Early to bed support thread! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 09-25-2008, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Who wants to join me in trying to turn off the lights earlier?



My current bedtime goal is lights out at 9:30pm. (Last night I didn't even come close to meeting my goal: lights out at 11:20pm.)

My motivations are my health and my sanity; both have been suffering from my longstanding bad habit of staying up into the wee hours. I recently re-read Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival, which inspired me to try again to go to bed earlier.

So far it's been hard to stay asleep during the night on my new schedule. I seem to have an hour or two of insomnia in the middle of the night.

Anyone else?
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#2 of 51 Old 09-25-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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I'm in. I fell of the wagon of good bedtimes recently.

And have you tried adding a couple of TBS of honey before bed to help you get through the night? This summer when I switched to an earlier bedtime that really helped. It increases natural melatonin production as long as there's no supplemental light in the room. Did I mention that in the other thread already? Can't remember.

OK, so the challenge for me is balancing my need for "me time". But if I stay up too late, everything goes screwy, so it's really not worth it. But I still just crave some solitude.

I'm also addicted to election coverage right now. That doesn't help.

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#3 of 51 Old 09-25-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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I really need to do this considering I've been sleep deprived my entire life. I used to function fine, but it's made me downright stupid (and really unhealthy) as I age!

I'm wondering if it will be easier to graduate my bedtimes: prior to midnight for a while, then prior to 11:00, etc. Or is it easier to go straight for 10:30?
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#4 of 51 Old 09-25-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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I'll join you! I used to go to sleep between 9-10PM before moving from the Southeast to the West Coast.
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#5 of 51 Old 09-26-2008, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night I got the lights out at 11pm. What about everybody else?

mbravebird, I ate about a teaspoon of honey on buttered toast before bed, and it really did seem to help with sleeping better! Thanks! How does honey do that? Does it have to be honey or will anything sweet do the trick?

Is solitude a possibility in the early morning? That’s my plan: to have some “me” time at dawn or just before dawn--but first i gotta go to sleep early enough to get up that early. (Or maybe first I should just start getting up at dawn?)

dbsam, I’m not sure which is easier, gradually making bedtime earlier and earlier or just going cold turkey early. I read somewhere that an easy way to go to sleep a lot earlier is to just stay up all night the night before, but maybe that’s not very practical.

Recently I’ve hung up a few layers of dark curtains over each of the two windows in our bedroom, and I love the total darkness in the room. (I live in the city, so before there was a lot of orange streetlamp light pouring into the room.)

Good luck to everybody tonight!
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#6 of 51 Old 09-26-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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I've been debating joining this thread for days. I have a bad feeling I'm going to out myself by posting to it at, say, 11pm.

I'd like to have lights out by about 9:30 each night. For me, it's for my adrenal fatigue--I _really_ need to get more sleep so that I make progress getting better. But the willpower part is hard. But besides me, I know that when I stay up late, it encourages my husband to stay up even later and he needs more sleep than he's getting too. So I just need to buckle down and do it. Last year when I was really hard-core about my early bedtime, I could see progress (so I stopped ).
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#7 of 51 Old 09-26-2008, 12:16 PM
 
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I slept so much last night!!

We were out until 9:15 and came home exhausted. We left everything a mess and decided to go to bed with the kids. (I w/h normally done things around the house and gotten my nightly burst of energy around 10 or 10:30.) My husband slept with my son and I slept w/my daughter - I lucked out there since my son moves and kicks so much I w/h been up half the night. I cannot believe how much I slept - but I am so tired now. Maybe I got too much sleep? I was out before 10:00. One of the dogs woke me at 3:30 and I was up several times the next two hours - a truck outside, my husband getting ready for work, a short time on MDC, etc.. I fell back asleep and couldn't wake up even when the kids woke up. I moved to the couch and slept until 9:00 while they played. Maybe I caught up on years of sleep deprivation!!

Tonight I am aiming for 10:00 or 10:30 again.

