Weird sleep pattern
November 18, 2012 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Sleep problems filter! what are some possible causes of my very weird sleeping schedule? I have been, for most of my life, functioning the best on a 2-hour nap in the evening, and then maybe 3-4 hours between 3 and 7am. I am not intentionally doing biphasic sleep-- I just get these strong urges to sleep (or to be awake) at certain times of the day. For the past 2-3 weeks, I am just all over the place in terms of sleep. Mainly, I am incredibly tired and achy the whole day, but I can't fall asleep when I try. As soon as the sun goes down I feel alive again. I feel like I am sleep deprived all the time, but there's also no telling of when I can actually fall asleep.

What are the causes of change in sleep patterns? I thought of some possibilities, but I don't know what to do about them:

1. I could be dehydrated because the heaters are on
2. It could be stress. I don't feel stressed out, but my friends told me that they sensed I've been stressed out.
3. I haven't been eating a lot of fruit and vegetable

And also, how do I NOT be a biphasic sleeper? It's really hard to schedule around, and I am not always in a place that I can plot down and sleep in the evening. When I don't get my evening nap, then my sleep schedule gets thrown off. Also, people think I am lazy.
posted by atetrachordofthree to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need a sleep study with a qualified professional. Everyone I know who has had one has found it life changing.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 12:10 PM on November 18, 2012

It would be something also to discuss with your doctor. There are health related problems that can cause sleep disturbances like this (liver, thyroid among others).
posted by cecic at 12:41 PM on November 18, 2012

Sleep patterns are appetites similar to many others, and what feels like absolute physical truths ("I *must* have dinner by 5pm or I am grumpy") are the result of training and patterning, often before we are aware of it.

Retraining a sleep pattern is possible, but difficult -- probably harder than moving breakfast time. The best book I have found on it is Overcoming Insomnia by Colin Espie, a significant sleep researcher. The CBT techniques in there deal with much more than insomnia, and I think they could very well help you with this.

I promise it is not the "sleep in a quiet room and avoid coffee" sleep hygiene platitudes you will find elsewhere.
posted by fightorflight at 2:43 PM on November 18, 2012

That said, has your coffee consumption pattern changed recently?
posted by flabdablet at 5:26 PM on November 18, 2012

It is worth asking your doctor about it. I was having increasing difficulty managing a health sleeping pattern and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I had my tonsils out (grew suddenly and blocked my airway in certain positions) and my situation drastically improved.

Now I feel rested in the morning (so don't feel I need a nap) and have a more normal pattern of sleeping.
posted by dottiechang at 12:42 AM on November 19, 2012

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