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This frustration of things nocturnal I have.

  1. Jun 7, 2007 #1
    For several years I've been living my days like a zombie, which is particularly rough in the workplace. I can't seem to pull myself out of this. I'm wide awake at night, but during the day my body wants to sleep. I want to reverse that, but have never made a switch last for more than a couple days.

    This is terribly frustrating. I almost lost my job over this. I went to a counselor, but he wasn't much help. CAT scan doesn't show anything other than Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I get pushed into psychological/psychiatric recourse, but that hasn't helped.

    Any ideas?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2007 #2


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    Have you tried exercise? Try experimenting with daily exercise, and see what time of day works best for helping you to stay on a normal daily cycle of rest and activity. What kinds of exercise do you enjoy? Swim/bike/run/MTB/etc?
  4. Jun 7, 2007 #3


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    That would be something to try as well as proper nutrition. When I say proper nutrition, I don't mean take vitamin pills.

    Anything that contributes to overall health to the body mentally or physically is something that I believe greatly helps stabilize it's functions. Unfortunately, people don't really care.

    I personally noticed fantastic changes from changing my diet. I no longer eat beef or pork, I practically wiped out refined sugars in my diet by not drinking juice and eating bad treats, not eating frozen diners, not eating out of cans, getting a variety of fruits and vegetables. I made lots of changes and things will continue to improve such as stop eating out of plastic containers. That's my next step. I prefer fresh foods. About 90% of the foods I eat are fresh and not fast food fresh like they show on TV.

    The biggest thing I noticed is more energy. You'd think more sugar would be more energy, but for some reason that's not true. I eat lots of sugar in forms of fruit but that's about it. I don't drink coffee or anything like that either. I also noticed my sleeping habits are naturally better without even any effort. Today, I was wide awake at 7:30am. Normally I wake up at 8:30am naturally, but I took a nap yesterday afternoon. Before, I used to wake up at Noon and stay up until 3-4am. Even if I go out at bars on the weekend (I still drink occasionally), I still wake up at 8:30am. I just can't sleep in period. One time, I stayed out until 5am and went to work for 8am and I was fine all day. Took a nap after work and everything was ok. The other guys who went out late were struggling and I do this almost every weekend. :eek:

    I vote good diet and some activity is the best way to go.

    Note: The fruits I eat on a daily basis consists of Raisins, Apple, Orange, Tangerines, Banana, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries and Blackberries. As alternative fruits that I also eat everyday but change every other day are Cantalopes, Grapefruits, Pears, Pineapple, Peaches, Watermelon, Cherries and that's about all I can think of. The list of vegetables is basically almost just as big. None of them are in cans or plastic containers. 100% fresh.

    I'm only saying this to PROMOTE healthy eating. It boggles my mind how some people don't eat healthy. It's actually cheaper to eat this way. It takes a bit more time, but you get more time in the end. :smile:
  5. Jun 7, 2007 #4
    Depending on your body type, follow Jason's advice, but keep an eye on the fruit / carb intake otherwise you'll notice a nice pot belly forming.

    I just happen to be extremely carb sensitive and notice a huge difference varying with my carb intake. Although I do like the increased energy with more carbs, I do not really enjoy the bloat that comes with it ;)
  6. Jun 7, 2007 #5
    I thought it would be so simple. Diet and exercise. Sugar would exhaust me so I eliminated that as much as possible. But my diet still sucks, and is the thorn in my side. I know it's to do with appetite in my case, and a tad bit of a food phobia. I barely eat.

    And the only exercise I get is an occasional walk and lifting a few weights every other day. Is there a good schedule for exercising?

    As for diet, just looking at many foods makes me feel ill. I suspect this is related to the OCD. If you've seen the Aviator, you have some idea how bad it's been for me. I've tried forcing myself to eat new foods, but wow that's scary for me. And of course, you can imagine the difficulties this causes for a social life. I am a mess.

    The food is the biggest problem. Any ideas how to adjust diet for someone who doesn't even like looking at food?
  7. Jun 7, 2007 #6
    I'm definitely not an MD, but it sounds like your OCD is a large contributor to the problem -- especially with eating. I'd look to some counseling.

