T Nation

Maintaining a Regular Sleep Cycle?

Ive been trying to get used to being up early in the morning (around 8) and alert and well rested. Since Im in college, usually I just sleep inbetween classes with little concern about sleep at the same hours, but I want to change that.

Anyway it seems like when I get up earlier, I still am unable to go to sleep that much earlier and I end up sleeping less and being more tired than usual. Last year, I kept getting up at 7 am everyday for several weeks without taking naps to ensure that I would be tired enough at night to get a full nights sleep. I did end up becoming adjusted enough to where I could get around 7-8 hours a night. But when I sleep at the times I actually want to (during the day, mostly) I can easly sleep for 9-10 hours and I feel more rested, can work out harder, etc.

So whats the deal? I want to be up and alert early in the morning but I dont want to sacrifice hours of sleep to do so. Should I take a couple hour nap during the day? If I get up at 8, when and how long of a nap should I take so I that I would still be tired at the appropriate time of night?

Just for more information, during the summer one time when I had no reason to be up at any particular time I found that naturally I tend to want to sleep around 4 or 5AM. I guess I have a longer than average circadian rhythm because If I allow myself to I will sleep later and later every night.

I’m exactly the same way. :frowning:

That sucks.

Also, I dont drink any caffeine although I think Im going to start drinking some green tea in the morning. Maybe that will help.

I think one power nap during the day for an hour or so could really help your cause…
Otherwise try reading for half an hour before you go to bed, as it normally makes me nod off even if I’m not tired. So maybe if yu start reading half an hour before you want to sleep this will allow you to sleep earlier and get up at 7-8AM still getting your 8+ hours in,

ShadoW

I’m the exact way too. Trying to force myself up at 6 for work atm, thought i would have adjusted after a month or so, but not quite, and i got no solutions what so ever, anyways, have a look at this:

And with the book thing, make sure its a shitty book, alot of times when i start reading to go to sleep im up till 5 or all night reading like a madman, but i guess that depends on how much you like to read

Wow. i was having this exact conversation today trying to determine if this kind of situation is worth seeing a doctor for. I am also a student, and, in my ‘perfect world’ would fall asleep around 4-6am, and wake up early afternoon. I am continually told to just ‘get up earlier’ as this supposedly will fix my sleeping hours to a more ‘normal’ ie bed around 11pm, up @8am.

This NEVER works for me. i force myself up @8am, and then i am completely exhausted throughout the day, but still can’t sleep until the middle of the night, infact, the only time i have energy is about 11pm-5am. I am very worried about this come summer due to full workdays and inability to nap. Is this just a natural biorhythm thing? I have never been a morning person, and as i got older, have progressively been more and more a ‘night owl’.

To those who have a similar ‘affliction’, how have you transitioned to make life during the daytime livable?

Man, having the same conversation with the ol’ lady earlier…I too am a second year undergrad, and I have been trying to be up by 6:30am everyday, which is not the problem, the problem is actually falling asleep earlier, no matter how tired I am. It really frustrates me, and yes, I just end up sleeping less

I think that the human internal ‘body clock’ and the 24 hour day don’t really match up very well.

I watched an experiment once where some volunteers were kept in artificial light, away from clocks and fed at regular intervals so that after a few days they didn’t know what time of day/night it was. They discovered that if left to our own internal clock, we naturally go to bed later and later each day and get up later until we go round full circle!

I think this causes a problem due to the slight mismatch in our internal body clock and the 24 hr day we have fixed. This is maybe more of a problem for night owls as they like to stay up later at night anyway.

If you are more of an owl it’s always going to be tricky to force yourself to go to bed early in order to get up early. Unfortunately society mostly works this way! Maybe you need a job where you work nights :slight_smile:

I used to have to be up at 5.30am on alternate days for work and I had real problems making myself go to bed early…I just wasn’t sleepy, but would feel crap next day as I needed at least 8 hours and only got 5-6! Now I can go to bed at midnight and sleep til 9 and feel great!

I heard somewhere that it is an age thing, younger guys and girls who are in or just out of there teens still have hormonal imbalances till something like 25! which can affect sleep patterns, apparently as we age the sleep cycle naturally shifts to the ‘normal hours’ just a thought …