General Question

queenzboulevard's avatar

How do I reset my sleeping patterns?

Asked by queenzboulevard (2549points) December 6th, 2008

This sounds like a riddle or brain teaser, however it is not lol

Every day I fall asleep at 4 or 5 a.m.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have to get up at 9 a.m. (4 or 5 hours of sleep).

On Tue. Thur. I sleep in until 1 p.m. (8 or 9 hours of sleep).

I’m dead tired on the days I have to get up at 9 a.m., but I can’t fall asleep until 4 a.m. because I slept in until 1 p.m. and I can’t wake up earlier than 1 p.m. because my body is so tired from only having 4 hours of sleep.

Any suggestions on how to get into a sleeping pattern of 12 a.m until 7 a.m.?

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17 Answers

mcbealer's avatar

I too, have an odd schedule. I have basically trained myself to sleep in 3–5 hour shifts and then catch up by sleeping a heavenly 8 hour stretch on my days off.

To reset your sleeptimes, try going to bed 15–30 minutes earlier each time, and if possible do something relaxing to lead into it. As far as waking up, make sure you have a good loud alarm clock handy.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I agree with mcbealer. Also, start by reducing stimulation after 7:00 pm. No soft drinks, get off the computer before 11:00, turn off your cell phone around 10:00, change the type of music you listen to. Take a bath or shower around 10:00 or 11:00 and get ready for bed. Then get comfortable and read. Manage your environment. It will take a little time for your body to reset, so don’t just do this a few times and give up.

fireside's avatar

Yep, get in bed at midnight and do not get out of bed. Even if you lie there for 4 hours reading, don’t get out of bed.

Hide your alarm clock so that you can’t just swat at it and go back to sleep. If you have to get up and cross the room, you’ll be that much more awake.

lunabean's avatar

staying up 24 hours has worked for me. also you can take some kind of medicine that will make you drowsy at say 11:30 :)

jlm11f's avatar

Ohhhh this Q is made for me haha. I went through this earlier this year. Couple of things to keep in mind: all nighters didn’t work for me. I tried to reset my body by just not sleeping one day and had some great fun in the chat room too but unfortunately my body just ended up compensating for that waking up even later than norm on the next day. Things that do work: do some rigorous exercise on Day 1, eat an early dinner, get in bed by 11–11:30 pm (now, i know you are thinking “ew”, but just go with it for now). You probably won’t fall fall asleep until much later and that’s why it’s important to get in bed earlier. set alarms for the time you want to wake up, which i think you said is 7 am. Next day: repeat. The exercise can be less rigorous this time, or if you really are just totally beat, then you can stop it all together. That’s really dependent on the individual kind of thing. If you keep this pattern for a week you should have a better schedule down.

My schedule is like yours, need to be up on Mon/Wed/Fri @ 6:30 am and whenever on Tue/Thurs. On Mon/Wed nights I am just exhausted from waking up early so I fall asleep at a fairly decent time (around 12:30). And Tue/Thurs, I sleep around 1 am. I know it’s still not perfect, but it’s realistic. I am a night owl, there’s no way I can go from sleeping @ 5 am to just 11:30 every night. But you have to go through that training phase regardless so your body can self-adjust.

Also remember: no caffeine after 4 pm. Good Luck!

tinyfaery's avatar

On the days when you don’t have to get up, you must get up. Try to wake at the same time everyday, or at least not more than an hour or so of extra sleep. Until your body gets used to it’s new patterns you’ll either just have to be tired, or try sleeping pills. It will only take a small time so the pills will not become an issue.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

That’s so true, Tiny. Get up at the same time every day; use the morning time on your later days to get chores done, exercise, do something nice for yourself. I get up at the same time every day, automatically. The weekends are really nice because I have the house to myself, go out for breakfast, etc.

jlm11f's avatar

also, you might want to check out this thread for more answers.

Judi's avatar


emilyrose's avatar

Using melatonin is really helpful. Are you trying to do the same sleep schedule every day? That will really help! 12–7 seems very doable. Take melatonin, maybe a dose and a half each night about a half hour before you want to sleep.

maybe_KB's avatar

Don’t go to bed at all on Monday
(I know this may come of a shock to you…but loose the four hours)
The next day, you’ll be so zonked that you’ll retire a lot earlier.

Hey, I’ll meet you on the right side of the bed.

jdogg's avatar

on the day you only get 4–5 hours of sleep don’t go to sleep for 1 day. This will make you so tired you will sleep normally on your (I’m guessing) off days. Then you just have to force your self to go to bed at a decent time like 10:30. Keep the time and if you feel tired hang on till 10:30 if awake, do a couple hundred push ups or if you know that won’t work just try to force yourself to sleep so you reset your internal clock. Good Luck. I know how much it sucks.

alive's avatar

one other thing to think about is having someone else who wakes up at the time you want to wake up at help wake you up in the morning. cuz i know how easy it is to just snooze the alarm and go back to sleep for another couple hours. the buddy system is pretty effective for all kinds of life changes. it is just a little extra support on your way to your goals. good luck!

FreddieMack's avatar

Mainly, you just have to get used to what you want to wake up to. I work different hours every week and I always have to get used to getting up at different times. I always have a hard time getting up because it is hard for me to get a goodnight of sleep. You ust have to get used to it and just try to give yourself enough time of rest.

blueseaurchin's avatar

Start waking up gradually and try to eat as soon a possible from waking. This makes your body wake earlier as it becomes hungry. You can also try to have cafeine (coffee, tea) upon waking and being as active as possible when you get up.

In order to sleep earlier I recommend meditation, mantras or repetitive tasks. If these fail you can take an antihistamine an hour before you want to sleep. Unlike sleeping medication, they are non-addictive but helpful in making you drowsy.

Good Luck!

Just_Justine's avatar

Try going to bed one hour earlier each night. Until it works back to 12am.

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