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  • Sleep disruption lasting for weeks

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    Old 08-20-2019, 09:39 PM   #1
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    Sleep disruption lasting for weeks

    About a month ago I took up a co-worker's request to take his shift at a time that is much earlier than I'm used to. I had issues going to sleep early enough the night before that led me to getting only 3 hours of sleep.

    The next few days my sleep was disrupted leading to me having lots of irregular nights including nights of getting 6 hours, getting sleep in chunks, some nights taking melatonin with one particular night taking more melatonin than I probably should have at different times during the night.

    Since then and after having mental issues and other problems like coordination issues I can no longer get more than 6 hours of sleep in a row. I can go back to sleep after waking up and usually get 1.5 hours each time i go back to sleep

    In my entire life, I have NEVER had issues with getting 8+ hours if I'm allowed to (no alarm set). I'm 25 and again have ALWAYS been able to get 8 hours of sleep if I wanted to

    But now, 2 weeks IN A ROW, I CANNOT get more than 6 hours uninterrupted sleep and it has been negatively affecting my daily life. I wonder if this has something to do with that one night I took a lot of melatonin

    This isn't some thing like I'm just getting older thing or something else, it is in someway related to those events starting a month ago with me going in to work early after getting 3 hours sleep the night before.

    And I really really must fix it. its now my top priority in life besides the obvious things like paying rent and eating. Right now this is affecting concentration, happiness, coordination, memory, hunger, motivation, etc. I'ts making almost everything about my life worse

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    Old 08-21-2019, 06:47 AM   #2
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    Re: Sleep disruption lasting for weeks

    When you changed your work schedule, you disturbed your circadian rhythm- your body's internal clock. And everyone is different so some people adjust faster than others. For example, when the clocks get changed one hour ahead or fall back one hour, I'm totally adjusted to it in one day. But I hear some people say they are still struggling with it a week later.

    I would just give it more time.

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    Old 08-21-2019, 09:58 AM   #3
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    Re: Sleep disruption lasting for weeks

    Hi B,

    Recovery from hormone imbalance can take a lot longer than we may realize, esp if we let ourselves get upset about the process, turn on lights, music or the TV, computer, etc., or read, or otherwise actively try to fill that time. Sleep cycles require basic continuity to be truly restful and allow the body full recovery time. Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the daily sleep-wake cycles. We have an internal clock (known as the circadian rhythm) that affects how much melatonin the pineal gland makes, and so does the amount of light that we are exposed to. This is why we need to keep a regular time of darkness for sleep and light for wakefulness.
    Many times we can get in the habit of thinking of our bodies as tools we can pick up and lay down to make it do whatever we choose.
    We forget (I do too, regardless that I know better) that the body is living matter that is made to function on a specific way, and it usually does until we misuse it.

    Something to consider is that Melatonin is naturally created by the body. When that is out of balance it usually is our own doing, such as having to work at night-time or other change of schedule. A temporary very low dose of .3 or .5 mg of Melatonin is effective, but it takes days to become effective. We seriously have no idea if we even need to supplement it. But if we try it, we should only use a very low dose. It is not a drug that creates an immediate effect. An imbalance, whether accidental or intentional, can throw the body off balance making us feel drowsy when we need to be alert, and recovery from that imbalance can take a long time to fully recover, since functions of the body don't just turn off and on at our will.

    Here is some reliable information -

    When our work or life schedule requires a different than usual sleep and wake cycle, to adjust to that, a low dose of melatonin can assist. But depending on that to 'make' us sleep defeats the purpose and throws the cycle off. I think all that happened is that now your body has to readjust. You can assist by no TV or music or caffeinated drinks two hours before sleep time, doing all of your sleep preparations, drink camomile tea, turn the lights very low, and read for awhile after you go to bed. When you get drowsy or very relaxed, turn off the lights, snuggle down and take slow breaths and count to 100 and allow your body to relax. Even if you don't go to sleep, allow your mind and body to rest. Picture the most restful thoughts you can imagine, such as clouds in the sky, or a baby puppy, whatever is pleasant to YOUR mind. You can make this routine your habit. It does 'work'.

    Allow your body and mind to let go and do this regularly whether or not it 'works' at first. Eventually your circadian rhythm will reset.

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    Old 01-28-2020, 07:24 PM   #4
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    Re: Sleep disruption lasting for weeks

    Try to (re)create habits before you go to bed: drink tea, read, etc. Melatonin and probably some supplement with valerian extract might be useful to get you to sleep.So far you havenīt taken medicines to sleep I guess. Iīve been using those for more than 2 years now, and now itīs hard to stop depending on them, so take care not to start if you donīt really have to.

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