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Should I fix my sleep pattern

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by river, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. river


    To make a long story short,
    I feel a lot better when I follow what many would consider an unhealthy sleep pattern.

    I have read many times that the hours before midnight are the most restful
    But when I try to go to bed at 10pm I wake up at 5am shaking and feeling spaced out and anxious and whatever I do the rest of the day the situation doesn't improve.

    If I go to bed around midnight I wake up at 7am and again I wake feeling cold and yet sweating and with an hangover like feeling, eyes still sleepy and blurred vision and can't focus on anything. And I feel like that till late evening.

    When I got to bed around 3-4am and wake up around noon or 1 pm I feel a lot better, I wake easily without any hangover sensation or drowsy eyes and I feel warm, focused and have no anxiety.

    Should I try to understand why I feel so bad with an average sleeping pattern or going to bed early and waking early and try to fix it or just keep falling asleep at early morning hours, skipping the morning hours (I've always felt my worst from 7am to noon even when I was a young child going to elementary school) and waking at noon?

    Any thought?
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

    australia (brisbane)
    if u can sleep when u want to then just go with it, there are others that do this. But if u need to work or have kids or need to follow some sort of schedule then sorting sleep out is a must or its hard to function. I have had nights where i was unable to sleep (drugs didnt work man)and had to work the next day and its awful being awake for 36 hours, just when if felt like going to sleep it was time to get ready for work, thankfully they dont happen to often or hopefully i have some sick leave and call in sick but been caught out a few times.

    Melatonin on its own does nothing but with other sleep meds i have found has helped me get out of some funky sleep patterns.

    Maybe it could also be the depth of your sleep, not getting to deep stages of sleep, maybe investigate what meds can help with deep sleep.
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    I'm wondering this myself. I've always prefered a nocturnal sleep pattern (including when I was a healthy young thing). Currently I go to bed arround 2-3 and rise 11-12. This is less nocturnal than I'd have previously prefered, but there are social/practical reasons for not wanting to get up much later than twelve.

    These reasons could motivate me to try to shift to raising earlier (some building work will be due soon, that's going to invovled noise at 9... I should probably prepare!)

    I'm interested to hear from anyone whose found moving away from nocturnal patterns helpful for their fatigue. I did go through a period of setting an alarm to get up arround nine due to the general CFS advice to avoid nocturnal patterns, but I found it just made things worse. Maybe I didn't give it long enough (about 3 months)? Ta.
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

    Ashland, Oregon
    Hi River,

    I'm the same as you; my most difficult hours are generally the morning hours. My advice would be the same advice I give to myself: "If something is working, stay with it." Especially when it concerns something as important as sleep quality.

    I've heard all about the "healthy" sleep patterns that would be good to follow, but my take is we don't have "normal" systems. In particular, our circadian rhythms are often out of sync.

    My own schedule runs from 11:30 pm to 1:00 a.m., usually toward the later times. I usually get up from 8:30 - 10:00, but let myself sleep in if at all possible. It's only recently that I've been able to get this much sleep at a time, which I attribute to some "earthing" products I started using at the same time.

    In short, I would recommend sticking with what works. One of the things that I think is good to cultivate when dealing with ME/CFS is patience. In my own case, even though my inclination is to go to bed early and rise early, it just doesn't work for me. So I just accept what does work for me, and do my best to feel content with that.

    Best, Wayne
  5. Emmanuelle


    New Jersey, U.S.
    I'd say anything that makes you feel even a little better-- go for it! Interesting thread here. I've always been a "night person"; my natural inclination is to go to bed a little later every night. Between work (in the past) and kids (present) I "have to" be on a more "normal" schedule. I use Ambien every night ... (the only drug I use regularly, other than Advil for pain.) Anyway, clearly what's considered normal or "healthy" doesn't apply to us... I wish you delicious, restful sleep -- whenever and however you can get it.
  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    Do whatever is working best for you.

    It could be something like cortisol causing the issue. Cortisol is meant to be lowest in the morning and some of us with CFS/ME have low cortisol. It possibly may be a good idea to get your cortisol levels tested right in the morning when you are feeling your worst. Your morning symptoms could be ones of too low cortisol.

