Do you sleep away the day and not go to bed at night?

I think this is a habit established when my husband worked nights, but he says I am much worse about going to bed at 6 or 7 in the morning and sleeping until 2pm or later post-rupture. Is anyone else doing this? It is now 6AM, so I better get some sleep!

Hey Jackie,
Sort of similar, not quite to the same extent as you but my sleep pattern no longer has a pattern. I used to work on a rotating shift roster, 7 days, 2 off, 5 nights, 7 off and trying to regulate sleep/work was terrible. I was on all sorts of meds to help me sleep at all differing times of the day and night. But that was many years ago.
Now since my last surgery I seem to have reverted back into a shift work sleep regime and it’s screwed me up bigtime. I am lucky in a way that I’m no longer working (Dr’s orders), but I’m finding trying to maintain a ‘normal’ 8 hour sleep pattern almost impossible. The question I have/had was is this due to surgery or is this due to my bio clock being screwed up. I ask the dr’s and their response was “Well, don’t blame us, it’s nothing we’ve done…” But trying to maintain some sort of normal, even with medications has been very difficult. It seems this is now part of my new normal.

In saying that I used to be fairly active but my activity level has been severely curtailed and I do wonder if due to this my system has all of this extra energy that I would normally have burnt off that is no longer being used. Is that extra energy still wanting to be used up? Is that what’s keeping me awake? I don’t know. My last surgery was in 2013, surely things would be back to a level now that I should be able to manage better, but I’m not. It’s just a mess (and so am I).

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

Hey Jackie,
Sort of similar, not quite to the same extent as you but my sleep pattern no longer has a pattern. I used to work on a rotating shift roster, 7 days, 2 off, 5 nights, 7 off and trying to regulate sleep/work was terrible. I was on all sorts of meds to help me sleep at all differing times of the day and night. But that was many years ago.
Now since my last surgery I seem to have reverted back into a shift work sleep regime and it’s screwed me up bigtime. I am lucky in a way that I’m no longer working (Dr’s orders), but I’m finding trying to maintain a ‘normal’ 8 hour sleep pattern almost impossible. The question I have/had was is this due to surgery or is this due to my bio clock being screwed up. I ask the dr’s and their response was “Well, don’t blame us, it’s nothing we’ve done…” But trying to maintain some sort of normal, even with medications has been very difficult. It seems this is now part of my new normal.

In saying that I used to be fairly active but my activity level has been severely curtailed and I do wonder if due to this my system has all of this extra energy that I would normally have burnt off that is no longer being used. Is that extra energy still wanting to be used up? Is that what’s keeping me awake? I don’t know. My last surgery was in 2013, surely things would be back to a level now that I should be able to manage better, but I’m not. It’s just a mess (and so am I).

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

Hey Jackie! I used to have terrible sleep patterns. I discussed it with my Neurosurgeon and she suggested I unlearn them. So that’s what I did. I go to bed about 9:30pm and up around 5:30-6:00 am. I began exercising as I could and doing things during the day hours. I still occasionally take a nap in the afternoon, but it’s usually if I’ve been on the Internet or bending a lot. I set goals each morning on my phone of what needs to be done if I didn’t do it the night before. I limit myself to the Internet, except on days I do laundry. I have chores that are done each day which helps me in knowing which day it is. I loved to read, and now I read for 30 minutes before shutting off the light. If I have still have problems going to sleep at night, I take benedryl, under the doctor’s approval. It took several years to get to this point. Structure helped me a lot. Also not sleeping when I shouldn’t be asleep. Like Merl, I once had crazy work hours, three different shifts rotating, sometimes for five days we would work 8-5, usually 6 or 7:00 then a weekend which started at 4:00 pm on Friday off at 8:00 am (not really) on Monday, sleep if you could, and then there was the 4:00pm to 8:00 am Mon-Thurs. all the paperwork had to be completed before you could stop your day. They didn’t want you to be honest on hours worked so we always put less if the shift went over. We were accustomed to my odd sleep patterns, but they started interfering with my goals. I had to make my goals more important than when I wanted to sleep. It’s been pretty good the last year or so.

