Over the past 10 years I have developed into somewhat of a night owl. When starting Paleo I tried to remedy this by going to bed before midnight. I then realized that, the earlier I go to bed, the more sleep it seems I need, and when I wake up I do not feel refreshed.
Recently, I have given into the idea that I am a night owl, and when I go to bed around 2 or 2:30, I find it easier to wake up before 9 than if I had gone to bed around 11 or midnight.
Is there anyone else who just can't sleep more than 6 or 7 hours? How do you cope with the idea of getting 9-10 hrs sleep?
Am I all alone at 1am in the Paleo Community?
It's morning here, but I used to be a night owl.
It takes training to get a new sleep routine, I had to force myself to do it. And I had to do it more than once because I also had three children who fed at different times in the night so they each gave me a different sleeping pattern.
You must cut back an hour a day to go to bed earlier and earlier and wake the same time everyday. After about a month of going to bed and waking at the same time your body adjusts and then most of the time you get naturally tired at the same time every night and wake naturally the same time everyday. You must train yourself to better sleep.
it is also good to turn lights low in the night and do something like read a book for an hour before bed time, internet and movies just keep the brain awake.
And the truth is that sleep is important.
I've been a night owl my entire life, and am not going to try to change that - I know better after years of fighting it.
I was actually planning to post a similar question since I went biphasic recently. I sleep 6 hours during the night (from 3am to 9am) and 1.5 hours in the evening after a meal. Many (most?) predatory mammals sleep after eating, so it's probably natural, and I've always felt the need to sleep after eating.
I've been doing it for two weeks now, and I feel much more energetic than when I was sleeping 7.5 hours in one sitt... laying. It's essentially best of both worlds: same amount of sleep, but I can go to bed later. Some people claim one can sleep less with biphasic or polyphasic patterns (with some extreme versions), but I haven't tried that.
There's also research showing humans were biphasic before artificial light, waking up for an hour or two during the night and then going back to sleep. This would suggest that the modern insistence of unbroken eight hours of sleep is as paleo and natural as SAD.
Definitely a night owl, but felt vindicated a couple years back when a couple articles started circulating referenced a study at the Université de Lèige in Belgium that night owls stayed alert for longer periods of time:
Scientific American, "Early Risers Crash Faster": http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=early-risers-crash-faster-than-people-who-stay-up-late
Live Science, "Night Owls Stay Alert Longer": http://www.livescience.com/7723-night-owls-stay-alert-longer-early-birds.html
You're definitely not alone. I have only slept more than 8 hours maybe a handful of times since I started paleo 2.5 months ago. Usually 5-7 is all I can get, but like Wisper said, I often feel tired after eating a big meal and find myself taking 2-3 hour naps afterwards.
Also, my gf works long night shifts 3 nights a week and that's usually when I work (I work at home), but sometimes I end up sleeping when she's working and then working when she's sleeping. I've always preferred being up at night anyway, though. Seems like I can focus better when it's quieter in the city.
I've been hoping to get in a better rhythm with it, too, but I've also just been trying to trust my body and when it feels like I'm tired and had enough, that's when I go to bed.
The most frustrating aspect for me is getting in the bed when I know I'm not tired, only to toss and turn for several hours until I get back up. The other thing I've noticed is if I wake up to use the bathroom (despite having gone before I laid down) I often seem unable to go back to sleep. Lately I've been giving myself 30 minutes. If I'm still lying there staring at the clock feeling anxious, I don't waste anymore time and just get up and go find something productive to do.
Overall, I will say that my average sleep quality definitely seems to have improved, despite the irregularity in timing. I suppose that could just be that I no longer feel as foggy, achy and full of inflammation upon waking as I did when I ate the SAD.
Even when I was a child, I'd go to bed early.. 9, 9:30, I think, I'd just lay down and couldn't sleep until 2AM or so.
This was before we had a computer, and we didn't watch much TV back then, and my parents didn't allow it after dinner anyway (5 or 6 PM).
I exercised a lot everyday, so I "should" have been tired enough to fall asleep.
Now as an adult, I keep trying to make myself sleep at "decent" hours, but the only way I can manage to do that is if I wake up at 4 AM and go to sleep at 8 PM, which is ridiculous. Doesn't leave much time for a social life, with those hours.
So instead I go to bed late, and wake up late.
I know what you mean when you say you don't feel refreshed if you sleep longer... It seems the earlier I go to bed, the later I wake up (!), and the less refreshed I am.
I am a total night person, but I have been trying to adjust my internal clock to sleep more/better. Saying "go to bed at a consistent time" doesn't help if you're not tired. I had to take a combined approach, but I'm finally seeing progress. My day goes like this:
As soon as possible after waking, eat a big protein-heavy breakfast while sitting in front of a light box for 30 minutes. I use this one http://www.amazon.com/NatureBright-SunTouch-Plus-Light-Therapy/dp/B000W8Y7FY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1326729291&sr=8-4
Try to get outside for a few minutes and walk around in the sunlight. I do this most days during my lunch break from work. Even 10 minutes is great.
In the evening, make sure you turn down the lights as low as practical. I turn the overhead lights off and use only lamps with yellow shades. I installed flux on my laptop, and I attempt to turn it off a little while before retiring2.
I have noticed that if I do these things regularly, I will actually get sleepy at night, and will wake up a few minutes before my alarm. Right now, I'm going week by week, waking up a little earlier every week. It takes a little discipline to not fight it and go to bed and wake up on schedule, but it's the first thing that has worked for me.
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