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morningnight

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  1. I came here today because of sleep related depression and apathy. It's great that this post is recent. I have been having major sleep problems for as long as I can remember. I too feel that I should naturally be awake starting at around 6:30-7pm and sleep during the day. And my sleep cycle is chaotic and mostly inconsistent. If I could wake up and sleep when I pleased, I would likely be ok aside from being depressed. The problem is that it doesn't allow me to fit into society at all and being depressed is terrible. I've known a few other insomniacs and hypersonmiacs in person, and it has always been the root cause of many of our life's biggest issues. I don't want to come off harsh, but for those reading without real problems sleeping, please refrain from comments about chamomile tea and nice walks. I've probably heard the same generic advice hundreds (thousands?) of times now. Instructions for fixing sleep: A lightbox (10,000 lux) with a mechanical timer set for 30 minutes every morning can anchor down a sleep cycle. Food matters as well. Fasting during the hours you want to sleep and eating a large breakfast (that is, breakfast is bigger than dinner) is significant. The time you wake up matters more than the time you go to sleep and the length of time you fall asleep for. The amount of hours sleeping will decrease over time as your body gets more efficient. For melatonin, it's not a sleeping pill. It's a hormone that STIMULATES a specific internal reaction that initializes those feelings of sleepyness (yes, it's a lack of certain stimulations that keep you up, not the presence of them). Melatonin needs 2-3 weeks of consistent daily use (within 30 minutes of the exact same time taking it each night) before you'll notice results from it. Again, it's not a one-off sleeping pill. For wake up time, it needs to be very consistent and slowly moved (30 min a week). Waking up at the designated time, getting light, and immediately eating is the most important thing you can do. All other "generic" advice applies too (light exercise, etc.) I've been to sleep specialists and various doctors. I've gotten multiple sleep studies done. And so on. This is the correct way to fix similar sleep problems that you or I have. It takes about 3 months of consistent discipline before you can say you're stable. It takes 6 months to say that you recovered. The first month is the most difficult. The goal of month 1 is to just wake up at ANY somewhat consistent time and follow the routine. The goal of months 2-4 is to gradually move the clock back (30 min a week, no more no less) until it's at a good time. The goal of then to 6 months is bolting down that time. The goal beyond 6 months is maintenance, which is easy. (I've done this before a decade ago). A tip: I use my computer's notepad to offload my over-active mind. It chatters on and on after being awake at night and alone and needs flushing. Writing down the thoughts makes them stop. If this is the correct advice, then why is fixing sleep for us so difficult? The answer is that the instructions may be simple, clear, and reliable but the execution of those instructions is always extremely difficult (eg. "Just eat less calories and exercise more" will get you to lose weight 100% of the time, but easier said than done). For reference, I'm on month 2 of trying to fix this after it got out of control again, and I've had 12 sleepless nights over the last 5 weeks. Today, I had 3 hours of sleep. Yesterday, another 3 hours. Over last weekend, I slept for 20 out of 24 hours on Saturday. It happens, and it's brutal to go through. But I have achieved success before (about 10 years ago) and got it very stable for most of the year before I fell out of discipline and other later abuses on my sleep schedule over the last decade (eg. studying late at night for university). Even then, it lasted a few more years before I broke my ability to sleep about 2 years later from work. Chances are very high that, while there is something probably wrong with us genetically, we very likely don't have some sort of easily categorized malfunction (eg. sleep apnea) that we can solve in any "set it and forget it" sense. In my experience, it requires constant upkeep, and even then, I would still get a rate of 1 sleepnless night / 2-3 weeks. Depression: cause or consequence? Ten years ago, it was actually fixing my sleep cycle that "cured my depression." I just got out of what was essentially a multi-year mental health institution world tour. They gave me all sorts of pill cocktails, told me I had all sorts of childhood traumas, kept telling me to "talk about it" and "express my feelings" and "the real problem is that you feel powerless" etc. The mental health industry and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race, and I've left with far more mental and physical problems (side effects) than what I had going in. The sleep problems lost me jobs and caused me to fail in school which made me more depressed. Therapists and doctors not only saw the cause-effect in reverse, but they were almost unable to see it differently. It absolutely had to be mental illness causing the life problems and not the other way around. The whole industry, from insurance to admins to psychologists, behaved this way. But what I will not deny is that a broken sleep discipline absolutely does lead to a depressing, lonely, unstable, and apathetic life of period failures that often feels impossible to crawl out of. @runninghopeIf you'd like to take the instructions and advice of my post, then maybe it will bring you some motivation to know that I'm also out there right now banging my head against the wall doing the 6 month instruction set too. It will work if I just keep at it though. Or, at least, it will be good enough for me to live life with.
  2. I just wanted to say I agree with this person completely and read a lot of the same literature. Very similar backstory. I didn't think I'd find anyone similar in such a place like this
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