    Another thought is possibly insulin. I found out not too long ago that I have hyperinsulinemia ... my insulin stays up during the night and isnt coming down into normal levels from eatting the night before till about lunch time the next day. So if i got up and ate earlier (with my insulin already high).. I'd feel even worst then if i got up late and ate late in the day (after lunch time).
    I find high insulin makes my CFS/ME symptoms worst.
  7. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    I sleep best between 12 midnight and 12 noon roughly. The quality sleep part of it seems to be between 6am and 11am.

    If I reset my sleep rhythm to a more "normal" one I have a much lower level of functioning. "Brain death" sets in and all I feel is a haze of confusion all day, every day. If I wake between 6am and 11am, I shake, feel intensely nauseous, vomit if it eat or drink or move too quickly and am prone to fainting. This doesn't happen if I sleep through this period. Also my afternoons and evenings are more productive and I feel more conscious.

    As one poster mentioned cortisol could be implicated. My daily cortisol rhythm is for levels to be very low AM and then raise as the day proceeds. They never get high. Some people get high cortisol at night and take things like Seriphos to get to sleep.

    Hope this ramble helps.
  8. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Like the others, I also suggest going with the sleep pattern that makes you feel the best/most rested. You can make any doctor appointments for the afternoon.

    Mine pattern was even worse, moving forward an hour a day. So I would often be reversed, then "normal", then reversed, over and over every month for years. Confused yet? Then I also needed a big three hour nap around "noon" every day. I've been keeping a sleep chart for years, so I might have some idea of when I might be awake or asleep. I've shown my sleep chart to every doctor and they have no idea what's going on.

    At the suggestion of my naturopath, I got my adrenals tested and found they were toast. Very low in the morning, with a slight rise at night, but basically a flat line. I have been doing adrenal cortex extract for about 8 months now, and things are starting to improve. The forward shift is slowing down. I don't always need the nap, although I do need to lay down and rest.

    I also found out that adrenal problems are connected to methylation problems, so I've been supplementing for that too. I think doing both in conjunction is better than doing one or the other. If you have problems tolerating chemicals, suspect methylation problems. You can get tested for that too if you want. (do the test and supps Rich Vank recommends)

    Get a 24 hour saliva cortisol test, because a morning cortisol test may show "normal" (like mine did), yet you have horrible adrenal problems.
  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

    Kerrilyn posted an interesting thing about a delayed sleep disorder on another thread - here.
  10. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

    River, you've perfectly described how I've been feeling for years. I've had problems with mornings since I was a teenager but it wasn't till I got really sick (following a car accident) that mornings became really horrible. If I was forced to wake before 10 am, for an appointment or something, I would feel like death warmed over (even more than usual).

    Only recently did I hear about Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, which I now think is part of the problem for me. I use light therapy in the morning, because I also have SAD so I really need it, wear sunglasses indoors in the evening and take melatonin before 10 pm. I don't know if this the reason or something else has happened (((or how long it will last))) but for the past month I usually go to bed at 11 pm and get up before 9 am and do not feel that 'I'm way too sick to get out of bed feeling' you described. It's strange to finally be on a 'normal' sleep schedule. I realize these things will not work for everyone, and may even make some people feel worse.

    I would not force yourself to change your sleep schedule to be more 'normal'. Doctors told me to do that, and they were wrong. The more I tried the worse I got. None of them understood what was going on with me or mention DSPS. If you find something that works for you great, if not, your body is telling you when it needs to sleep.
  11. kerrilyn

    kerrilyn Senior Member

    I'm sorry to hear that Caledonia. I read about that when I was researching about sleep disorders and it sounded awful. I found a really good article about it, but I can't find it now. I think it's called Non-24-h sleep-wake syndrome, although I think that particular article called it something else and was far more detailed than I can find about it currently. All I remember was it didn't describe my situation and I was glad I didn't have it.

    I've started the methylation protocols and have noticed that taking the Folapro/B's makes me tired so I now take them before bed too.

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