I don’t go to bed until I am sleepy, so there is no consistency to my sleep times, either. I’ve read that shift work shortens your life, maybe it is via brain diseases.

“I’ve read that shift work shortens your life” I totally agree Jackie.
If it was one set shift, afternoon OR nights, we can condition ourselves a little better.
But rotating shifts your body can never find it’s ‘Normal’
Even though I’m not working there are still days when at midnight and I’m still wide awake I take a sleeping tablet. My body NEEDS that regular sleep.
But I can’t be taking them 2 days in a row or on the third night I can’t sleep with out them. For me it’s like pain meds, it’s all about management.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

I’m going to disagree with everything said so far – other than the shift work comment as rotating shift work is terrible for you.

But Jackie, you aren’t on a shift work schedule so that doesn’t matter. There’s nothing wrong with going to bed when you’re sleepy! There’s nothing wrong with waking up naturally (I assume you’re not setting an alarm).

There’s no such thing as a normal eight hour sleep cycle, it’s a cultural myth and a modern construct. Some people require more sleep, some people require less. And sleeping at night is a cultural normal, not a body norm. It doesn’t actually matter when you sleep or how long you sleep as long as you’re getting what you, personally, require. In fact, when all modern constructs of time are taken away people revert to a 26 hour day.

As an example of sleep patterns, I happen to be a day sleeper. I sleep better and longer when the sun is out and am more productive and feel better when the sun is down.

Currently I work second shift. I work from 2:30pm to 11:00pm. I’m usually up until between 5-6:00am and I sleep for about 7 hours, usually naturally waking up with no alarm around 1:00pm. In fact, I haven’t used an alarm clock since I stopped working first shift, almost 20 years now.

There is zero medical impact with this schedule as it’s my natural schedule. In fact, my neurologically complicated migraines have improved on this schedule verse a “normal” first shift schedule and sleeping at night. I do even better on third shift.

There are only two things you need to concern yourself with in terms of sleep.

  1. Get enough sleep – get what YOU need, not what they say you need. I naturally average between 6 and 7 hours.

  2. Get up and the same general time every day. It doesn’t matter what time you go to sleep, it matters when you get up, especially if you use an alarm. You need to get up at the same time every day to help your body stay in sync. One of the worst things you can do is get up early during the week and then sleep in on the weekends.

Other than those two things you should do what feels right and natural to you. There are tons of people out there like me who function better at night, stop worrying about it and stop fighting it, join us!

azurelle

Azurelle, I respectfully disagree with some of what you state. I do agree there is no “eight hour” pattern and that some folks need more, some less. But that sleeping at night is a cultural norm isn’t quite correct.

Sleep is controlled by our circadian rhythm which in turn is controlled by our hypothalamus. Though some can naturally be night owls. Here’s an explanation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-circadian-rhythm

In my personal experience, a steady shift of say all nights or all mid shifts, leads to easier retraining of your Circadian Rhythm. The shifts that alternate are the ones that caused issues for me as I had difficulty staying awake or sleeping when I needed to. Here’s an article which cites numerous studies https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-atypical-work-schedules-affect-performance

If someone has a sleep pattern that is disturbing their partner, then that pattern can increase stress in their relationship. Better to adjust the Circadian Rhythm than the partner, don’t you think?

Moltroub, the article you link to about circadian rhythm, while basically correct, does make the error of lumping everyone into “most adults.”

Most adults is the cultural construct I’m talking about – not everyone runs on that day/night pattern. We readily accept that animals can be nocturnal, why can’t people?

The article on atypical work schedule mentions that people never really adjust to second or third shift and yet it’s assumed everyone will adjust to first shift - which is not the case. I came into this world a day sleeper and have been one ever since.

I don’t believe you can happily adjust your circadian rhythm to be what it’s not. In fact, I know that I can’t. Either you’re a morning person or an afternoon person or a night person, you can’t become one through force of will. All the problems sited by the article for shift work also happen when a nocturnal human tries to be a day human.

