This is topic Nocturnal Girl in a Diurnal World in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
I have a temporary job right now. I am struggling to go to bed by at least 11, but IT'S NOT HAPPENING. When I try to go to bed at a reasonable hour, not only am I not tired but I keep waking up every hour, just about on the hour.
To make matters worse I black right out at work when I'm sitting down. I could be trying to alphabetize stuff and suddenly I'm unconscious and I can't figure out WHAT to do about this having had this problem since college and beyond.
Just not when I am at home though. And not unless I am laying in bed reading.

Does anyone else have this problem?
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Oh man yeah talk to me. My sleep schedule is a total wreck. Granted, I don't have the 'blank out' problem but the root issue is, well, not sleeping when you need to in order to have a regular work cycle.

The absolute best thing you can do right off the bat, for serious, is move every single individual piece of electronic stuff outta your bedroom. No computer, no tv. Have a bedroom that's pretty much just got

1. your bed, and
2. clothes

in it.

Then if you got the cash, go talk to a GP about it and see what s/he can get you hooked up with! 'hooked up' in this sense refers either to the advice or expert counsel they forward you to, or the drugs they fork over, like lunesta or ambien

Then what they will probably tell you (this is true!) is that a regular sleep schedule, necessarily, requires regularity, and so you need to stick pretty firm on that point and go into your Entertainment Free Bed Zone at p. much the same time every night.

Also if you are blacking out when tired that's totally its own problem. Please never drive when you are way way tired!
Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
Does that mean no music?

I need music.

It's a good thing I don't drive. Bad things would happen if I drove. I've had this problem for ages.
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
So, okay, the regular sleeping thing is its own thing. It is a medical issue as profound as they come since it is directly related to people's quality of life, stress levels, productivity, livelihood and life expectancy! So, to amend the stressings of my prior post, you should definitely talk to a doc for two reasons:

1. Regular sleeping! They have many different options that they can use after expertly gauging your sleep difficulties! One of my friends got melatonin injections that put him on the straight and level in all of three days!

2. Narcololepsy! If your superpower is 'can fall asleep so hard that I should never be allowed to drive' then its time to see if drugs like modafinil are for you!

As for my own personal non-USDA certified advice on requiring noise to go to sleep: it is a habit that is, overall, more trouble than it is worth and it gets harder to break as you get older. A few sleep aids like the use of white noise (fans, air conditioners, brian eno, etc) to cover up noise variety (trash trucks, sirens, riots, etc) are totally understandable, but everyone I know who can't sleep without music on is reliant on the practice even though it disturbs and lessens the quality of the sleep that they get, so they're more tired all the time. Some people even progress to even WORSE habits such as the inability to go to sleep without a television on.

It also really undercuts the effectiveness of the method wherein one is establishing one's room as a sleep space, by cutting out all other uses for the environ.
Posted by Starsnuffer (Member # 8116) on :
I'd like to see the proof that sleeping with music on lessens sleep quality, but I agree, any habit that you get into like needing music, needing tv, needing fan on while you go to sleep could get irritating if you can't fulfill it when, say, sleeping at a hotel.

I'd say just keep trying to sleep at a similar time each day and wake up at a similar time as well.
Posted by andi330 (Member # 8572) on :
My sleep is better when I am listening to an audiobook (not worse). I do put it on a sleep timer though so it's not on all night. It's also much less disturbing to others than it used to be what with earphones and pillow speakers that can be turned low and made pretty quiet for others. I use the sleep timer, because the few times I have forgotten I find it disturbing later in my sleep like when I wake up from a sleep cycle.

If you fall asleep randomly you need to see a doctor, it could be a medical condition, especially since you don't sleep well at night.
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Originally posted by Starsnuffer:
I'd like to see the proof that sleeping with music on lessens sleep quality

Here, I found an extensively researched and peer-reviewed scientific study with exhaustive sourcing and greatly extrapolated conditional modifiers.

Well, okay, fine, it's just a lite-science blurb from a fox news affiliate, but um, hey look over there
Posted by CaySedai (Member # 6459) on :
I've managed to be able to go to sleep without a TV (since we're down to one TV and I think it belongs in the living room). My new habit is that I play a couple hands of solitaire on my cell phone with my glasses off (have to hold it real close anyway). I can play that and just close the phone and it saves the game. So I play to get my head in a certain mood, I guess, close the cell phone and close my eyes.

Now, this is after I lie down. Actually going into my room to lie down and go to sleep is the problem for me.
Posted by The White Whale (Member # 6594) on :
I fall asleep pretty quickly at night (tonight being an exception in that I had two exams tonight, so I'm still a little frazzled), but I've noticed that any caffeine, any at all, after noon messes with my sleep. So I've resorted to almost exclusively green teas in the afternoons and evenings.

If you consume any caffeine, I'd take a closer look at that, and how it's messing with you.
Posted by Goody Scrivener (Member # 6742) on :
The active ingredient in Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is also the active ingredient in many over the counter sleep medications. Products like Sominex are taking advantage of the drowsiness that is diphenhydramine's primary side effect. It may be worth a small experiment to see how Benadryl affects you.

