How in the world do you change your sleep schedule

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pw7575, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I have heard many say that going to bed before 10pm really helps you feel better. And I know many have said that they changed their sleeping habits.

    My question to you all is HOW????

    I have ALWAYS been a night owl my entire life. But with my CFS I would like to be on a better sleep schedule if it will help me. I know for one I will be eating better cause I know that I will get more than 2 meals in a day and I know how important nutrition is.

    I have tried many times to get on a better sleep schedule but it never works. If I do start doing better I am still not in bed by 10pm. That seems impossible to me. I think my earliest is 11 or 12 and that is even hard. Plus it usually doesn't last long before I am back to my old ways.

    My usual bed time is around 2am but it can be anywhere from 1am - 4am and sometimes has been known to creep towards 5 or 6am but that is rare.

    Sometimes I am awake by 11am or 12pm but alot of times it takes me 12 hours in bed to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep so a lot of times I don't get out of bed until 1pm or 2pm. I really hate getting up that late.

    When I try to go to bed early I lay there wide awake and can't get to sleep until late. Even if I was up early and had a busy day I just can't seem to fall asleep early.

    Sorry this is so long! I am just frustrated with the sleeping thing. I just don't know how to get on a better sleeping schedule.

  2. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    You really have to wake up earlier 6am, 7am, 8am, and stay awake all naps...then you'll be wanting to go to bed by 10pm. And stick to your schedule every sleeping in on weekends etc... Good luck
  3. fungirl2100

    fungirl2100 New Member


    I know it must be hard being a night owl to try to adhere to a new sleep schedule, but you should try. I too was a night owl up until the wee hours of the morning, the later I got the more active..this was before the FMS set in. Now that it is here I am on sleep meds to help me relax & go to sleep a nice deep sleep that I never could get before. You have to wind down. You have to relax. Whatever it is that relaxes you...some incense & or aromatherapy candles, a warm bath or shower, a backrub from your boyfriend, some light music or even reading a book. I am so tired from working f.t. ( I work outside of my home unfortunately) & by the time I get home I am beat now. Do not stare at al alarm clock either that's the worst. I had that bad habit for a long time. I still go to bed around 11, but it's better than 12 or 1 am...It will take some training & some getting used to..try exercise too...even light stretching. Take it from a fellow night owl it takes dedication to retrain that body, but you have to try if this is what you want.

    love your friend,
    fungirl ;)
  4. Cindyvr

    Cindyvr New Member

    I do this also. I usually fall asleep about 1 or 2 if I am lucky..But I make mysalf get up at 9 am no matter what.
  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    1) Melatonin. Usually it comes in 3 mg, but less may be needed. This changes circadian rhythms and is especially good for jet lag. Take maybe an hour before you'd like to go to sleep. Sublingual form may be the best absorbed.

    2) Some people have "reversed cortisol"--high cortisol at night (keeping them awake) and low cortisol in morning (making them sluggish). A product called Seriphos is said my many people (including doctors) to help with the problem. Take in late afternoon.

    One of these should solve the problem.



    My intention in posting on this board is only to share my own experiences, provide observations about other people's experiences, and report comments offered by MD's and other medical professionals.

    If I seem to be offering medical advice of the sort that an MD should, this is unintentional. Please don't follow it.

  6. LongStruggle

    LongStruggle Guest

    It's all about Circadian Rhythms which is our biological clock. The only way to readjust your Cicadian Rhythm is to do what Spirtskye suggested -- force yourself to get up early. So, if you don't go to bed before 2 a.m., then force yourself to get up at 7 or 8 a.m. You will be tired all day, but if you don't nap you will be falling asleep earlier that night. You might have to do this several nights in order to reset your clock. But if you don't allow yourself to sleep in the am., you will be falling asleep earlier in the p.m. You will be suffering from feeling more tired during the day, but the payoff will soon be there.
  7. Cindyvr

