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My sleep cycle has inverted, so I'm up most of the night and sleep much of the day. What's the least painful way for me to get back on track?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 07/09/2018 at 12:57am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
January 11th, 2015 6:02am
The least painful way is to spend a weekend adjusting your sleep schedule. Regardless of how awake you feel, choose a time that you would like to go to naturally feel sleepy, for example, 9PM. Go through a bedtime routine (drink some Sleepytime tea, change into PJs, brush your teeth, etc.) and go to bed. Do not turn on your computer or check your phone, but reading some fiction would be alright. Even if you do not get a lot of sleep, force yourself to get up at a reasonable morning hour, such as 8 or 9 AM. Drink some black tea or coffee and go through a morning routine. Do not go back to sleep. Try to stay active and productive all day. When it gets close to your chosen bedtime, do your night routine over again and go to bed. If you continue to do bedtime routines and habits, your body will learn to adjust it's sleeping schedule. The repetition of your habits will help you adjust to a healthy sleeping cycle.
September 26th, 2015 5:11am
Since your sleep cycle has inverted (you are up most of the night and sleep most of the day), the least painful way to get back on track is to schedule an extra long sleep. After you wake up, just stay around in bed. Either that, or you could stay up an extra "day."
July 3rd, 2018 11:08pm
There's no other way than total instant dedication. Take a few days to turn it around and be really determined. Try to stay away from caffeine late at night or sweets and sleeping pills. The human body is designed to sleep when it's night and be productive at day. If you reverse it you'll find yourself being extremely low in energy and mood will plummet. The natural way is better and the least painful so just getting up in the morning earlier each day until you get the sleeping pattern you wanted.
April 24th, 2015 12:42pm
My first suggestion to reset your body clock would be to limit any caffeine intake. Your body will also respond to light - so when you are starting to think about going to sleep, dim the lights, and set your body up for sleep. Melatonin, "the hormone of darkness", is released naturally to help you sleep when you let your body relax and succumb to dim lighting. The reverse, for the morning! Bask in the sun, or turn on some bright lights in the morning, and your body will get its cues from that! Another good way to wake up the body is exercise - if the heart is pumping fast, the blood is moving, and then the brain is working! I personally also find it helpful to read about 40 minutes before i want to go to sleep, but others might find listening to soft music or having a hot bath relaxing. I also try to limit my 'screen time' (computers, TV, iphone, etc) right before i go to bed if i want to get a good sleep and fall asleep "on time".
May 16th, 2016 10:02am
To not sleep over one day, get so tired and try to resist sleeping until night so you can start a new cycle again.
May 31st, 2015 10:32pm
each day, go to sleep half an hour earlier, and wake up half an hour earlier than you normally would. eventually, over the space of a month, your sleep cycle should revert back to normal. After that, just try and go to sleep at about 10:30 and wake up a 7 as this will give you a good nights rest, reducing your need to nap during the day :)
July 9th, 2018 12:57am
The least painful way to get back into a normal sleep schedule is to slowly push your sleep cycle back a couple hours a day. Moving the time you go to sleep back about 2 hours a night until you are back to normal is probably the best way to get back on track without staying up for 24 hours.
November 30th, 2015 6:54pm
It may take a couple of days but try to stay up till the next day until 8-10pm and continue this for the coming days.
July 4th, 2017 1:00am
Here are some couples of ways. 1. Naturally reset your sleep cycle by not eating for during the 12 hrs period before you want to be awake. When you start eating again, your body clock will be reset to its 'new day' 2. Try not to sleep in the day. Go out for some sunlight. Keep your morning bright, and your room at night dark and quiet. This will help to kick in the mood for sleeping. 3. Work out, but try to keep it at least 4hrs before your 'bedtime' 4. Diet. Try not to have heavy meals just before you sleep. 4. Be consistent. Try not to sleep in during the weekends. It might be tough, but it helps. =)
November 9th, 2015 4:52pm
I too had this problem. One best way to solve it is get working on something big during the day. So that it would take most of your energy away and by the night you would be completely exhausted and crash out. And then you would have a good night's sleep, and remember to.put an alarm in the morning to go back to workk and slog out again. Doinj this for at least 2-3 weeks can change your sleep cycle.
December 14th, 2015 9:12pm
try and stay awake for as long as you can past the time you normally go to bed and keep doing so, for longer and longer until you are back on track.
July 26th, 2016 4:45pm
When I can't sleep at night I try to read a book or listen to ASMR videos :) Take it one step a day just to sleep earlier each day.
November 13th, 2017 9:45pm
Try melatonin. Its a vitamin for sleep. It works very well for me and I have to get up for work at 3 am, so I need good sleep.