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    Thread: 4 am wake sleep schedule

    1. #1
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      4 am wake sleep schedule

      Backstory: I am a 26 year old male who works in the emergency services doing 10-12 hour BLS medical transports. My typical shifts start at 5 am but I have to be awake at 4 am to eat a quick breakfast, slam a cup of coffee, and commute into work. When I first started I use to be able to go to sleep as late as 11:30 pm and wake feeling sorta refreshed. However, after 2 years of this, I am starting to get worn down by the early waking routine.

      Problem: I have recently been trying to go to sleep before 9 pm the night-before in order to get adequate sleep - I end up rolling around and staying completely awake until around 11:30 anyways.

      Question: Is there any way to get into a proper 4 am wake sleep schedule or is that just too early for the circadian rhythms to sink? I am thinking about starting to take a nootropic sleep stack in order to assist with me falling asleep this early. Any other tips or helpful hints you guys can provide for extremely early wake cycles. I think it'd be pretty badass to feel super refreshed waking up at 4 am and being able to work a full work day not feeling that disgusting and headache inducing exhaustion. I really hate the feeling. It's like being spun out on amphetamines.
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      gab
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      My shifts start at 4:30 am, so I'm getting up at 3:20, to leave home by 4:15am.

      I aim to go to sleep at 8 pm, but I am allowing myself to stay up till 9 pm if I don't feel sleepy by 8. I thought I will have hard time going to bed that early, especially if I don't feel particularly sleepy or there is something good on TV. So maybe 1-2 a week I allow myself to go to bed past 9 pm and I don't get upset at myself for it. The thing is, I love my work, and I love going there, even if I am not a morning person at all. But I believe that this mindset is helping me to go to bed so early, knowing that it's for my job.

      Other than that, I try to avoid coffee after noon, and not take a nap too late, or not take it at all. Give yourself enough time to wind down before bed. It sounds like your job could be quite intense and stressful. Try to shut down TV and computer couple hours before bed, so it's easier to fall asleep.

      Not sure if I helped you at all. I know, when you not sleepy, you not sleepy. Sometimes I just toss and turn as well, until I get up, watch some ore TV before I'm finally able to fall asleep.

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      Thank you for the encouragement and advice gab. I know I need to plan some wind down time before I hit the sack. Sometimes I use the internet right until the moment I climb into bed ,and this probably results in my wakefulness.

      I really want to feel better when waking up and not only then but throughout the day. It'd help ease the stress level I undertake from the job.

      On a personal note, I am trying to get re-involved in school and try to work my way out of this current career. I don't mind it at the moment but EMS is definitely a burnout job. I don't meet too many old medics that aren't completely frustrated with life.
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      Here is another idea. I wish I could follow this advice myself, haha. It's meditating. It doesn't have to me "professional level". Just enough to slow the mind down. Since thinking about my previous day and worries about next are most like what keeps me personally awake.

      Good luck with finding another job. It's not fun spending most of our lives doing something we don't enjoy, for one reason or another.

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      How much exercise do you get throughout the day? Back when I was in the Army and stationed at Ft. Bragg I had to show up at 5:30 a.m. for PT, which actually meant I had to be there at 5:15 at the latest or face some kind of punitive measure (everything was that way). It required me to wake up around 4:35 a.m. every morning and to take off by 4:45 or 4:50. Honestly I hated it, but I had absolutely no trouble going to bed at night at an early enough time. Usually I was asleep around 7:30-9:00 p.m. and it only took me about 10-20 minutes to fall asleep. Only reason I'd be up later is if we weren't allowed to leave until like 10pm or later for some reason.

      Now, granted, I could go to sleep within 10-15 minutes at any point I wanted throughout the day, and often I took 10-20 minute naps whenever I could. As long as we weren't in the field for some reason sleep deprivation wasn't really a factor necessarily (it was a major factor otherwise), but I'm pretty sure the sheer amount of physical activity I was doing on a daily basis was what allowed me to sleep like that. All my adult life before being in the military I had trouble getting to sleep, and for 2 or 3 years after getting out of the military I had a really, really screwed up sleep schedule. The only thing that really changed was having a rigid sleep schedule and the amount of physical activity I was doing on a daily basis.

      I still haven't been exercising like I should be, but even just forcing a very stringent sleep schedule (waking up and especially going to bed at the same time every day) has helped me immensely. It's what got me from staying up 36-48 hours and sleeping 12-16 hours (or 4-6 hours if I was constrained to a work schedule) on average when I first got out of the military. I couldn't believe how much just being disciplined about that helped. I'll admit, though, that it took me about 2 months to start getting decent results and another month or two before it became entirely natural.

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