Importance of falling asleep by 11:00PM

I recently came cross an article about adrenal stress.  It was about how important it is to maintain a good adrenal stress level and rhythm to have quality sleep and get energize during the day.  I’ve talked about the importance of having a good circadian rhythm before, which come from consistent bedtime/wakeup time schedule.  It is also important to wake up with the sun light and sleep after dusk.  (thank god I don’t have to work at night)  For me, adjusting the light exposure amount, such as gradually reducing the room light starting from several hours before the bedtime, is a key to maintain my circadian rhythm. 

The article stresses more on sleeping at the right time.  With typical circadian rhythm, you should sleep by the time where the adrenal hormone is at the lowest, which starts around 11:00pm, in order for the body to be ready to release the enough adrenal hormone by the morning.  This site gives a nice summary of adrenal stress.  The image below from this site is helpful to see the adrenal level released in a day. 

Finally Solved! My problem was Vitamin D!

It’s been a long time since I updated this page.  Well, I recently made a new discovery about myself.  My doctor found that I was actually vitamin D deficient.  Previously I tried to link vitamin B deficiency to my sleep problem, but I never paid attention to vitamin D deficiency.  The interesting part is that after I started taking the prescription level vitamin D, I started waking up more easily in the morning!  How interesting is that!  So the lesson learned here is that you should get checked up for any possible abnormality on your body, even if you may not think that is related to the problems you are having.  Ask your doctor to run complete blood tests for any deficiency.  You should also consult your doctor if you should be tested for hormonal abnormality.  And sometimes you have to push your doctor because some of them do not want to run extra tests unless you are really sick.  Try taking 1000 IU vitamin D every day, which you can get over the counter, and see if that eases your waking up problem.  If you start feeling better with the over the counter vitamin D supplement, that may be a clue that you are vitamin D deficient, and the doctor can tell you if you need the higher dose of vitamin D.  That’s what I needed personally.

One Year Later…

It’s been a year since I started monitoring my sleep schedule. I had ups and downs over the year and sometimes I felt like I was just going circle.  But now I have more experience battling my sleep and waking up issues, and I think I am doing better.  In the last month, I was able to dramatically improve my waking up time with the new methods I tried.  The Results page was updated, so please check it out!

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

The Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) measures your daytime sleepiness. This is a very simple questionnaire about how sleepy you are during the day. My doctor asked me to answer this questionnaire when I saw him. I am not really sleepy as long as I get enough sleep at night, so my result was normal. But this test may be useful for people who have other sleep disorder such as narcolepsy. There are only 8 questions and you assign a number from 0 to 3 to each one, 0 being no chance of dozing and 3 being the highest chance of dozing. Check this wiki for the details. You may be advised to see a sleep specialist from this result. Something you can check for free and it only takes a few minutes.

Pzizz Review

I found a cool product called Pzizz, which helps you to sleep at night or take a nap or relax during the day to increase your energy level. It is a software that plays some sound effects to help you sleep at night or take a nap to energize yourself during the day, and you can export the music to mp3 if you don’t have a PC in your bedroom.  The sound content is basically a guy telling you to relax with some relaxing music in the background, and strangely, the voice doesn’t bother your mind and you feel very relaxed while listening to it. They claim that it is a new kind of insomnia treatment, and from their website, it seems the people who made this product seem to understand how the brain reacts with sound. The site also shows the scientific proof of the effectiveness of their sound effects.

Pzizz lets you set the duration of the sound effect up to 60 minutes, and you can configure to automatically shut down your PC after it’s done. You can also choose the music with or without voice. There are the night mode and the day time nap mode, which you can buy separately and very affordable. You can download a free sample from their website. Try it yourself and see if it works for you.

Nap to ease your sleep disorder

It’s July and my waking up problem is getting worse again lately.  My guess is because the day is longer now and the sun is still up and bright in the evenings, so the melatonin doesn’t get produced in my body in time for my bedtime. I lay down on my bed at night and close my eyes, but I can’t fall asleep. And if I can’t get good sleep, I can’t wake up in the morning.

I recently learned about the effectiveness of nap. There are lots of articles about power nap on websites.  Taking a short nap in the middle of afternoon may not be possible for day workers, but I was surprised to find out that many companies are now starting to set up a nap room for their employees to take a nap.  Many articles say that short naps can ease daytime tardiness.  It can also be helpful for people who can’t get enough sleep at night to function during the daytime. It may be something worthwhile to try if you can.

SleepTracker Review

SleepTracker is a wristwatch to help you wake up in the morning.  It records your movement during the night and alarms at the optimal time to wake up during a time window you set.  I thought this watch was a really great invention, but after I started using it I have a mixed felling about this watch.  It basically detects when you roll over or move your arm while you sleep to determine that you are in a light sleep stage. It’s a very simple idea if you think about it.  It does not read your brain wave or detect different stages of sleep cycles, so the recorded result probably doesn’t mean much to the doctors. When the alarm goes off, I usually hear the beep, but I fall back to sleep right away.  So this watch is probably not enough to wake up the heavy sleepers like me.  If it were a little cheaper, I wouldn’t mind recommending to people to just try it out, but for $180, I am not sure it’s worth it. If you have extra money, try one, but don’t expect it would work for anyone. I personally did not get much benefit from it.

Home remedy for problems waking up

I can’t wake up in the morning! I am one of those people who suffer from a serious waking up problem every day. When I was in high school, I had some classmates who were having the same problem as mine, but they eventually grew out of it. My problem never diminished even after I became a professional. This is a serious problem nobody around me understands. I cannot be a successful professional when I show up late at work. One day, I saw a TV show about why some people have a difficulty waking up, and I learned that it may be a type of sleep disorder. So I started to research on the internet and took a lot of notes, and that’s what you see on this site. I hope this is useful for the people who suffer from the same problem.