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An hour's sleep before midnight is worth two after - true or false?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by Sasha, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I'm reading Dr Sarah Myhill's treatment plan in which she writes that it's ideal to sleep for nine hours, if possible between 9:30pm and 6:30am (during hours of darkness, a bit less for summer, bit more for winter). She says that an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after because human growth hormone is produced during the hours of sleep before midnight.

    Is this true? I normally sleep between midnight and 7am (sometimes later) and am wondering whether to heroically try to shift my sleep pattern forward two and a half hours! It will take some doing but if I am going to wake up in a better state it will be worth it.

    Is there some good empirical evidence behind this?
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Don't know about empirical evidence Sasha but now sleep is not such a hit or miss affair I certainly notice a difference after an earlier night (10ish) and unrefreshed if later.
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    That's interesting, Enid. I've always resisted going to bed early (always want to keep reading my novel!) but maybe it's time to change the habit of a lifetime.
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Nearly 9 o'clock in the UK... guess I'd better start getting ready for bed. :(
  5. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Doesn't work for me. The best sleeping hours are from 12 midnight to 12 noon with 6am to 10 am being the ones that return the most functioning. If I am awake during my low cortisol time then I am shakey, dizzy, sick to vomitting etc. No amount of sleeping, resetting, drugs, supplements, changing patterns does any good.

    Dr Myhill appears to be more of a chronic fatigue doctor and that is said in respect for her, gratefullness that she is there and after having met/spoken with her. She has ideas that don't fit my illness pattern at all and I've often found her behind on ideas in general ME and CFS use.
  6. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I've heard that sort of thing before, but I say sleep when you can get it. Maybe if we had a normal cortisol pattern (no adrenal fatigue), that would be the case.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I agree caledonia. One night i got 2 hours sleep before and 1 hour after midnight and then had to work all day, so i slept from 10pm to 1 am and then started work at 7am and worked through till 5. That 2 hours before midnight did nothing for me lol. For the tired but wired type, any and as much sleep as you can at any time you can will help.

    mmmm sleep. it would be nice to be medically anaethetised for a few days every so often. It might help our poor little brains to heal, they do it to people with traumatic head injuries. I might go and hit myself with a hammer, lol.

    cheers!!!
  8. TheMoonIsBlue

    TheMoonIsBlue Senior Member

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    If you are a person whose sleep patterns have been "out of control" for years, or you "naturally" have DSPS (can sleep naturally just at a late hour, like a 5am bedtime) then I don't think out bodies even produce HGH at the normal times anymore. I mean so many of us are low in HGH anyways and many people go to sleep early. My sleep cycle is rapidly moving foward constantly cyclic and before that I had DSPS (I could sleep naturally, but not until the sun was rising!) So I don't see how my HGH producing hours are the same.

    Frankly I would like to see current scientific evidence that HGH is always and only produced between said hours.

    Anyways almost every person with ME CFS I have talked to who tried to force their sleep cycles backwards to a "normal" time ended up MUCH worse, including me, it feels like you have severe jet lag on top of ME CFS, who the hell wants that? If you can sleep naturally, I say sleep whenever you can.

    Frankly all this advice is coming from doctors who don't understand the severe sleep dysfunction that can come with ME CFS. Even Dr.Myhill I would say is way off in this oft-repeated advice for people whose sleep is so, so very messed up. "Ideal to sleep nine hours"? Ok....spoken like someon who must sleep WELL and NATURALLY.

    And, whether dr's will admit it or not, there ARE people who are biologically "night owls". It can often be genetic. A lot of "creative" types also seem to be night owls.

    Heapsreal, Yeah, I would like to be put into a medically induced coma for a few weeks- maybe my poor brain could heal.
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i think in dr myhills case, if she was seen giving sleeping tablets chronically to her patients, that would be another reason for the authorities to take her licence off her, so i think her advice is the best she can do with her hands tied, as i think in the UK sleeping tablets are alot more tightly controlled especially since cfs is classed as a psych condition.

    I also wonder that some of us get particularly bad symptoms or prominant symptoms because it depends where the infection 'hits' us, some of us struggle with getting sleep, some have problems with pots etc etc and the very severe bed ridden cfsers get the lot, poor buggers.

    My wish list of treatments i can never afford are xyrem, growth hormone, ampligen and valcyte, the first 2 are related to my poor sleep although hearing more about xyrem i dont think its as great as it was originally made out to be. Although far from perfect, the addition of baclofen to my sleep meds has improved my sleep quality and studies have shown it improves growth hormone secretion even in cfsers.

    cheers!!!
  10. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

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    I had phone consults with Dr myhill six years ago. At the time I was sleeping between 3 am and 11 am and had been for seven years. She insisted that if I didn't change my sleeping pattern I would never get better. I told her how awful I felt if I was awake between 8am and 11 am but she wasn't interested. To change my body clock she prescribed me sleeping tablets.

    I took them and indeed fell asleep earlier, however, I felt absolutely dreadful. I e mailed her a few times saying how awful I felt but her response was tour body is adjusting and I mist stick with it. To my grave error I continued following her advice and within three weeks I relapsed badly. The relapse rendered me bedbound for 16 months and I am sure was a direct consequence of trying to aggressively change my body clock.

    Whilst I was bedbound my parents managed to get a NHs me doc to visit me at home (he was very sympathetic and viewed m.e as a physical disease). He prescribed hydrocortisone for my low cortisol and melatonin. Dr myhill also recommended melatonin; however she advised taking it with the sleeping tablets at a much earlier time. The nhs doc advised taking it half an hour before I naturally fell asleep and then very gradually taking it half an hour earlier. So if you normally fall asleep at 3 am, take the melatonin at 2.3o am then after a week or so perhaps at 2am and so on. His advice helped me to have a sleep pattern of 12am til 8-9am, I also think the hydrocortisone helped.

    I share the view of the poster who says dr myhill is more of a chronic fatigue doctor. I personally would never see her agai and be very wary of some of her advice. If you want to try ad change your body clock, proceed with great caution, or just leave well alone, I doubt it will improve your me even I'd you managed to change it
  11. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Sasha, Dr myhill has said she wants me to go to bed earlier, but to be honest i now go to bed at 10pm and sleep from about 10/30pm to 7 .30pm approximately. If i stay up beyond 11.30 i get a terrible crash that can last for days. I am very lucky that my really bad sleep problems didnt last for more than a year or so into this relpase. I dont see the point in getting to bed much earlier for me, but then i got my sleep right from reading her sleep advice and it worked for getting me to sleep through the night.
    Sorry this is a bit garbled -tired right now. I dont know what the evidence is but i would think getting to sleep a bit earlier could be good if you do it gradually, on the other hand there is no way i would be ok if i got up at 6.30am no matter how much sleep i had had.!
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks everyone for these replies - I am sorry I have been slow to catch up! There's a big variation in people's experience on this thread, that's for sure! I'm still very curious as to whether there's any empirical evidence (based on blood draws, etc.) about the claim, whether in normals or PWC.

    I have the impression with environmental medicine that some things that get said to patients are rumours. Some doctor comes out with an assertion based on a theory and decades later it gets stated as fact with no-one questioning whether or not it's true. I see Dr Myhill saying that Type A personalities are more likely to get ME - this was an idea kicking around 20 years ago but has long been disproved. It makes me wonder whether there are other ideas that haven't stood the test of time and evidence.
  13. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Sasha, with ME I've noticed a 5 to 10 year cycle in ideas. Things that were fashionable in the 80's then come back in the 90's and now in the 00's.

    They seem to leap up, people get all excited, they try it, some are helped the rest fail, then it it dies down .....only....
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think that's true!

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