Internal Clock

I have the weirdest internal clock, people. It is set for me to be awake at night and sleep during the day. I have done all I could to re-set it but the success has been minimal. No matter how sleepy and tired I might feel all day long, at 10 pm, I magically come wide awake. And stay on full alert at least until 5 am. It’s been like this for years and years.

It doesn’t bother me a whole lot because I don’t have the kind of job where I need to be at work at 8 am every day. I’m just curious why this happens. Might the reason be that I emigrated from one continent to another and still live in the time-zone where I was born? If you also emigrated with a significant time-zone change (six, seven hours), do you have a problem with your circadian rhythm?

Other than this, my internal clock is very good. I can always tell exactly what time it is, with the precision of about 5 minutes, even after I wake up. It’s just this annoying nightly wakefulness that bugs me.

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15 comments on “Internal Clock

  1. Yes, my problem is not that I stay awake until 5 am. It is that i go on and off on my sleep the whole night since 7 pm until next 6 am. We are not getting any younger!

  2. That’s pretty normal actually. Different people naturally get sleepy at different times, so if you become sleepy at 5 am every day, you have a healthy (if slightly unusual) internal clock. Mine tends to work the same in environments with artificial lightning and computer use, but I’ve managed to shift it 4 hours earlier by using only as much artificial light as I need to (desk lamp as opposed to lighting up the whole room), having the lightbulbs I use be as warm-coloured as I can find them and using a program called Redshift to change the colour of the light my computer screens give out depending on the time of the day.

  3. you’re right. i feel better whenever i fix problems especially my connection with the people i communicate best. so, for now, mission accomplished, my internal clock will get in better shape now. have a nice day clarissa.

  4. For about a year I worked at home and kept a nocturnal schedule like yours, but I had to readjust to a normal schedule recently. At a friend’s suggestion I started taking Vitamin D3 in the morning and it worked like a charm. I now fall asleep around 10 PM and wake up at 4 AM. Interesting side-effect: I’m much less hungry, and am losing weight.

  5. I know of two ways to change this. One, I have tried; the other I have only read about. One way, if your schedule permits it, is to go to bed two or three hours later every night until you rotate your sleep cycle where you want it. The other way is to take melatonin. Melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement in 3 mg capsules. In my experience, this is about ten times too much. A tiny bit from an opened capsule works wonders. I take it only to correct “jet lag” when I cross several time zones, at the time I want to go to sleep. Doing it one day seem to be sufficient, so I still have most of a bottle that I bought more than 15 years ago.

    • Yep, melatonin is great. The whole light tricks I mentioned are geared to allow the body to secrete its own in the quantity it would without bright electric lighting. I need the full 3 mg sublingually to do any serious sleep schedule change, though. Guess people have wildly variable sensitivities to it. However, I think Clarissa doesn’t take any pill unless she absolutely has to, so I believe we’re just idly speculating on this subject ;).

  6. Using a computer later into the evening stimulates your nervous system. If you have problems sleeping stop using it several hours before you go to sleep.

    • What happens every night is the following: I go to bed at about midnight and stay there with my eyes closed. Until 5 am, I stay there with my eyes closed but wide awake. So it isn’t the computer’s fault.

      • I think one of the problems is that it is very dark and quite around here. I find it easier to sleep when there are trucks streaming by and the street is lit up. I will see how I sleep in Madrid where we will be staying on the busiest thoroughfare in the city!

      • If you are on the computer until midnight, the computer could very well be part of the problem. It probably isnt the only thing but the studies do show that it affects our nervous system in regards to our sleep patterns.

  7. I don’t consider it a problem. I have been this way since birth. I can of course get up and live by day, and I don’t have trouble sleeping, but at night I have color in my cheeks and everything and I am at peak energy/productivity. Once again, my mother swears this is from birth. I liked rock and roll, wanted my parents to spin disks starting at sunset, until they got too tired.

  8. I’m the same way. I don’t get ANY energy until at least 9. If I could, I’d plan all my cleaning, errands, and thinking tasks after that time. I’ve tried every trick to reset my clock, but this is just how I am. It’s normal for some people no matter where they live, though pretty difficult to plan a normal life around!

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