    I have the opposite problem as you. I stuff my face with every ounce of food I can find. If I wasn't active, I'd look like the state puff marshmellow.
  8. Jun 7, 2007 #7
    I was in treatment for the OCD for many years, but with no improvement. From medication to exposure-response. :(

    But it is encouraging to know that diet change and exercise may help with the sleep problem. I'll persevere for the change somehow, especially because fall is coming and I'll need the change for college. I'll push hard.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  9. Jun 7, 2007 #8


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    That's me too.

    At first it was hard saying no to free burgers or homemade cakes and stuff. I still eat cake, but if I already had cake the day before, I say no. The biggest thing for me or anyone is to recognize what it is that you're actually eating and that the whole time you're eating like garbage was a choice you made. Beware of those choices.

    Anyways, I agree with Beeza. I would seek professional help. If you wait too long, it will get worse.
  10. Jun 7, 2007 #9


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    Which medications did they try and in what dosages? Not all medications work, it's trial and error until one works.

    I know a psychiatrist that has a medical student with such severe OCD that his current dosage of Zoloft is around 2,000 milligrams daily, average dose is 100 milligrams. I didn't realize that it was safe to go so high. :bugeye:
  11. Jun 7, 2007 #10
    As someone who has struggled with OCD myself, I feel that I should point out that it's not all bad. OCD is only bad if you develop bad habits. It will be much harder for someone like yourself to change those habits to good habits, but once you have good eating and exercise habits, it will be easy for you to stick to them.

    Focus on changing things one thing at a time, start with breakfast. Make it a point to at least eat something for breakfast EVERY DAY. After a week or two it will be easy to keep up with. Stick with three or four different breakfasts that are healthy and that you like. I generally change it up between a bowl of cereal, some yogourt and granola, or some toast with peanut butter and jam. Always with a glass of milk or juice. Stick with a few things at a time, and once you get used to them, it will be very easy for you to stick to them.

    Just remember that it will be hard for the first week or two, but after that you're on easy street. People without OCD have it easy for the first while, but have a harder time of it in the long run. Always remember to look on the bright side.
  12. Jun 7, 2007 #11
    I'm embarrassed to admit I've been on most all of them, I think. I don't recall. Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax... Numerous others. Lots of adjustments to dosages. Six doctors and a slew of counselors. Treatment continued for nearly a decade, from one clinic to another, across the country, while I continued looking elsewhere for fresh ideas.

    I've given up on the professional treatment.
  13. Jun 7, 2007 #12


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    Yes, generally you will find a timeslot in each day that works best for you. Especially in your case, you have an overall goal of synch'ing back up to the regular daily cycle, so you may find that exercising first thing in the morning gets you going better, or maybe exercising in the early evening will help you to sleep better, or whatever.

    For my weekday workouts, I find the noon hour slot to be the best. Early morning (6-7AM) workouts for me are slower and less fun, and evenings I'm too beat to motivate myself to workout. For my weekend workouts, I can do them a little later (like 9-10AM), so that's a good way to start my weekend days.

    I like to mix up the workouts -- usually rotating swim/run/bike each day. For you just starting out, I'd recommend mixing up walking and riding a bike each day, probably starting in the lunchtime slot if you can. If there is a pool nearby, consider starting to swim laps a couple times a week, and see if you can get a little coaching on your freestyle stroke to help you get into a fun rhythm. Swimming workouts are a lot more fun once you get a little skill into your stroke.

    As you start to get into better shape, you might enjoy a little mountain biking (MTB) in the woods or whatever countryside you have nearby. It's a wonderful way to get exercise, and to enjoy being outside in Nature.

    You will also probably find that daily exercising will help you to stabilize your apetite. If you overate before, it helps you to lower the priority of food, especially junk food. In your case of not eating enough or well, it should help to give you a reason to eat better, to fuel your exercise routines.

    Let us know how the first couple weeks of mild daily exercise go for you, and which exercise routines work best for you. Best of luck.
  14. Jun 7, 2007 #13
    Alrighty, I'll pursue that and report my progress. Thanks.
  15. Jun 7, 2007 #14
    I was about to say that. I had the same problem of being terribly tired all day and then at around 10pm I was wide awake. Once I started working out, it evened it all out.
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