So I have different sleep problems than most of the discussions here. I have no trouble sleeping, but I can’t get enough sleep – my sleep is not restful and I can never get up in the morning. I can stay up as late as needed, but can never wake up in the morning. Oftentimes my sleep is full of fairly vivid dreams.
I have always had trouble getting up in the morning – I am definitely not a morning person. I set my alarm an hour or more before I need to get up and repeatedly press SNOOZE. I never have a problem getting back to sleep after the alarms wakes me up. Even after I wake up (finally), I like to lie in bed a few more minutes. It doesn’t matter if I slept 4 hours or 10 hours, I have just as hard of a time waking up.
I barely touch caffeine – at most two drinks per day, none after about 2 PM. I work out fairly regularly too. I do drink alcohol often, but haven’t had a drink in two months – and the problem still continues.
Right now, I usually sleep from about midnight until 7:30 AM. It is dang hard to get up at 7:30. Even if I got to bed hours earlier, though, it’s dang hard to get up at 7:30 AM.
I’m in the military (a desk jockey, so I wasn’t physically active). I recently participated in an exercise for three weeks with my shifts running from 2 AM to 2 PM. I got no more than 5 hours sleep every night. I woke up wide awake every night between 10:30 and 11:00 PM, read for an hour, then got ready for the day. Of course I drank a lot of caffeine those three weeks, but my wakeups – wide awake after only 4-5 hours of sleep a night – were completely different than now. I felt very rested those nights with quality sleep.
Also, I recently deployed to Afghanistan. After traveling for two days my internal body clock was way off. For the first couple weeks, I easily went to sleep every night between 9PM and 10PM. I woke up—wide awake—at 4 AM, with quality sleep. I read in bed for an hour, then got up and had a nice morning run. But after about 10 days my body started to “adjust” to the times, and soon my 4 AM wakeups were 5 AM, then 6 AM, and now I’m back into my rut of poor quality sleep and not being able to get out of bed.
All I want is to be able to get some solid sleep and wake up easily.
I find it very interesting when you say that something is wrong with your sleep quality. The fact that you have vivid dreams shows that you may be arousing during REM which is why you remember them so well. Something may be fragmenting your sleep and disrupting your stages of REM. Have you ever undergone a sleep study called a polysomnography to diagnose your sleep disorder. Your primary doc can refer you for one. Basically, you spent the night at a sleep laboratory hooked up to all these wires, chest bands etc. It will give you a wealth of information