I've always said my natural internal clock is to stay up late (around 1:00 or 1:30 am) and sleep late. Unfortunately life doesn't work on that schedule. It's just taken me 40+ years to admit it and try sleeping like 'normal' people!
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#8 of 51 Old 09-26-2008, 01:24 PM
 
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I need to be here...My husband loves to stay up late but I just cant do it anymore. I have a lot of trouble sleeping though and it takes me about an hour or so to fall asleep when in bed. My goal is to be in bed by 8pm and we asleep by 9pm tonight I should add my oldest is up at 5:30am for the day and is autisitc so I need all the energy I can get
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#9 of 51 Old 09-26-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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I have a lot of trouble sleeping though and it takes me about an hour or so to fall asleep when in bed.
I need to take melatonin to sleep. I had horrible sleep issues, both falling asleep and then waking later. I love my melatonin--though I also know what my health problems are and that, eventually, I'll be able to taper off.
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#10 of 51 Old 09-27-2008, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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11:20pm last night........... Well, it’s better than my old bedtime of 1:30am.

How many hours do other people leave between finishing supper and going to sleep?

I was too full last night from supper to want to go to sleep.
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#11 of 51 Old 09-27-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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I was so proud of myself that I got to bed at 10:30 last night, even with the debates on!

I am shooting for between 9:30 and 10:00 regularly, though.

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mbravebird, I ate about a teaspoon of honey on buttered toast before bed, and it really did seem to help with sleeping better! Thanks! How does honey do that? Does it have to be honey or will anything sweet do the trick?
The honey stimulates insulin release, which stimulates tryptophan, which stimulates seratonin production, which converts into melatonin as long as you don't have any artificial light in the room. The ideal amount to take, supposedly, is between one and two TBS, so you could actually increase and perhaps see more benefit. I find it hard to just take that much off the spoon -- I just swallow it in a lump with water, like a pill.

I have just been using the honey occasionally, when I am late going to bed and know I need to get really high-quality sleep. I think my body gives me good sleep naturally when I go to bed early, but not so much when I go to bed late.

And melatonin is a potent cancer-preventer as well, so going to bed early and getting melatonin-rich sleep is really a kind thing to do for ourselves. Sleeping during the light hours just doesn't do the same thing.

Rayo de sol, do you actually have the book Lights Out: Sugar, Sleep, and Survival? I've only read portions of it online, on googlebooks. Do you think you want to post particularly interesting or inspiring parts from it? I would love that.

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#12 of 51 Old 09-27-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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I'm in! We usually go to bed around ten. I want it to be 9, but there are shows on i really like that start at 9 I am currently taking rx for sleep among other yucky things I'd love to just eat honey and stay asleep all night! I have early waking problems and If I get up or try to go back to sleep w/o getting at least 8-9 hours, I am exhausted and a bear, even before rx. comments welcome. I'd love to have total darkness, but dp gets up 3-4 times a night due to crohn's so I'd have to wear a mask. bought one, I have giant papillary conjunctivitis, which as far as I know is not something you can get rid of, just manage and after wearing a mask I could hardly open my eyes for a few days *sigh* Haven't researched the gpc lately, I'll do that, but I just needed to whine a little first

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#13 of 51 Old 09-27-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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I did awful last night. I looked on this thread at 12:30 and noticed none of you were on MDC

I had great intentions but decided to run to the grocery store late, do one more load of laundry, etc...next thing I knew it was close to 1:00. In addition I was up at 3:30 with a dog, 5:30 with my husband, then 6:00 with the kids. Tonight I am planning on lights out at 10:00!!
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#14 of 51 Old 09-27-2008, 10:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
The honey stimulates insulin release, which stimulates tryptophan, which stimulates seratonin production, which converts into melatonin as long as you don't have any artificial light in the room. The ideal amount to take, supposedly, is between one and two TBS, so you could actually increase and perhaps see more benefit.
This is very interesting. I'm going to try it - and I love big gobs of honey off the spoon! (As kids we used to take a spoonful a night, not sure why, and I would beg for more.)
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#15 of 51 Old 09-27-2008, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
The honey stimulates insulin release, which stimulates tryptophan, which stimulates seratonin production, which converts into melatonin as long as you don't have any artificial light in the room.

So, wait--does it have to be honey? (I mean, I like honey, but I dunno about every night.) All carbohydrates stimulate insulin release, so maybe I could just eat a few grapes or something?


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Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
Rayo de sol, do you actually have the book Lights Out: Sugar, Sleep, and Survival?

