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rory's avatar

How can I fix my sleep schedule?

Asked by rory (1269 points ) August 10th, 2014

It’s summer, I’m home from college, and working part time jobs that don’t generally require me to be up early.

On weeknights, I fall asleep between 1 and 2 am. I wake up around 9:30 or 10 and feel like absolute hell. It doesn’t matter how many hours of sleep I get, when I go to bed after midnight I can’t function the next day without coffee or energy drinks. They keep me up until nighttime, and around 8 or 9, I finally feel like a person. I spend the next few hours doing what I love—making art. I’m usually so wired I can’t call asleep until 1 or 2.

How do I break this cycle? If I cut out caffeine, I’m totally dysfunctional, and while I might go to bed early I will have wasted the day.

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5 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

IME there is no such thing as fixing a sleep schedule. Only adjusting to a shitty schedule and dealing with being half asleep for the better part of the day. Without things like school that require me to get up early, I tend to default to a rather unusual sleep/wake schedule. I’m up most nights till 630–730am and sleep till 330–4 pm. I still a normal 8–9 hours sleep, they’re just dramatically shifted.

It’s possible you also have a form of Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder.

kevbo's avatar

Google “sleep hygiene.”

Smitha's avatar

Try going to bed early and at the same time every night and get up each morning same time. Stick to this pattern. Eventually you will get adjusted to this routine. Try to eliminate all stimulants, especially caffeine, till you get sleep pattern corrected.

JLeslie's avatar

Quit the caffeine. You wake up in withdrawal so you feel like shit. Cut down little by little for a few days then get rid of it altogether. You have to assume you will get a headache and feel like shit and fall asleep everywhere for a few days once you completely quit. Have Advil at the ready the first sign of the headache.

If you don’t want to give up caffeine completely, you could just try reducing your nornal intake, but you need to treat it like a drug, because it is, so the best thing is to have a regular routine with it that works for you short of quitting altogether.

Some things to remember, chocolate has caffeine, so you might start craving more if you already love it. Green tea also has caffeine.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

^ totally agree. Wean yourself off the energy drinks for a start. You might suffer headaches and some withdrawal symptoms but you’ll quite likely feel better without them. Then start setting an alarm and getting up at an earlier hour. Have a bedtime routine. A bath, warm milk, things you do to prepare for bed. Stop doing things that stimulate your mind in the lead up to the bedtime you want.

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