    Cindyvr New Member

    I found some sleep tips I wanted to share with you

    Tips for Good Sleep

    Keep regular sleep habits. Try to get to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day—even on weekends and vacations.
    Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. If consumed too close to bedtime, the caffeine in coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and some medications can keep you from sleeping or sleeping soundly. Even though it can make you feel sleepy, drinking alcohol around bedtime also can disturb sleep.
    Time your exercise. Regular daytime exercise can improve nighttime sleep. But avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime, which actually can be stimulating, keeping you awake.
    Avoid daytime naps. Sleeping in the afternoon can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you feel you can't get by without a nap, set an alarm for 1 hour. When it goes off, get up and start moving.
    Reserve your bed for sleeping. Watching the late news, reading a suspense novel, or working on your laptop in bed can stimulate you, making it hard to sleep.
    Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
    Avoid liquids and spicy meals before bed. Heartburn and latenight trips to the bathroom are not conducive to good sleep.
    Wind down before bed. Avoid working right up to bedtime. Do relaxing activities, such as listening to soft music or taking a warm bath, that get you ready to sleep. (An added benefit of the warm bath: It may soothe aching muscles.)
    What says yo arent just one of those people that are night owls? My brother in law is like that. No matter what he does he can't sleep during the night but sleeps great during the day..Can you adjust your life around your sleep schedule? If u can then as long as you are getting the sleep u need and u feel good don't mess with it.
  8. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member


    Thank you for the info. I see that I am already doing everything on that good tips for sleeping guide. So looks like I am not doing anything that should keep me from falling asleep. I also do not take naps during the day either. Maybe I am just a night owl.

    I have no schedule because of my CFS so it really doesn't matter what time I wake up. I have just heard people say here that it helps you feel better if you are in bed by 10pm. Not sure if this will work or not but I thought I should at least try it.

    I guess I just need to be more persistant. There are some good suggestions here.

    Thanks everyone I will give it another try!
  9. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Of course, it's possible to find a source to condemn every single supplement (including RDA's of Vitamin C) if you look hard enough.

    I myself have plenty of evidence now to state that people shouldn't take any pharmaceutical products. There's enough evidence right in the package inserts (the same as the PDR info) to suggest that.

    (I do believe in pharmaceuticals when the apparent benefits outweigh the risks. Similarly, I believe in supplements when the apparent benefits outweigh the risks.)

    I do think it's important to buy a reputable brand of melatonin, since they are more careful about the animals from which they get their livestock. It's not terribly expensive anyway.

    Doing that "round the clock" thing is supposed to work, some studies suggest. It obviously is a method that takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.

    I've found that melatonin works like a charm for me, though.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/31/2007]
  10. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I have the same problem. Lately, I forced myself to try a Bendryl at 10:30 pm. It is a anti-histamine that makes me sleepy - also same ingredient used for OTC sleep med.

    I also take Ambien. I am doing better - to sleep by midnight. Then I wake sleep until 9 or 10:30.

    It is gradual - my problem is eating late at night - that does not help. I am good in the afternoons.

  11. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    If you can do the light exposure in the morning, try also darkening your space at night. Things like the computer (screen light) and television, and even household lighting 'register' in the brain to tell it that it is not night yet. If I'm not mistaken, the darkness encourages the body to make melatonin, and therefore, help make you sleepy.
  12. ladude

    ladude New Member


    Thank You!

  13. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    I'm with you. I'm a night owl also.. Even if I do lay down to try and sleep at 10:eek:o o'clock, I'll just lay there til about 1 o'clock...maybe as early as midnight.

    But one thing that does help me more than any drug that the doctors have given me, and I buy it from right here at pro-health... It's time release melatonin & valerian with lemon balm... I take it at ten and go to bed at midnight and I'm sleeping by 12:30.... I've been taking that for a year now..... I get up around 9:30.......I only wake up a couple of times to go to the rest room.... Maybe 3 or 4 times some nights..
  14. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    Thanks again everyone. It looks like I have a lot of options here. If nothing works than I suppose I will just be a night owl and focus on other things to help me feel better.

