Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    My sleep wake cycle has become reversed - How to Correct
    EmiJane67 posted:
    A few years ago I stopped working and started staying home working on the Internet. As I was at home and did not have to be any place at any certain time in the morning, I began staying up later and sleeping later in the morning. Over time I slowly and progressively was staying up later and later which caused me to wake up later and later. Now it has gotten out of hand to where I am staying up until around 4:00 a.m. and not getting up until around 4:00 p.m. I would really like to get myself back on a normal sleep/wake cycle. Whenever I make an attempt to correct this I do alright for a time only to slip back. I would very much appreciate suggestions as to how I might correct this situation. Thank you.
    arabianprincess0708 responded:
    well, i am not sure how to fully help you with your problem but i can ofer some suggestions from past experience. You havent mentioned having anychildren so i am going to assume that either you dont or they dont live with you. So, my advice comes from experience as a mom. Infants have a reversed sleep cycle too because of being in the womb. So the best thing for infants is to have thier room bright during the day and shades drawn so its as dark as possible at night. Also, keep them upas much as possible during the day. So my suggestion to you is to go to bed earlyn everynight say 9? 10? Set an alarm 8 hours after that point. In your post it looks like your gettting around 12 hours of sleep, that just isnt healthy all the time. So give yourself 8 hours of sleep and eventhough you dont have anywhere to go in the am, make yourself go somewhere. Go to a coffee shop run your arrends during the day bright and early. I know that you said that you work on the internet that means you should be able to make your own hours work for you. Like an infant being taught day adn night, keep yourself active during the day. try to put your mindset into that of a person who works first shift, like me! I get up when youre going to bed 4am then i am at work by 6am then off at 2pm after that its grocery store making dinner cleaning playing with dolls and watching Disney adn Barbie (over and over and over). I relax a little after they go to bed then try to sleep, maybe. Now i am sure that you have seen my post on here about sleepless in ohio, thats my own personal demons keeping me from sleeping. But i think that if you force yourself into a routine during the day you might just find that your body will adjust to being awake in the day and asleep at night. It takes about a month for an infant to fully get a grip on the schedual, so dont get disscuraged if it takes you a few weeks of very sleepy days to get your body used to being awake during the day. i hope this helps you and i hope you can et yourself back on track with your sleep schedual.
    AnalogDog responded:
    The term for what you're experiencing is called "Phase Delay Syndrome". After working 20 years on graveyard shift, believe me, I had this one with a vengeance! So, I speak from personal experience,as well as a medical person. You're not going to like what I'm going to tell you, but in my experience, it's the ONLY way to keep from slipping back into the old pattern. You've got to get up at the SAME time, EVERY day, 7 days a week. No exceptions. No matter how little you slept the night before. I switched from a night job to a day job, so that was what I had to do. Rough going....lots of times, wouldn't get to sleep til 4:00am, then had to be up by 7:00am.
    But if you STICK with it, (including your days off...30 minutes or so more won't hurt, but no more than that), you WILL eventually get your regular circadian rhythm back. But it will never be as strong as before, which means, if you start slacking, you WILL be back where you are now, in no time. Good luck, and let us know....and it wouldn't hurt to see a sleep doctor as well. They can help. I did it myself.
    JohnH1966 replied to AnalogDog's response:
    I know the feeling of sleep problems. I have sleep apnea. I also think you should see a sleep doctor. A few more things that can cause sleep problems is depression, anxiety and epilepsy. Suggest to the doctor about having a sleep test.
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to AnalogDog's response:
    Thank you, AnalogDog, some tips worth trying.
    EMC26155 replied to arabianprincess0708's response:
    I disagree about how much sleep you get, but maybe I'm just one out of several people that has had brain injuries. I've had 6 or 7 I loose count. Two of these left me completely paralyzed for about an hour then I got lucky and snapped out of it and through it all I was cohearent but could not move or speak (make noise). I also have sleep pareisis where you wake up paralyzed becaue your in REM and awake at the same time (very scary).

    Now if I lived up in the mountians this wouldn't happen.. I believe that everyone's equlibrium needs to be at a certian altitude thus my sleep patterns would change back. I have to have at least ten hours of sleep everyday and when I don't (I live in AZ) I don't function well. Up north I'm happier, wake earlier, seize the day more and just have more drive for living.

    Living in hell, AZ


    Helpful Tips

    Get the right sleep specialist and the right CPAP gear
    I was diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea in 1995. My symptoms were morning headaches, weakness in the legs, irritability, ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    21 of 27 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center