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chaseathompson : sleep   44

How do I survive grad school when I can't wake up in the morning?! : DSPD
I talked with a sleep specialist. He said I had a textbook case of DPSD. Here's what he told me to do, along with the what I've found to work for me.

Get the largest dose of melatonin available. 10mg and 5mg are readily available over the counter. I found the fast dissolve kind works best. The body reacts to the derivative of melatonin, not the absolute amount. (Normal people have melatonin levels go up and down, DPSD has a mostly flat curve.)

Take melatonin 3 hours before bedtime. If you normally go to bed at 4am, take it at 1am. You should notice you are tired around 4am and will go to sleep fairly quickly (relative to without melatonin).

After acclimating to the new schedule (2-4wks at least), take the melatonin 30mins earlier. The first few schedule changes went easily for me; after that it required more time to acclimate.

This process will take years to get to anything near normal time. However, in a couple months, I was able to feel "in control" of my sleep and able to go to bed on a less insane schedule. A year ago, I was unable to fall asleep before 4am (and often much later); now, I regularly go to sleep at 2am.

Take a 15-30 minute walk in the afternoon. The sunlight and activity helps keep your circadian rhythm synced.

Be sure to level with your supervisors. Make them treat it as a medical condition because it is --- see a sleep specialist if you need a note.
sleep  dspd 
november 2018 by chaseathompson

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