I do have a copy of Lights Out from the library. I can’t decide whether to buy the book because, frankly, it’s pretty poorly written. There are a few nuggets of gold found within the book, but most of it is pretty off the wall. I just haven’t come across any other book yet that explores what effect staying awake at night has on human health.

Basically the author, T.S. Wiley, says that humans are killing ourselves by staying up late with our artificial lights, that we’re meant to go to sleep with the setting sun like most other animals, and that we should sleep more in the winter than in the summer. She recommends a minimum of 9.5 hours of sleep per night to stay healthy--and up to 14 hours of sleep per night in the winter. She says that staying up late is the cause of the main diseases that kill humans: heart disease and cancer.

She also says that we should only really eat carbohydrates during the summer and fall--when fruits and such would have been available to our ancestors. She says that staying up late in the winter while being exposed to the light from our TVs and computers makes our bodies think that it’s still summer, so that makes us crave sweets--because she says we would have been gorging on fruits and starches in late summer in order to pack on the 20 pounds of extra fat we needed to survive the winter.


Uh-oh! I'd better get ready for bed!
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#16 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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Okay, seeing this thread on the top page is a good reminder that I need to finish up what I need to finish up and then to go bed (Central time zone).

Quote:
How many hours do other people leave between finishing supper and going to sleep?
I'd like to have dinner ready by 6pm but often it's 6:30 or 7pm when we start eating. I do okay with that and then being ready to sleep by 9 or 9:30, and lately I've actually had a really tired spell around 8:15 or 8:30 when we put the kids to bed, but if I don't jump on that, I get a second wind (or I start reading too much on MDC) and stay up late.
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#17 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 05:08 AM
 
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I really would like to do this. I say this as i am writing at 1204am in the morning. it is so hard to get me time and even harder to get computer time (which unfortunately is where i feel i get a lot of great information). i get stuck in not wanting to go to bed before my husband though he would definitely benefit and most likely follow my lead if i did it much. i would like to get to bed earlier and have more time in the morning for myself, but the kids seem to have to nurse right at the time i want to get up and if i dont nurse them then they are up and then my ALONE time is gone. i just want to go to bed early and get up early but still have an hour or two before the kids join me.. i would ideally like to be in bed by 9 or 930. i also have the tv dilema and my dh doesnt make it any simpler with the tv. i guess i have to get past the feeling like i am missing out if i go to bed before him. boy i just realized that that is the typical bedtime issues for children. hmmm....
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#18 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to have dinner ready by 6pm but often it's 6:30 or 7pm when we start eating. I do okay with that and then being ready to sleep by 9 or 9:30,
We’ve been finishing up supper at around 7:30 or 8pm, but then I’m still too full to lie down at 10pm. We eat TF--meat, veggies, sometimes whole grains or potatoes, and lately fruit because apples and grapes are in season now.
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#19 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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We’ve been finishing up supper at around 7:30 or 8pm, but then I’m still too full to lie down at 10pm. We eat TF--meat, veggies, sometimes whole grains or potatoes, and lately fruit because apples and grapes are in season now.
Reading your response made me think... well, dinner often is a bit hectic and I don't always eat til I'm full, so I eat dinner II just before bed... and I realized I think I sleep better with a bit of food in my stomach. So I'm really no help.
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#20 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We got the lights out at 10:50pm last night, but then I had a 2 hour bout of insomnia in the middle of the night. (Maybe the honey works better than fruit....)
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#21 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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oops, way out of the norm, I've been up until 12:30 2 nights this week! I usually make it by 11 at the latest. I've been way sleeping in too. I think it's stress b/c dp has some significant test results tomorrow - hoping for no big deal, but it's a brain MRI yikes!
Also, we eat dinner at about 5 or 6 so the kids have time to eat before bath, & bedtime routine like reading together

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#22 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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This link has lots of info (and expensive stuff to buy - but mostly veeery interesting information) about sleep, artificial light, and melatonin:

www.lowbluelights.com
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#23 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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This link has lots of info (and expensive stuff to buy - but mostly veeery interesting information) about sleep, artificial light, and melatonin:

www.lowbluelights.com
I wish I could get dp to agree to this, We are always arguing about how much light - he likes everything lit up bright and I believe in using low lights at night plus night vision at night!

