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Staying awake at night


#1

I enjoy being awake at night, that’s why I go to bed at 9 pm and wake up at 2 am, staying awake at night helps me write music and feel comfortable, then I go to bed at nearly 6 am and sleep till 8-9 am. Is this a healthy way to sleep?


#2

I frequently will wake up after 4-5 hours of sleep and not able to fall back to sleep. I will read for a while and fall back to sleep after a few hours and then sleep again for another 3-4 hours. Don’t know if this is ‘normal’ but this is how it works for me. I have tried to stay up after the first wake up and am comatose the entire day. I am retired so do not need to stick to a schedule.


#3

Whatever works well for you without causing you to feel exhausted or causing interference in your expected daily obligations (be they work, family or social or spiritual) I would venture is OK. We don’t all keep the same sleep schedules as others sometimes. I happen to be one of those people, too, who prefers to go to bed either in the late morning or early afternoon, while being awake in the evening & through the wee hours of the night. For me this is my normal sleep schedule & when I try to conform to a “normal” sleep schedule to keep a doctor appointment or to attend a social or family event, I have to start altering my sleep hours a little bit each day until I get it just right so that I’m not wiped out for the occasion. Working days was difficult for me & I don’t know how I was able to work days, raise a child, support & attend his activities & keep an active social & volunteer schedule. I remember crashing on weekends a lot & sleeping as late as I could whenever the opportunity allowed.

My mom told me that even as a baby my hours were always backwards & I remember Summers spent reading all night & hardly ever seeing my family members because I was asleep while they & the rest of the world were awake & vice-versa. I was finally diagnosed with Circadian Rythm Disorder (or Sleep Cycle Disorder), Narcolepsy, Chronic Insomnia & Sleep Walking (lifelong history of this) by tests done by my sleep doctor & my neurologist. My sleep doctor noticed unusual brain waves during my sleep studies prior to getting a CPAP machine & my neurologist ran a number of tests besides asking my sleep doctor to run an ‘Awake Study’ for the Narcolepsy. I don’t know how one person can have so many sleep disorders together at one time, but I’m finally getting the help I need to tackle these. I take medication to help me fall asleep & importantly stay asleep, keep a sleep journal, take medication to keep me from dropping off asleep at the drop of a hat without even being aware I’m doing so (symptoms of Narcolepsy) & I’m able to indulge my preferred sleep schedule for the most part because I’m retired & live alone. I also attend therapy with a psychologist to help me better understand the effects of my sleep disorders & how they both me & my family & friends & to seek out positive outcomes when it all blows up in my face. You’d be surprised at how something like a sleep disorder (that’s physiologic in nature just like any other physical disorder or disease) can cause friends & family to think it’s OK to attack you for something that isn’t at all that easy for us to control or manipulate to suit them. I have learned how to speak up about these disorders & to effectively set boundaries for both them & myself regarding what is appropriate behavior in regard to these disorders & have sought out ways we can all collaboratively seek solutions that work for all of us (Example: I visit my son & daughter-in-law & grandchildren during week nights or weekend evenings & spend about 4-5 hours visiting, which includes a bedtime routine with the grandkids. This works out well as my son’s in-laws are early morning/afternoon people who like to be in bed early. This way we both get plenty of time with the family on schedules that work for both of us). I am better able to understand what & why they feel about my schedule/disorders & what I can do to better accommodate them socially as asking them if they can also accommodate me, as well as laying ground rules with them that tells them that I won’t tolerate being verbally attacked for these disorders & how they have caused me to have an alternative (to them) sleep schedule. These disorders have caused some pretty serious family problems in the past & especially Narcolepsy has impacted my ability to drive distances safely, resulting in my not being able to travel as frequently as I would like to visit family members & friends who live elsewhere. I think we (those of us with sleep disorders) can be guilty of beating ourselves up because of the flack we sometimes get from others because of the impact they have on our relationshis & can become depressed or angry with ourselves for not being"normal" & therapy has helped me a lot with all of it. But when necessary, I also now know how to prepare for upcoming events without making myself feel so tired & wiped out that I want I either don’t enjoy the visit or activity or get physically sick. It’s tough to live with an alternative sleep schedule, but once your well aware of it & if it’s interfering in your life, you can then proceed to get tested for sleep disorders & learn how to treat it medically, if appropriate, & learn skills to help you socially & emotionally to deal with them.

I hope I didn’t bore you with all of this & hope your sleep schedule isn’t as drastic as that of CRD, Narcolepsy or Chronic Insomnia & is something that isn’t interfering with your work, family or social life.