I have just made a commitment to gather with other people at eight o'clock in the morning, three days a week. The problem is that I've always had a sleep disorder, sometimes not sleeping until I see the sun coming up. Then, I go to sleep and sleep until the early afternoon.

With this sleep profile, what strategies can I use to be able to get to the group by eight in the morning? It will take me from 6:00 AM until 8AM to get up, shower, dress, get my stuff together and get to the group.

Does anyone have any suggestions based on personal experience where these suggestions have been successful?


Hi candid - have you spoken to your doctor as to why you sleep schedule is so off? Do you have trouble staying asleep once you do sleep? Slowly scale back your hours until you get on schedule. You can also try some of the natural sleep aids but ask your doctor 1st in case you're on other medication.

Do you have trouble waking up? If so put your alarm clock across the room and force yourself to get up. Incorporate exercise into your day and preferably a walk during the day when its sunny. The sunlight helps regulate the melatonin production and balance your body clock. Stay away from caffeine or activities which wake up your mind. Good luck.

I've been avoiding saying too much to psychiatrists because I don't want them to overreact to the kinds of things I say when I feel really depressed, angry and frustrated.

I did tell the doctor about the sleeping problem and she added 3gm of bromazepine at night to the 10mg of Valium I was already taking. Once I fall asleep, I can sleep for seven or eight hours, if no one and nothing wakes me up, like the cat's meowing or my then wife's alarm clock.

I sleep right through any alarms on my cellphone, so I bought a timer that can turn on my electric drill at 6AM. This might work for getting up, if I can learn how to program the digital alarm clock.

A friend who is a psychiatrist overseas told me that I need to take lithium, to control my mood swings that go from happy to not wishing I were not alive, all in the course of a day or two.

I went to the psychiatrist's office today and was only able to schedule an appointment for October 5, which is a long way away to me.

I want to start taking lithium, even though it has to be monitored, because I'm willing to try most anything at this point.

I don't drink coffee but read newspaper and blog sites until I can't stay awake anymore, which state of exhaustion usually occurs around 4 or 5:00 PM in the morning. Again, I'll sleep from then until noon, if nothing and nobody wakes me up.

I'm particularly desperate to find a solution, before I have to start getting up at 6:00 AM, next week. Now, I'm exhausted, after getting only four hours of sleep if nothing awakes me.

Do you snore or have sleep apnea? One option is to go for a sleep study, where you stay overnight so they can observe your breathing and sleep state. There must be a reason why you're so hard to wake up. Have you been officially diagnosed with anything - usually lithium is used for bipolar disorder. It's better to exercise and I don't advise staying up late reading since being on the computer activates the brain.

Depression and emotional disorders will cause sleeping problems. You probably have to try a few different medications to determine which one will work best for you. You also need to look into your diet, some foods that we eat, and the time we consume them, can cause sleeping disorders too.

Also, try reading the bible; listening to music that relaxes you; have a cup of herbal tea...sleepy time (no caffeine). These remedies usually work. But most important, you have to somehow change your sleeping schedule because it sounds that you are a late riser in the first place. Did you work late nights at one point in life or did you move to a place that has a different time zone from where you now live? In any event, I wish you all the best in getting the help you need.