Early to bed, early to rise...

Snarky Oracle!

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... makes a dude or dudette healthy, wealthy and wise.


I figure I can use all the help I can get... For ages I was a committed night owl, but that's terrible for your health (for various reasons). Even when I was working, I'd come home and usually take a nap and then be up at all hours (even when I had to be up at dawn to be back at the office).

Now, I'm trying to alter my sleep pattern -- and adjust downward my caffeine intake -- so I can hit the hay by 9 or 10pm (I wake up waaaaaaaaaaay before dawn, but I usually take a nap somewhere in the late morning or early afternoon for two to three hours).

(I'm always, always shocked -- like a moron who cannot learn new tricks -- by how much difference it makes, how much better I feel, when I reduce my caffeine dramatically).

There are very important hormonal things and brain chemistry events that need to occur between 10pm and 2am (wherever you are on the planet) if you're in total darkness and, ideally, asleep (like human growth hormone release)... And you miss them if you're awake and exposed to light.

People who work the midnight shift have a much higher cancer rate, among other ailments.
 
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Daniel Avery

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My father worked at a paper mill that employed "rotating shifts"--one week you had 7a-3p, the next week, 3p-11p, and the third, 11p-7a, and then it started again. This was in the 1970s and even then I thought it had to be terrible for those people's health (my father included). All his co-workers I met looked twenty years older than they were and had slow reflexes. If you need productivity on your job site, I can't imagine that shift arrangement helped. To this day I wonder if his later health problems (too many to recount here) were rooted in that rotating shifts situation for 10-12 years.
 

Crimson

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Now, I'm trying to alter my sleep pattern -- and adjust downward my caffeine intake -- so I can hit the hay by 9 or 10pm

It's an odd thing to say, but good quality sleep is hard work. I drastically changed my sleeping habits years ago and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I used to be a night owl by default and slept erratically and poorly. I was always tired. I now sleep pretty consistently for 7 to 7 1/2 hours a night and feel great through the day.

Consistency is key. You need to establish a nighttime routine and stick to it as much as possible. Dim your lights in the evening. Red/pink toned lights are good for calming the brain; avoid blue light. Wind down watching TV or being online. Take a lukewarm shower. Go to bed at the same time every evening, as much as possible. Use non-addictive sleep aids to help establish your sleeping pattern. Invest in your bedding -- new pillows and sheets -- so your bed is inviting. Place lavender (or another calming scent) air freshener next to your bed. Use white noise, if you don't already. Try breathing and/or meditation exercises if you have trouble falling asleep. If you can't fall asleep, don't stress over it. One of the best pieces of advice I came across was to not get worked up over not being able to fall asleep. Even just laying in bed is restful.

It's not going to happen overnight. It took months for me to change my sleeping habits, but the effort was worthwhile.
 

Emelee

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There are very important hormonal things and brain chemistry events that need to occur between 10pm and 2am (wherever you are on the planet) if you're in total darkness and, ideally, asleep (like human growth hormone release)... And you miss them if you're awake and exposed to light.

Where I live, it's daylight 24/7 in summers and dark 18-20 hours a day in winter. We survive. :)
 

DallasFanForever

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I used to be a night owl when I was younger. I’d stay up til 1 or 2 in the morning with no problem and get up by 6 to go to work. Of course that caught up to me after awhile and now I’m the complete opposite.

Now I’m usually asleep most nights by 9 and I notice it definitely helps with staying focused at work the next day. Sometimes I wonder if by not staying up late anymore perhaps I’m missing out on something. I will wake up to many texts and missed calls and I’ll feel bad that people think I’m ignoring them but I notice if I don’t get enough sleep I can be a little irritable the next morning. With enough sleep though I tend to feel better about the day when I get up.
 

Snarky Oracle!

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I used to be a night owl when I was younger. I’d stay up til 1 or 2 in the morning

Is that a night owl?

Sometimes I wonder if by not staying up late anymore perhaps I’m missing out on something. I will wake up to many texts and missed calls and I’ll feel bad that people think I’m ignoring them

I'm a non-texter myself. We exist in the wild. I find dramatically reducing my number of contacts -- and acquaintances -- helps immeasurably!
 

DallasFanForever

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Is that a night owl?
Well, I guess for me it was. Especially when I had to get up so early. That was more the problem really.


I'm a non-texter myself. We exist in the wild. I find dramatically reducing my number of contacts -- and acquaintances -- helps immeasurably!

I envy you!

This reminded me of recently when I went through my phone and took a look at my contacts. It’s amazing how many people we have in there that we never even talk to. I deleted a bunch of them. Of course now if one of them does finally text me I’m gonna have no clue who it is.
 
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