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How do you nocturnists cope?

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  • How do you nocturnists cope?

    I'm pretty sure I'm a nocturnist. I feel most alert from 10pm to 3am or so and am at my worst around 7am when I have to show up for work. I can get into bed earlier but I won't fall asleep. I've tried sleep preparation rituals like not using electronics or winding down with a novel or some quiet music but nothing seems to work. I'm no teenager so I don't think it's due to my age.

    Anyone else like this? Maybe I just need to find a night job because right now I am dreading waking up tomorrow morning at 6am to go to work.

  • #2
    It's funny, but when I had to get up for a 'normal' job, I needed an alarm, and felt tired every morning.

    Getting up for school, however, and now to sporadic employment, I greet the day with some enthusiasm. I do love the wee hours you mention, but I can take naps if I stay up 'til 3am.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


    • #3
      I am nocturnal too. Normally I would sleep till 10-11am, be most productive starting from 3-5pm till about 10-11pm, then start to slow down and go to sleep at about 1-2am. But as this is not an ideal world, I have learned (mostly thanks to my once job at an airport with shifts starting at any imaginable time - 24h, night shift, early 12h shift, normal 12h shift, weekends, etc. I liked it), so I have learned to get up any time, be it 3 am or 6am - no problem. Now when I have to get up at 6 to walk the dogs and get the kids to school, I am one of the first to show up at the office. If only my employers knew how little is the benefit from this! Before 10am I better don't try to answer any question or solve any problem. Even as simple as my friends asking if they could visit me on weekend. Before 10 I say "No" because I feel so lazy, I can't imagine to have somebody around. Even if its for another day, another time. After 10 I call them back to tell they are welcome, if they still want to come I plan less important tasks for mornings, something that I can just move around without thinking.


      • #4
        I can absolutely commiserate - me, too. I have found, however, that sticking close to Primal has helped regulate me tremendously. And, daily outside sun exposure, even if the day is cloudy, as I tend to live an indoors life if I am not careful - totally bookish, I am.

        In the end, though, I do believe people are wired with somewhat different internal alarm clocks. Yeah, life and conscious retraining can get you experience in dealing with all kinds of schedules, but I have always been happiest on a shifted schedule, too.

        My lifelong best friend (we met in 6th grade and are still going strong in our 40s, even lived together) is my opposite - up at the crack of dawn, turns into a pumpkin at dusk, and is gloriously happy that way.

        Joanie hit on a very important point, though, and I have seen this in my hubby as well, that if you hate your job, that absolutely will heavily impact your nighttime activity, routine, and quality of sleep. So how goes it with the job satisfaction??
        I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


        • #5
          I'm definitely naturally nocturnal- left to my own devices, I will rotate my schedule until I'm 100% nocturnal (sleep all day, stay up all night). That said, I'm not happier that way. I'm happier when I get out in the sunshine. So I basically try to force myself to be diurnal. I have to be, for my job, but on the weekend I refuse to sleep later than noon which is still not great but it allows me to get caught up on sleep that I lost over the week. (We've got a puppy and a geriatric dog, both of whom get me up once to twice a night to go out because neither can hold it long).
          High Weight: 225
          Weight at start of Primal: 189
          Current Weight: 174
          Goal Weight: 130

          Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012


          • #6
            I have a rather mild form of this issue... I wouldn't describe myself as completely nocturnal, but it seems like my natural sleep cycle is just an hour or so off from what would be most convenient for the day-to-day requirements of having a regular job. If I don't set an alarm, I am generally awake and out of bed by 8 a.m. However, 8 is when I need to be *at* work... fiddling with my evening schedule or pre-sleep habits does not seem to be able to modify that. I've always been tempted to try a drastic change and see if toughing it out for a while works, but I always crumple after a few miserable mornings, lol. Perhaps it is time for another try.


            • #7
              My schedule is shifted a little as well, but luckily my work accommodates flexible hours. So, I get up at 4 am (usually after twisting in bed for an hour or so looking at the clock), and start working at 6 am, so I can almost wrap up work by the horrible 2-4 pm window. I am nocturnal in a sense that I get up earlier than most people would. But I wasn't always like this. I used to want to go to bed later, and sleep in. But the older I get, the harder it seems to sleep.
              My Journal:
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


              • #8
                I lucked out and found a job where my schedule is 1-9 PM.


                • #9
                  I hate my job at the moment, but I'm in a training period that should lead to a more fulfilling job in about a year and a half. Hopefully I can move to the other coast then, somewhere with lots of sunshine. I find I'm more active during the day during the summer. A day full of sunshine makes me really sleepy around sundown - I'll sleep for 3 hours, then wake up around midnight and do something for 2 hours, then sleep another few hours before morning. That's the most natural sleep pattern for me. But it gets screwed up in the winter with the short days.


                  • #10
                    It's OK to only sleep from 3-7 am... if you're taking a nap between 6-9 pm or something! Multiphase sleeping is underrated IMO. I feel great at night!