I find that if I take a single tablet (25mg), I will start feeling foggy and disconnected after 3-4 hours. If I take two tabs (50mg), I can pretty much guarantee I'll be asleep in an hour and will easily sleep for 6 hours uninterrupted. This becomes an inconvenience for me when my allergies are bad enough that I need to supplement my non-drowsy loratadine with Benadryl to be able to stop sneezing, but I do take advantage of that knowledge when my sleep schedule is messed up.
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
Obligatory note that vigorous exercise will make you feel better in general and will help you sleep better. Seriously start doing this if you aren't doing it already. (Before you try anything else, even.)

(I don't mean to be preachy. I have mood, sleep, and energy issues that I could address with exercise, and I generally fail to do so, but I get the impression that I'm not the only one who is far too reluctant to exercise. It should be much more of a first resort for general malaise than it tends to be.)
Posted by Kwea (Member # 2199) on :
My sleep patterns are always messed up. I have always been a night person, and nursing school/clinicals happen during the day.

I am struggling with that more than any of my classes...
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Originally posted by The White Whale:
So I've resorted to almost exclusively green teas in the afternoons and evenings.

Note that while green tea may have a bit less caffeine than black tea, it is still very much so caffeinated.
Posted by theamazeeaz (Member # 6970) on :
How long has this been going on? I've had to be nocturnal for work on occasion and I have a large amount of inertia moving my sleep schedule, specifically when I try to do so consciously. My body will wake up not too much later if I stay up late, sometimes for several days.

It takes a few days of repeated deprivation on either end for my body to figure it out and want to be sleepy when it should or stay asleep to compensate with the full 8 hours when I've been up all night. There's nothing so frustrating as to stay up until 7 am and wake up four hours later naturally. My body will figure it out, just not right away. There's usually a night where I could hold the shift or lose it depending on what I chose.

My only caffeine intake is the occasional chocolate ice cream, so I graveyard-shifted myself in January through advance notice and headaches, a day lying in bed doing nothing but laying there when I should be in bed. I don't recommend this only to suggest that putting yourself in bed at the right time is still good.

I've also found that particular books will keep me awake in bed to a fault, while others will not. Stop reading things you are interested in before bed. If you have a reading knowledge of a foreign language try that. For me, works in that language require extra processing that makes me sleepy within a page.
Posted by The White Whale (Member # 6594) on :
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Originally posted by The White Whale:
So I've resorted to almost exclusively green teas in the afternoons and evenings.

Note that while green tea may have a bit less caffeine than black tea, it is still very much so caffeinated.
It must be below my caffeine threshold then, because I sleep very well after I drink green tea.
Posted by BandoCommando (Member # 7746) on :
I must be addicted to reading before sleeping. It often knocks me out in under ten minutes.

HOWEVER! It works best when it's a book I've read several times before. If it's an exceptionally gripping, cliffhanger-at-the-end-of-every-chapter, nail-biter, well... goodbye sleep.

So, if I'm having trouble getting to sleep, I usually pick a random book from my OSC shelf (my books are sorted by author, of course), and off I go!
Posted by Synesthesia (Member # 4774) on :
This has been going on since before college. I used to zonk out in high school.
All up in college I struggled to stay awake. I had 8:30 classes I'd fall asleep in. I tried to change my schedule to avoid late classes and IT WOULD STILL HAPPEN IN Japanese classes in the afternoon. It was a small class too.
I slept through speeches as well and at work at the library. One time at vespers we had to stand up and sit during certain parts. Every time I sat down I'd fall right to sleep and wake up during the stand up parts only to fall asleep again!
Posted by andi330 (Member # 8572) on :
Go see a doctor. Not only could this be an indication of a sleep disorder, but it could potentially hinder your chances of longevity at any of your temp positions. If you are constantly falling asleep at work, even if the company you are temping for has a permanent position open, they may not want to hire you (and unless you have some form of medical documentation proving that you have condition causing you to fall asleep you won't be covered under government programs that prevent you being fired for falling asleep at work).

Also, don't read in bed (your first post indicates you do this). It is one of the first things any doctor will tell a patient who is having trouble sleeping. Your bed should only be for sleeping not reading, watching tv, playing cell phone games or anything else. If you do these things in bed, your brain becomes accustomed to the idea that your bed is not for sleeping, and you will have difficulty falling (and staying) asleep.
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :

I use my bed for some other things than sleep, even when I'm not reading, watching tv, etc.

I defy a doctor to tell me that is unacceptable.

The floor just hurts my back too much, fun as it may be.
Posted by Elmer's Glue (Member # 9313) on :
Um, there are these things called couches...
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Yeah, but they usually have children or cats or laundry on them.
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
I defy a doctor to tell me that is unacceptable.

Doctors rarely even tell their patients that smoking is unacceptable. But doctors who know a lot about sleep studies will tell you that it's inadvisable if you have sleep troubles!
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Really? Because that is the one thing that usually puts me right to sleep. [Razz]
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Do you consider yourself to have significant sleep troubles?
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
Um, yes.
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
Then, if you ask sleep experts, they'll tell you that using the bed as your designated reading spot is part of those troubles.

And, for the most part, studies show that they're right.
Posted by Shigosei (Member # 3831) on :
I believe that you are all misinterpreting what KQ is saying. For what it's worth, that particular activity is usually listed as the only other thing you should do in bed besides sleep.
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
I was not talking about reading...

Shig, good to know. 'Cause like I said, the floor hurts my back. [Wink]
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
lol wait

*reads again*


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