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Advice on switching from night owl to day time.


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Since I was 14 I have been a night owl wake at night and asleep during the day. I was even put in night school because of not being able to sleep at night. About a year ago I turned into a day person because i had a job that i worked early morning and it made me so tired I would sleep at night right now I'm not working so I'm back to my old self. Any ideas or tricks and the healthy way to switch over and no advice on meds I don't take them and don't feel its something that needs something that drastic just a person pref.

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Whether or not you're a night person or a day person I'm afraid is hard-wired - it's something you're born with. I myself am a night person, and often think that people who are bright and alert in the mornings have some kind of moral superiority

 

My 'natural' day is from 10.00am til 2.00am; I find that after about 9.00pm, everything I've been worrying at during the day and can't get my head round suddenly becomes very clear. When I was at university I used to do all my essays at night, and likewise my artwork.

 

There are two ways round this problem. You can either adopt a lifestyle which is in keeping with your natural hours (I work in a hospital, where I work 12.00 noon til 8.00pm, which leaves me plenty of time to do my art)

OR

You can set yourself tasks for which you will HAVE to get up early, and once you're up - resist the temptation to go back to bed again. If you're still tired and can manage it, take a nap in the afternoon instead.

 

I have to say, the former solution will make you more productive. I've had jobs where I needed to be up at 7.30am, and just found that I went around feeling permanently tired!

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There is a saying that says we are either owls or fowls. That is, we are either night people or morning people. So would say we should not fight these natural biorhythms but go with them and for example if you are a night person save your most challenging tasks till then. Whereas if you're a morning person then get up early and do your most challenging tasks then.

 

However, approaches like ayurveda (traditional Indian health approach) would say the notion of owl and fowl is untrue and eveyone is actually a fowl and is designed to get up early and go to bed early - it's just that habit has caused us to be night owls. Although, even ayurveda might acknowledge there is some level or individual difference and preference.

 

I personally am having trouble with my own sleep patterns and have done so for a long time - I have ME/CFS which is a part of this. I have tried a number of things and can't recommend just one thing. However, here are a few suggestions that might be worth considering...

 

- Don't eat lots of food close to bed time. This includes things like vege jucies. Although certain smaller stacks can help you sleep (e.g. milk, bananas, bread, honey.) Some say not to eat four hours before bed - but this can be pretty tricky.

 

- Set the alarm for earlier. Then you'll feel like going to bed earlier at night.

 

- Once you've established a good time routine try not to alter it - even in the weekends.

 

- Tart cherry juice works for some - it has natural melatonin to help you get to sleep (health food store or on internet)

 

- Don't nap more more than 20 mins sessions during the day (set alarm) as more than 20 mins makes you go into deep sleep.

 

- If you don't have other related illness issues it should be easier to establish a new sleep/wake pattern. Short term minor discomfort of getting up earlier will lead to more long term rewarding patterns.

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