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#24 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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So, wait--does it have to be honey? (I mean, I like honey, but I dunno about every night.) All carbohydrates stimulate insulin release, so maybe I could just eat a few grapes or something?
I don't know the nitty-gritty of the biochemical details, but supposedly honey's the stuff. Here's the thread that follows a bunch of us trying it for sleep help/weight loss, which has a lot of good links:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=932971

and here's a page of honey science that might answer your question better --
http://www.prohoneyandhealth.com/custom.aspx?id=11

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#25 of 51 Old 09-28-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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This link has lots of info (and expensive stuff to buy - but mostly veeery interesting information) about sleep, artificial light, and melatonin:

www.lowbluelights.com
This is a great link -- thanks!

Now, I've heard from the honey thread that even your skin can tell the presence of artificial light/blue light, so that glasses would help but not take care of it entirely. They have apparently been able to stop melatonin production just by shining a light behind someone's knee.

Apparently the threshold for light that affects melatonin production is about 5 lumens. But apparently even low lights from artificial sources can be that bright, despite the fact that they look low. Coincidentally, 5 lumens is about what moonlight measures...

I replaced one of the lightbulbs in our bedroom with a red bulb (which you can buy at Lowe's for a few bucks), so that if I need the light I can turn it on without disrupting ds's melatonin. Apparently red lights allow increased melatonin over regular lights by about 70%.

All of this is referenced in the honey thread I linked above -- such interesting stuff.

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#26 of 51 Old 09-29-2008, 04:04 AM
 
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So I totally failed tonight (it's 1am Central time). I was really tired when the kids went to bed but I was an idiot and stayed up on the computer, and by the time I decided I really _should_ go to sleep, I can't. Wish I could learn from my mistakes. Hope y'all are sleeping well now (assuming everyone is Western hemisphere).
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#27 of 51 Old 09-29-2008, 04:17 AM
 
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So I totally failed tonight (it's 1am Central time). I was really tired when the kids went to bed but I was an idiot and stayed up on the computer, and by the time I decided I really _should_ go to sleep, I can't. Wish I could learn from my mistakes. Hope y'all are sleeping well now (assuming everyone is Western hemisphere).
I'm failing too - also Central time
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#28 of 51 Old 09-29-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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it is so hard to get me time and even harder to get computer time (which unfortunately is where i feel i get a lot of great information). i get stuck in not wanting to go to bed before my husband though he would definitely benefit and most likely follow my lead if i did it much... i guess i have to get past the feeling like i am missing out if i go to bed before him. boy i just realized that that is the typical bedtime issues for children. hmmm....
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaLopez
So I totally failed tonight (it's 1am Central time). I was really tired when the kids went to bed but I was an idiot and stayed up on the computer, and by the time I decided I really _should_ go to sleep, I can't. Wish I could learn from my mistakes. Hope y'all are sleeping well now (assuming everyone is Western hemisphere).
This is the same kind of stuff that happens to me. It's challenging!

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#29 of 51 Old 09-29-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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i'm in! my goal is 9:30. i'm generally pretty good about it but its easy to slip to 10 and occasionally i stay up till 11.. the problem is that once ds is asleep i slip out and get a few things done or start reading and i get so much more done in half the time!
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#30 of 51 Old 10-01-2008, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How’s everybody doing?

We did 10:45pm, 11:15pm, and 10:50pm the last three nights. But I slept horribly for two of the nights (lots of stress) and had headaches during the day.


Thanks, mbravebird! Sorry for all my pesky honey questions. I read some of The Hibernation Diet thread, and I get it now. I tried honey again last night--dissolved it in hot mint tea, yum!--and I slept much better than usual, but had a really intense happy yet sad dream about my late kitty-cat.

I’m also fascinated by the study done where they shone a light on someone’s knee and thereby halted melatonin! Good idea to get a red light bulb. Maybe I could read by the red light before bed so I can “cheat” on the sun’s schedule a little.


I can relate to everyone who has been staying up late. T.S. Wiley says that light is addictive, and I think she’s right because I can feel the pull of the light and the computer at night. There’s something about the glow...like staring at the campfire.

For years I’ve stayed up super late at night, but lately my health just seems worse and worse off to the point that it has become intolerable.
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