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acebamboo77's avatar

How can I get to bed earlier?

Asked by acebamboo77 (717points) December 13th, 2007

I am a night hawk, and have been for quite some time. I’m not tired until late, and I am more alert after 7pm than I am before.
This habit tends to make it difficult for me to wake up in the morning.
I need to find a way to get myself to sleep earlier, without pills of any sort.

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17 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I can’t answer your question, but I can tell you that you are not alone. I have never found a solution that didn’t involve pills.

kevbo's avatar

There are a couple of questions on this topic that have already been logged. Search for “sleep” or look at the sibling ?‘s on the right.

Google “Birds of a Different Feather” and buy it from the author’s website (if you’re interested). Quite insightful.

robknight's avatar

One thing that has kind of worked for me is to set your alarm for the time you want to get up and get up at that time regardless of what time you go to bed the night before. After 3 days of doing this, I started going to bed earlier because I was tired and because I enjoyed getting up at the same time every morning.

sharpwriter's avatar

I had this problem when I was in college, and found that cutting caffeine completely for a few weeks…a detox of sorts…helped me in feeling more tired at night. After a while, I reintroduced caffeine but would only have it before 2pm-ish and not in mass quantities. I’m not sure if it was all in my head or not, but it worked for me. Now, years later, I’m more conscious of my caffeine intake, but have it whenever I please. Good luck!

ben's avatar

I would two big things:
-Exercise (at least 3 hours before you go to bed).
-Eat healthy (To quote Michael Pollan, that means: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much).

My old college roommate always had trouble sleeping. After we graduated he told me he started to eat healthy and all of a sudden his sleeping problems were over.

On the other hand, my brother is like you, always a night hawk, and I think it’s just how he’s wired. So my last bit of advice—if everything fails—is to accept your night-hawkishness and find a lifestyle that works well with it.

Tennis5tar's avatar

Try having a jacket potato about an hour before you want to go to bed. It’s scientifically proven to have some kind of sleepy qualities (I can’t quite remember). Warm milk?

bob's avatar

I’m a natural night hawk in some ways, but I try to moderate that tendency by getting up at the same time every day.

Even more effective than that: try going to bed at the same time every night. Instead of waiting until I’m really tired and/or finished with everything I want to do, I try to go to bed at a reasonable hour (=8 hours before I want to get up), whether or not I feel tired enough.

Of course, I still tend to revert to staying up late.

gailcalled's avatar

@bob; when you go to bed 8 hrs before you want to get up, do you actually fall asleep?

My brother was a nighthawk and succumbed on week-ends, but fought it during the week, I think.

gooch's avatar

Retrain yourself to an earlier bed time by going to bed an staying there even if you don’t fall asleep. Raw protein will also induce sleep. Raw egg yolks for example…start with very little because raw protein is not easily digested an can make you feel nausious. Slowly increase the amount over weeks.

gailcalled's avatar

@gooch: are you serious? The last thing, except perhaps knocking myself unconscious would be to try to eat raw egg yolks in order to induce sleep. I can see where that action would easily induce a trip to the toilet bowl…Nausea indeed!

bob's avatar

It takes me a while to switch my schedule around to reasonable hours—usually I have to start getting up at 8am for a few days before I feel tired at 12am—but it helps me when I remember to go to bed. Otherwise, even if I’m tired, I stay up until 2–3, because that’s just my habit. Consciously trying to get out of that habit of staying up late helps me stick to a more reasonable schedule.

gooch's avatar

@ gail yes do a little research on it I am sure you will find somthing about it somewhere. Raw protein in difficult for humans to digest at first. In time your body will get better at it thats why early on it can make you feel nausious. The sleep is caused by the digestion process because it like eating a giant meal on a Sunday afternoon where you get sleepy after lunch. Fresh egg yolks from free range chickens taste like vanella. They are really different.

mala's avatar

Just by wanting to get to bed early.(smile)

joli's avatar

Your body doesn’t need rest until it has physically exhausted it’s reserves for the day. I burn myself out by 9pm by getting up when my body says to, running all errands on foot, using the stairs more than the elevator at work, and riding the exercise bike an intense 12 minutes every evening. After a light dinner of carbs and protein, plus a warm glass of wine, it’s snooze time for me in the evening, especially since I cancelled cable TV. ( the + being I no longer toss and turn worrying about Britney and Paris, Heather or Paul. I don’t even remember what George Looney looks like, let alone who he’s “dating”, and my eyes aren’t traumatized from the dazzling white smiles of newscasters, but let’s face it, local TV is BORING!)

It’s been suggested for weight management to not eat for three hours prior to bedtime which I find impossible to do. Waking up hungry and still tired, (alone!), is horrid, unless there’s room service to call. I agree the free range eggs are DELICIOUS! I don’t eat them completely raw but slightly whipped and nuked in the microwave for 49 seconds.

Supergirl's avatar

Try taking a warm shower about 30 minutes before you want to go to bed. As your body temperature cools, you begin to get sleepy. Another remedy that a sleep doctor recommended takes a bit of work, but is worth it in the end——look out into sunlight for about 10–15 minutes everyday for about two weeks (in the morning). Somehow this resets your internal clock to recognize the appropriate times to be awake and asleep. Don’t eat or exercise sooner than 3–4 hours before bed time. All of these things were of help to me.

emilyrose's avatar

there are also natural pills you can take like melatonin, or homeopathic sleep remedies. you dont have to worry about addiction with these.

gcoghill's avatar

Although this may not solve it for everyone, I find that basic mediation techniques help me (I am a night owl as well): mentally count to four, start over, try to only think of your counting and breathing.

Sometimes I think most of my sleep issues are related to my mind always working overtime; even when the body is tired, the mind can keep me up.

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