another couple hours making dinner, cleaning, etc., and are still too wound up to get sleep. I'd say start by eliminating the afternoon espresso and see if that helps. If that's not enough, then work on other things as you can.
     
  18. Jul 27, 2007 #17

    G01

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    Thanks for all the advice Moonbear! I'll have to work on getting my sleep patterns back to normal before the next semester starts. I think it'll be easier as soon as this REU ends as well.
     
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