View Full Version : Screwed Up Sleep Cycle - Recommendations for getting back on track?

Patrick Donnelly
10-28-2008, 03:03 AM
So, I finished the rough draft of my paper at around 5:09, got showered, and got changed into every day clothes before getting back on my computer. I've decided I'm not going to bed tonight. At the most, I'll get 3 hours of sleep now, which is the equivalent of a long nap, and I always feel shitty as hell after those. So, I figure I may as well stay up, continue working, and reduce the work in my schedule later on, allowing me to not get stressed out.

General case. When you miss a night of sleep (a whole night), what is the best method for getting back on track over the next few days? Obviously, you can't simply sleep double the next day. Sticking a nap somewhere in the middle of the day?

I really have no idea how sleep patterns work; I read "Lights Out!" but it was a long time ago, and I skimmed through most of it. I probably ought to take another look at it again, but if I remember it right, it'll only make me feel guilty. Haha.

Specific case. I have a rough draft of a paper due in a few hours, which the teacher will be reading. The final copy is due Thursday, which the teacher will grade. So, there would be no point in writing a crappy draft for tomorrow when it would just mean a load of work for the next two nights, especially considering that I have a separate 5 page paper due Thursday (ought to be reasonably doable), and a mathematics test on Wednesday. There's no workout planned for today (thank goodness - I would skip it anyway), but there is for Wednesday, and I'd prefer to not skip it, even if I have to go lighter on the weights because of fatigue. Thursday and Friday are also rest days, but on Thursday evening I'm going to Washington DC to see the US Olympic Gymnastics team perform, and Friday, I have work beginning at 5:45AM, going to 11AM, with a class later on that day from 2PM to 3PM. I don't expect to go Trick-or-Treating. Typically, I sleep from 1AM to 9AM, though I do want to shift that back a few hours; it's just difficult. Given this unusually packed schedule, would the recommendations from the general case differ?

I'm still surprisingly awake right now, and while I know that won't last forever, I do attribute a good portion of it to intermittent fasting. I've noticed that it's much easier to "get by" on little sleep when on IF. Even though workouts typically suck, everyday activities seem to be fueled more by how much you eat rather than how much you sleep.

Steven Low
10-28-2008, 08:32 AM
I used to just tough it out to the end of the week. But I don't know if you wanna do that...

Best thing to do (IMO) is get to bed early the next day (tonight) and then sleep as long as your body wants to. That generally puts you back on the right schedule. If you go to sleep at like 9 or 10 PM and then wake up anywhere from 6-8 depending on how the body is feeling.

This would, of course, leave you to study for your math test sometime during today and then write the rest of your papers tomorrow... but it's doable.

Craig Loizides
10-28-2008, 02:44 PM
I would have taken the 3 hours of sleep last night and possibly a nap in the afternoon and stayed on my normal schedule.

Patrick Donnelly
10-29-2008, 05:13 AM
Well, I ended up taking a short 1.5 hour nap around 7AM, then a 45 minute one later in the day. I made it pretty well on that, but still only got 9 hours of sleep last night, when I probably would have preferred 11 or more... At least I'm feeling ready for the math test. I'll try to shoot for 10 hours tonight, though I don't know how possible that'll be with the two papers due tomorrow.

Blair Lowe
10-29-2008, 12:42 PM
Naps, help me survive through it. I'd think of possibly a natural sleeping aid but it doesn't sound like you can afford to sleep too long ( like Yael did recently ).

Patrick Donnelly
10-30-2008, 08:09 PM
What happened with Yael?

Yesterday was pretty crappy too, as I had the second paper to type, and was once again up to 5AM, but I grabbed three hours of sleep, then another hour or so of napping. I'm really not feeling all that bad right now. My workout on Wednesday as weak, but as far as daily activities go, I've been doing fine. I have to get up sometime around 5-5:30AM tomorrow for work, but once that's done, I'm out cold for the weekend.

Yael Grauer
10-30-2008, 11:08 PM
I took GABA, felt all blissed out, took more 24 hours later and slept half the day. I guess it doesn't leave your system right away. I was knocked out and had to call in sick to work. It was pretty awful.

I want to take a potentized dose now but haven't figured out how to succuss it.

Yael Grauer
10-30-2008, 11:09 PM
P.S. A 1/3 or even 1/2 dose of melatonin over the course of 2 nights or so could be helpful, and probably isn't strong enough to really hurt.

Sam Brothers
10-31-2008, 10:35 AM
I would have taken that 3 hour nap.

sleep?... Go to bed as early as you can tonight and sleep as long as you can. If your body wants sleep, then let it sleep.

Jamila Bey
10-31-2008, 11:19 PM
Sleep when the baby does. :)

I second the sleep as early as possible suggestion. Lie down and stay down until you have to get up. And don't discount mini naps. 20 minutes can be a HUGE booster.

Patrick Donnelly
12-12-2008, 04:36 PM
Had a similar experience this week - several papers due.

Tuesday night: 3 hours
Wednesday day: 2 hour nap
Wednesday night: 4 hours
Thursday night: 3x 1/2 hour naps
Friday day: 1 hour nap

I'm feeling surprisingly fine though. Of course, I haven't lifted since Wednesday, and that was pretty crappy, and I assume I'd have trouble pulling 225lbs right now if I gave it a shot. The three half hour naps worked amazingly well. Just as soon as I lost my ability to think/type in complete sentences, I took a shortie, then that got me refreshed to continue on. However, after being awake for hour hours straight, between the three Thursday night naps and the Friday daytime nap, I having a bit of trouble keeping my eyes open.

I'm probably shooting for 12-14 hours of sleep tonight...