And no, I don’t think it’s better to adjust your personal circadian rhythm to match someone else. I think the two people need to work it out and not argue over who is sleeping when or for how long. Why should I force myself to get up when I’m tired just because my partner is a morning person? Why is the requirement of the day sleeper to adjust to the night sleeper and not the other way around? You would never ask my partner to get up at 3am to spend time with me even though 3am is my happy awake time! So why should I get up a 8am to spend time with my partner? 8am for me is like 3am for a day person. The two people involve need to work it out without making one another miserable.

Granted, we are the minority, but there are nocturnal people everywhere, it’s wrong to assume I can “adjust” my circadian rhythm to the cultural norm of daylight hours.

azurelle

We will just agree to disagree with no hard feelings!

Thanks to all for your insights into sleep issues. Azurelle, my therapist concurs with your belief that it is of greatest importance to get up at the same time every day. I have to admit that when I experimented with this approach it helped me to become sleepy earlier than my standard 6AM. There is always an internal conflict for me between finishing what I am doing, like catching up on email, versus going to bed. Finishing up a current project usually wins.

As an aside, my father was working as a jail guard, night shift, when I was born. He got home around 2am and woke me up for play time! I always wondered if my circadian cycle was set way back then. My mom was also a night owl. She worked until 11PM then went out dancing until 2AM. I would stay up all night cleaning the house as a teenager, waiting for her to come home on Friday nights.

It does interfere with my life to get up at 2PM, so I will continue to try to reset my internal clock back a couple of hours. Thank you all for sharing your own stories.
Jackie

Yes awake all night. , Started this when I worked nights now can’t change

Jennie_Martin, Maybe our brains are not as flexible to re-learning to sleep at night. It’s 5AM, so off I go. If I ever manage to sleep 4am to noon on a regular basis, I will post the good news!

Thank you for your post

Jackie

1 Like

Although I’ve made it clear I don’t think it works to turn yourself into a day person when you’re a night person, I do believe you can push your sleep schedule by several hours with no major problems – I’ve had to do it for jobs before. If you google “reset your sleep clock” or “reversing adult day sleeping” you’ll get all kinds of tips and tricks.

Jackie, since you tend to get sleepy between 5am and 6am you should be able to reach your goal of sleeping 4am to noon! That’s only about a three hour change, which I believe is doable (unlike an 8 or 10 hour change). And, it sounds like you may genetically be a night person, what, with two night owl parents, you can only fight biology so much.

Good luck!

azurelle

I have the same situation…up all night…sleep until 2:30 pm. I’m wondering if it has some connection to the brain aneurysm. My daughter thinks it is abnormal. Any comments would be very much appreciated. I wonder if there’s been any studies done on this.

I don’t know if it’s connected to AVM, it might in some way as an AVM does trigger changes in people.

HOWEVER – night owl is not abnormal behavior, it’s behavior of a minority and is perfectly normal. Although I disagree with the idea it’s a disorder you can find plenty of information with a search for Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder. A search for Circadian Rhythm will explain how your body sleeps.

But again, I take great exception to the idea that normal is day and abnormal is night. There’s nothing wrong with being a day sleeper, I’ve been one my whole life, so much so that my mom put in afternoon preschool and kindergarten! I never had a college class that started before noon.

For the past 20 years I’ve worked second or third shift, getting up for my day between 1-2pm without an alarm. Does it make some things more difficult? Sure. Dating was tricky and once I got married (to a morning person no less) we had to work out when we would spend time together, but overall there’s nothing wrong with day sleeping. What others do at 9am I do at 9pm.

azurelle

Hi Jannymanny! I’m curious to know if you worked nights and slept days prior to the aneurysm. So far, everyone who has responded was previously a night-shift worker, as was my husband, which was why I was sleeping days.
Thanks for your response,
Jackie

Azurelle,

Thank you for the search suggestions. A friend of mine did a search previously and found that there is a name for a disorder where you are out of sync with the so-called normal sleep times. I’ve forgotten the name now, of course!

Jackie

No…I worked day shift…so being up all night is something that started just a few years ago.

I just spoke with an RN at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She said it is not uncommon for people who have had a brain aneurysm to have a totally messed up schedule…it’s due to the changes in our brains. I’m so relieved to hear that…I thought there was something wrong with me! She said she has heard of this often in the Brain Aneurysm community. Now I can stop feeling guilty!