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Sleeping... I'm just not good at it.

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  • Sleeping... I'm just not good at it.

    I have been Primal for over four months now! Yay, it is the longest I have stuck with any lifestyle/diet change. I have had weak moments here and there, but overall I have improved my energy levels and lost about 20 pounds in the process. I am at a standstill as far as weight loss goes, but I am pretty sure I know what to do there. My one real problem... well, one of two, is sleep. Like many people I work strange shifts. I work full time, but my in-time can be at 6 a.m. one day and 6 p.m. the next day. That is the extreme, most days I am in between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m (a six to nine hour shift within those times, not a 13 hour shift!) but it still wreaks havoc on my sleep. Should I be staying up until I am sleepy at night even if I have to be up early the next day? Should I take something like Benedryl to fall asleep earlier if I have to be up early? Should I get up early every day regardless of when I have to be to work or when I went to bed? Or should I just do what I do now... which is just wing it, throwing in a nap here and there when I can, but basically sleeping too much some days and not enough others. Does it all even out? Or am I setting myself up for failure? Also... any tips on how to sleep without the TV on? I have slept with the TV on since I was a kid and it is really hard for me to sleep without it. I have tried the radio and a night light and nothing seems to help like the TV. I also leave it on during the day most of the time too, even though I am not watching it. The only time that I was able to go without it on at night was when I was living with my ex. I have no idea why this is. Even now I will read a book in bed, close the book, turn the TV on and roll over to go to sleep? Wtf?

  • #2
    Is it the light or the sound from the TV? You could start by reducing that, by covering the screen with a blanket, and add more light-blocking stuff over a few weeks until you don't need the light anymore, or by slowly turning down the volume until it's super quiet/gone.

    I don't think staying up late to fall asleep when you have to get up early is a good idea. Have you tried taking Melatonin? It makes you a bit sleepy, so it's easier to fall asleep.

    Unfortunately, there's no way to really make your body adjust when you schedule varies that much. I'm a bit confused about your schedule, if you're saying some days you might work overnight? Do you have shifts where there's only a few hours between getting out and going back? In those cases, I would say take a power nap between shifts, then get an appropriate amount of sleep at a reasonable time, considering whenever your next shift is. So if you had an overnight shift followed by an early morning shift, take a little nap (1/2 hr to an hour) in between, have some caffeine, and if the next day is an early shift, get to bed at a time where you can ensure about 10 hrs to make up a bit, but not oversleep.
    Depression Lies


    • #3
      For the TV problem, maybe you could try to sleep with your window open to lot some sounds into the room? Camp outside for a few nights on a holiday to get the habit in proper order? I guess the solution would depend on whether it is the light or the sound from the TV that is your 'habit problem'...


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I have thought about trying melatonin. I may do that. What I mean about my shifts is basically that I have no set schedule. I do not work overnights, but today, for example I went in at 5 pm, tomorrow 1pm, Monday I go in at 7 am, Tuesday 3 pm... it's just impossible to get into a schedule. And when I get home at midnight from work, like tonight, I won't be able to fall asleep until 3 or 4 am. I have a hard time winding down. With such static sleeping times I fear that I am making it even worse by sleeping with the tv on. I have tried using the radio, a night light, and the combination of the two and I still can't sleep. So I am not really sure if it's the light or sound. The only time I can sleep in total darkness and quiet is if I know someone else is in the house with me. Which is especially weird because I have lived alone for quite some time and I love it. I have no desire to share my bed, apartment, or my life with anyone, lol. I guess to help myself wind down when I don't have long between shifts I wil try the melatonin. As far as the tv goes I don't see any solution other than going through the hell of forcing myself to break the habit by lying in the dark, maybe for hours, until I fall asleep. I guess I knew what I needed to do, I just needed to talk it out. Thanks