Sleep Disorders/lifestyle & sleep

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QUESTION: hi, thanks for your kind contribution to everyone! im hoping you can shed some light and point me to uselful tools to help with my problem. I dont believe I have any sleeping disorders however am concerned that one may develop due to my work. I work from home however have to work nights due to time zones of my work- am restricted by usa time and live in australia. i have no issues falling asleep normally at night time. i generally sleep for 6-7hrs and operate fine throughout the day. since ive had to adjust my sleep routine due to working nights, ive had varying degrees of success with sleep routines. basically, i have a very tough time falling asleep during the day. some days are good, others terrible. one bad day screws up the whole week. ive read up a lot on sleep routines inc. biphasic sleep cycles.. i have dark rooms, use ear plugs n eyemask. i have a good diet. initially, i tried sleeping 6hrs straight during the day and tried diff times of day as well. ive had most success with biphasic sleeps.. 3hrs 6-9am then 6-9pm.. have lot of problem trying to fall asleep for the evening session. im 31yrs n have been trying to achieve success with a good sleep pattern to accomodate night work routine for about 1yr now.. is it that my body just isnt adjusted into new habit yet? i havent tried any medication or sleeping pills as an aid and wouldprefer not to. so mon-fri im trying to do biphase sleep n weekend i sleep at night again normally with no issues.. will this irregularity lead to developing a sleep disorder? if not, can u recommend tools resources .. sleep routines that i may not have tried out? im at my wits end because i think ive tried every routine n diff times.. it just seems my body functions well on 3-4hrs sleep n either im overtired or sth.. trying to sleep during the second afternoon phase cycle is hard..

ANSWER: First of all my compliments on the schedule you have now.  Being able to get 6-7 hrs sleep on a work shift cycle is amazing.  The key to not developing a sleeping disorder is to get as close to 7-8 hrs. sleep which is what you are getting and to do it totally without sleep aids.Now to address the other problem about where you are having a hard time getting to stay asleep.  The tips below.  Basically there really is nothing else that can be done that you did not do.


         

IF AFTER 6 WEEKS, NO IMPROVEMENT IS SEEN YOU SHOULD CALL YOUR LOCAL HOSPITAL AND ASK FOR THE NEAREST SLEEP DISORDER UNIT TO HAVE YOUR SLEEP MONITORED.

YOU CAN ALSO GO TO SLEEPNET.COM FOR MORE SLEEP FORUMS.
TRY THESE TIPS RELIGIOUSLY FOR AT LEAST 4-6 WEEKS BUT MANY HAVE SEEN
RESULTS IN AS LITTLE AS TWO.

3 HOURS BEFORE BEDTIME, STAY AWAY FROM,CAFFEINE, ALCOHOL, CHOCOLATE
EXERCISE,CARAMEL COLORED SODA LIKE PEPSI,COKE, AND GINGER ALE.
ALL THESE MAKE FOR RESTLESS SLEEP.

30 MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME TAKE A HOT BATH.  LATEST RESEARCH FROM
JOHN HOPKINS IS THAT PUTTING THE HANDS UNDER THE WATER ,PALMS UP, SEND IMPULSES TO THE BRAIN THAT IT IS TIME TO RELAX FOR SLEEP.

15MINUTES BEFORE BEDTIME, DRINK A GLASS OF WARM PLAIN MILK. MILK WHEN HEATED CONTAINS TRYPTOPHAN , A NATURAL AMINO ACID SLEEP INDUCER.

WHEN YOU GET INTO THE BED TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS, YOU ALSO CAN SET YOUR RADIO FOR SOFT MELLOW MUSIC HOWEVER, PUT IN ON A TIMER FOR 20 MINUTES.DO NOT TWIST AND TURN FOR MORE THAN 20 MINUTES.  IF SO GET OUT OF BED, GO INTO A DIFFERENT ROOM, AND READ A BOOK OR MAGAZINE, NO TV OR COMPUTER.  WHEN YOU START TO DOZE, IMMEDIATELY GO BACK INTO THE BED. THIS RETRAINS THE BRAIN INTO THINKING THAT THE BEDROOM IS FOR GOOD RECUPERATIVE SLEEP.  DO THIS AS MANY TIMES AS YOU AWAKEN THRU THE NITE.  IT WILL LESSON AS THE WEEKS GO ON.          

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: wow thank you for that response. it's definitely renewed my enthusiasm to give this another shot.

a lot of what you said makes complete sense. even though i function on 6-7hrs.. i do find that I'm in optimal peak state when i get around 8hrs. i also crash out for 8-10hrs at night when my routine gets screwed up. i do weight training at the gym regularly. would u recommend leaving this strenuous exercise for the weekend and practicing yoga and meditation during the week instead?

i have to admit most days I'm glued to my computer . i need it for the work i do at night and find myself using it for research n browsing during the day even right before trying to sleep during the evening session. big no no right? can you elaborate on the effects of blue light from electronics?

as you advised. i will make the necessary dietary changes and follow routine religiously. i don't use sugar or caffeine in my diet at all but use a lot of ginger in cooking meals. is that no good?

i also have a high metabolism so find myself hungry and starving if i don't eat regularly. normally have a bowl of oats before sleeping. will shifting the times i eat back and drinking warm milk before sleep as suggested be better?

thanks for your great tips! i will report back on my progress.

Answer
    Yes the blue light science found like daylight does something to ones brainwave it produces wakefulness so we don't want that at night when we are trying to sleep. also bran is good for breakfast to move ones bowels, its the tryptophan we want to get into our system, tryptophan is a natural amino acid sleep inducer which is said to promote more delta waves in the brain whichis the deepest stage of sleep which is what we want so you wont have that brainfog feeling. No need to worry as long as you are getting in that 6-7 hours of sleep each night chances of developing a sleep disorder are slim to none.  The older we get the less sleep we need/. Once we are in our 70s, we move down to only needing 4-5 hours of restful sleep .feel free to email.  

Sleep Disorders

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Karel Sleis

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