    Prickles...I think I am like you. I have days where I go to bed late and wake up really early then have a busy day with doctors etc. I am sooo tired and beat but when I go up to bed I am for some reason suddenly wide awake until my regular late hours. I don't understand it.

    Skeesix...I did see a news report on that light box thing you were talking about. They tested it on a guy who was a night owl and it actually helped him get on an earlier sleeping schedule. I had forgotten about that until your post. Are those expensive?

    Lisa...Thanks for all of your info. You post a lot of good stuff on this board. Years ago when I couldn't sleep at all my doctor recommended melatonin then of course I found out all I needed was to change my diet and I was then sleeping much better. I may try the melatonin if I can't get this to work.

    MrPain...sounds like what happens to me. Sounds like the melatonin supplement is really working great. Thanks for the info on that.

    Thank you everyone! I will let you all know how it goes. Well here goes nothing. It is 11:18pm and I am going to go upstairs and see if I can sleep. Wish me luck!

    Pam :)
  15. suzannekart

    suzannekart New Member

    I too have always been a night owl. My problem is even if I get to bed late and get up early I wake up bigtime at about 8pm. It makes not one bit of difference if I got only 2 or 3 hrs sleep by 9pm I am ready to take on the world. Last night I got to sleep about 3:30 am and got up at 7am and had no time to even sit down today. Did not nap felt ok and at about 9pm I am ready to rock. I don't know what to do about it. I take my meds about 10:30 but no matter what time I take them it is the same story. I think part of the problem is that I hate to sleep.
  16. suzannekart

    suzannekart New Member

    I like your style!!!!
    I have had the theory that morning people are the cause of all the worlds problems.
    They get up early YUK and screw everything up. They are out there making all these rules while we are blissfully sleeping and then DEMAND that everyone follow them without ever allowing anyone to question them. They yammer on and on about the glory of early morning everything. The air, the quiet, the gag sweet smells, the fricken wonder of it all. And don't ever disagree with them. When we do they label us as lazy, good-for-nothing saps. They are in my opinion the most narrow minded people on this big blue marble. Have you ever noticted that night owls are very open minded. We never demand that they live by our rules. as a matter of fact I don't recall us having any. If I have one more person tell me I should reset my clock so I can conform to them I will have to tell them the same thing I tell "country people" who feel sorry for me because I love cities. LEAVE ME THE ---- ALONE and walk away and have some fun with my night owl friends!!!!!!!!!!!
    Way to go, Suzanne
  17. kriket

    kriket New Member

    Wish I knew how to answer you, but I don't. I sleep a lot. I have tried the getting up early thing and most suggestions listed above, but sometimes I am just dog tired and cannot stay awake. It's hard to straighten out when your body pains and exhaustion are so unpredictable. I am a night owl too. I go to sleep around 3-4am and sleep till 12-2pm most times. Sometimes I have to lay down during the day, I lose the fight to stay awake and just have a really weird sleep schedule too. Good Luck!!!!!

  18. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    You two are cracking me up!!! I have felt that way too about being a night owl. I actually like it. The only thing I would change is that I would prefer to be up by noon but a lot of times it is later. Not something I am stessing about though.

    I am like you. I get most things done late at night. That seems to be when I am feeling my best and have the most energy for some reason.

    Oh and I hate when people say that night people are lazy and missing the day!!! I am like NOOOO we get the same amount of stuff done that you do just at a different time. We are awake the same amount of hours just at different hours.

    You two are going to talk me out of my experiment haha :)

    I am not trying to change my clock because other people think I should or think I am lazy. The only reason I was going to try it is because some people here have said they did it and felt much better with their illness.

    SOOO I thought if it will help my CFS than I should try it.

    Last night I fell asleep two hours earlier than I have been lately. However it still wasn't early. It was probably between 12:30 and 1:00am. Not early but 2 hours better than I have been doing.

    I will keep trying and if it doesn't work than I will just continue to be happy being a night owl. My mom is one and so is one of my sisters. I think it is hereditary.

    Thanks You All!

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