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Altering my sleep schedule - July 22nd 2018, 10:28 PM

Hi everyone!

For about the last year I’ve been sleeping for 11-12 hours a night. I go to bed at 12:00 am and wake up between 11:00 and 12:30 p.m. If I wake up earlier I tend to nap in the afternoon. People have told me this isn’t good for me but it’s just what I fell into, and until now I’ve never bothered to change it. However, I feel I need to get up earlier, partially because of my class schedule this upcoming semester and partially because I want to be a “real” adult (by which I mean getting stuff done and not sleeping half my life).

Any idea on how to do this? I want to aim for getting up at 8:00-8:30. Going to bed earlier than eleven isn’t an option because I don’t get tired before then; I’d just toss and turn (I’ve tried this even on nights I get little sleep; even with only five hours I still don’t get tired until eleven-ish). I want to start doing this earlier, too, so I’m not just starting it in the few days before school starts. So what’s a relatively seamless transition from being a night owl to a morning lark?

All tips are appreciated. Thank you!


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Re: Altering my sleep schedule - July 23rd 2018, 12:38 AM

Hey,


Something you could try is setting an alarm and try waking up early a few days a week. Once you adjust to waking up early a few days a week you can try moving it to waking up early every day of the week. I think that starting out slowly has worked best for me, in the past. You could also try and base it off of your school schedule so that during the days you have school you will have an easier time of waking up. I used to have class MWF and so I would make myself be up by 8am on those days etc.


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Re: Altering my sleep schedule - July 30th 2018, 01:03 PM

Sleeping for long hours is normal for excessive sleepers as this disorder starts in their childhood. But this will feel make sleepy during the whole day. So it’s on you to manage your sleeping time. Just try to wake up early in the morning, I know it will hard for you in the beginning but once you habitual, you feel easier to manage your sleep.
   
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Re: Altering my sleep schedule - July 30th 2018, 02:43 PM

An important thing to address is why you're sleeping so long. It will definitely be beneficial to sleep less, but without figuring out the why it's going to make it much harder to continue to wake up earlier. Even if it's just something you fell into and kind of a habit that your body is used to now, I think it's still important to see if there's anything more to it if you haven't already. Personally, some things that have caused me to sleep a significant amount of the day away were medications and vitamin deficiencies, not to mention mental illness in general. There are a lot of things that can cause it and, if it's caused by a medical issue, you'll probably continue to struggle keeping a schedule if it remains untreated.


Going to bed around eleven each night and waking up around eight in the morning is a good amount of sleep. In fact, nine hours is within the recommended amount of sleep for an adult.

I'm not sure when you're classes start, but I highly suggest changing your sleep schedule slowly. For example, set an alarm at 11am for two days (three or four if you can), then 10am for two days, etc. until you get to the time you want to consistently start waking up. This is something I used to do before school started after the summer due to seriously flipping my sleep schedule around. So, if you have the time, I would do it slowly because it's difficult and miserable to suddenly change your sleep schedule. I'm not saying it doesn't work, but I wouldn't say it's the best idea.

I'm assuming you don't really set alarms to wake up right now and just let your body decide to do its thing, so I'd make sure to put measures in place to make sure you wake up. The thing I consider the most important is to not have your alarm clock close enough to where you can reach it from your bed. It may also be helpful to set multiple alarms. If it's possible, have an actual person as a back up alarm.

Something that's also really important is being consistent and having a routine. Keep you sleep schedule relatively the same everyday, even when you don't have classes. I wouldn't go to sleep more than an hour after the time you choose for your schedule. The same with waking up, don't sleep in too long after you decide when to regularly wake up. There's definitely going to be times when you sleep more or don't sleep when you usually do, but just try to not let those things replace the schedule you have.

A nighttime and morning routine may also be helpful to keep your schedule in the long run. Having a routine can also help you in other ways, especially in regard to self-care since mental illness can make basic self-care things like bathing or brushing your teeth quite difficult. Choose an activity to do each night before you go to bed. Reading, taking your shower/bath (if you prefer doing so at night), drinking something warm, listening to music, and really just anything to help you settle. A lot of people say that using electronic devices at night will make it harder to fall asleep and this is probably true for the majority of people. However, I do want to say that it can actually be beneficial for some. Watching short YouTube videos that don't really involve taking in any information or a favorite show that I already know the general storyline to helps me calm down and get tired enough to sleep if I'm not already. I'll often fall asleep while watching something and it improves how well I end up sleeping.

Making sure you have reliable ways to wake up and a routine will help you keep your sleep schedule in the long-term. If you do end up sleeping in later one day to the point of not being tired when you go to bed, still do your nightly routine as usual because a routine tells your brain "Hey, we're doing this like we always do so you know it means it's time to sleep.". Our brains like to have at least some kind of schedule and routine. Some people more than others, but it's important for every person to have.

I apologize this is long and if there's anything I said that you already know, but I hope it helped!


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against every odd that is stacked against them.” — Nikita Gill

Last edited by arepo; July 30th 2018 at 03:01 PM.
   
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