On this subject: I can definitely recommend ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker (I noticed he is also referenced in this paper a couple of times).
Seconded. I recently watched Joe Rogan Experience #1109 - Matthew Walker and found it very interesting.
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Have you seen a medical professional for this? I have the same struggles (my first memory in life is not being able to sleep), and things can be done. In particular, I’ve had great success by taking melatonin (5g), although clinical trails on on it are unclear, personally I found it works very well. Placebo? Maybe, but it also has the unexpected and interesting side-effect of making dreams much more vivid, so I don’t know.
I don’t use it every day, just to keep a “normal-ish” schedule when things are starting to get off-track.
Maybe something else works well for you. There’s a lot of different stuff. You should certainly try.
This is probably worth looking at:
A section to skip to if not in the reading mood:
“TO TREAT DELAYED PHASE SLEEP DISORDER (ie you go to bed too late and wake up too late, and you want it to be earlier)”
A study I read a while back of insomniacs said (paraphrasing deeply) that the test group of around 10 - 20 people all responded positively to the method that they tested, despite not having been able to get sleep for, in the cases of some people, months. It honestly sounds a little stupid when you hear it, I’ve used it when my exploding head syndrome was on high and it’s got me to sleep a couple of times without triggering the weirdness that is exploding head syndrome.
Basically, you try to stay awake, but you don’t do anything but lie in bed. You can blink, and move your eyes about, but you shouldn’t move your body about much, and just focus on staying awake. Think of it as a meditative exercise.
Another avenue you might want to consider is seeing a doctor, because if your circadian rhythm is messed up there are things they can do to fix it.
I assume you mean this?
This seems to work only in a specific case of insomnia (“too busy to sleep”) What the previous poster is suffering from seems more like a circadian cycle that doesn’t match the norm.
Won’t hurt to try, of course.
Hi there! I saw this comment a few days ago and I immediately asked my friend to shoot an invite over because I desperately wanted to reply to this. Thank you, thank you so much for exposing me to EHS! I’ve been experiencing its symptoms for years and I had no idea how to put it in words or how to figure out if it was dangerous to my health. I had chalked it up to sleep paralysis and left it at that. But once I read the wiki for it, I realized I was an exact match!
So thank you, once again, and I’m glad to hear you too found a way around it.
Same boat man.
Anyway, why do you still insist to wake up in the mornings for your kid? Can’t you save some other part of the day? How about every other day? Would you be able to get back to sleep for a couple extra hours after he went to school or in the middle of the day?
Also could ear plugs help in any way during weekends? I started using those and eye masks and never went back (having full control over sound and light is important for night people).
Anyway, if you keep on suffering it WILL impact your life for the worse, so find some way to fix it and not just sucking it up.
You might want to try taking Melatonin. I’m also habitually a night person, and I’ve personally found it to be helpful for falling asleep more easily at an earlier time. And as that article details, it’s very cheap and very safe.
I feel like the gwern article does not state as clearly as it could that OTC doses of melatonin are probably too high. Nothing unsafe, but it may not be as effective to take the larger dose.
P.S. For the OP, adjustment is common. I was a night-owl, and I adjusted to fatherhood. I don’t think it’s a perfect adjustment, but I have much less frequent insomnia (it tends to come back when I’m especially well-rested), and I only struggle a little bit to get up between 7:00 - 7:30. On weekends or vacations, I won’t sleep past 9:30, no matter what (in my pre-child life, I’d routinely sleep past noon). I’m sorry that your case was more difficult.
Oh hi, you sound like me. I have always struggled to get enough sleep to feel functional. My brain is most active between 8 p.m. and midnight, always has been. When I go to bed, I can’t just shut it off. I start thinking about projects I want to do, music I like, people I haven’t seen in a while, the many ways I embarrassed myself throughout the previous day, and so on.
When I was a teenager, I was able to live the dream of being a night owl. I didn’t have a curfew, so I got pulled into books, computers, games, projects or whatever late at night well after everyone else in the house had gone to sleep. I hit the hay between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. and would wake up around noon. My parents thought I was just lazy but I did a lot of learning during those late nights that set me up pretty well for a career in technology.
I had a few jobs in my young adult years that allowed me to work late and wake up late. Some of my best memories come from these spans of time. Then I got married and had kids.
I love my kids to bits, but they are very much morning people. This is good for them since they have to be if you want them to attend public school. Not great for me because I’m a very light sleeper and even with ear plugs in and the noise machine howling, I will still be woken up by them being rambunctious at 7 a.m. in the morning. I too give my wife massive credit for doing 90% of the kid-wrangling. (She’s a stay-at-home mom.)
Getting enough sleep is still a struggle for me, but I’ve been able to cope well enough that can actually think straight most days. This is what works okayish for me:
Have something to wake up to. For me, this is 20-30 minutes of exercise in the basement. If there’s no particular reason for me to wake up at a certain time, other than to start my day, I won’t do it. I’ll lay there in half-awake self-loathing purgatory and that will leave me in a funk all day. It’s not even strenuous exercise, it’s just busy work. Some walking, a couple minutes of running, light weights, and calisthenics. But I have to do it, each and every day, much more for my mental well being than my physical.
Set a bed time and stick to it, no matter what. I’m kinda bad at this because I will tell myself, “just another half hour” and then three hours later it’s 1 a.m. But setting an alarm on my phone that says, literally, “go to bed, you fuck” helps move the needle a little bit.
1000 mg of niacinamide and 3-5 mg of melatonin, both in the time-release formula, two hours before bed time. I have to say, I am very skeptical of supplements and I am not going to argue that this is some kind of silver bullet. These don’t knock me out or even make me sleepy, they just calm my brain down enough to where I stand a chance at actually falling asleep if I’m doing everything else right. I’m willing to admit that there could be a placebo effect in play here but sometimes I forget to take them and don’t realize it until I’m staring at the ceiling at midnight wondering why I’m still awake.
Understanding that all of my daily habits either reinforce or sabotage the other habits, there is no neutral or middle ground. In order to sleep well, I have to eat right, and exercise, and manage my depression, and be productive in working towards my goals. If any of these start to slip, it becomes very likely that some or all of the others will slip too. So I have to stay super fucking vigilant not to fall off the wagon on any one of them or it becomes a downward spiral.
I tend to get really tired at around 9 PM, but I never want to go to sleep at that time. After that I tend to be more awake at the 10-11 o’clock range. Do you think there could be something similar going on with you? Maybe you need to wind down earlier in the evening before you are very awake at 11 PM?
My partner is an occupational therapist and has given some talks on sleep. I could ask her if she has any resources that might be helpful if you are interested.
I wonder how is the impact to a senior developers performance… because I slept terribly this night, and being up since 3 in the morning, after having slept about 2.5-3 hours in many interruptions…
My bet is: my performance will be terrible today. Lets hope I won’t cause a traffic accident while commuting.
Hey, I don’t mean to be judgmental and maybe you were joking - if you think there’s a chance you might cause a car accident because you’re sleep deprived, why not stay home? Or take public transportation? The decision to drive in that state of mind can have a huge impact not only on your life but on the lives of others. Again, not accusing you of anything. This is meant as a friendly suggestion.
I was exaggerrating the situation (I’m not systematically sleep deprived, one short night every now and then should be bearable).
I needed to take the car today. Usually I take public transport, because I work in the city center and traffic is usually pretty dense. I judged responsibly (as much as I could with this amount of sleep :)) and did not cancel my obligations and took the car. So far so good. Traffic was light, and everyone is safe and sound yet. Only need to go home in the evening, after the rush hour.
I’m not offended, no need to apologize.