How to Get Yourself to Go to Bed At a Decent Hour


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15 Responses

  1. Phil says:

    Thanks for this post… I’ve been having the exact same struggle for years. The lack of sleep is taking its toll on my health now. I need to do something, and I WILL do something. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Eric says:

    Phil, thanks for the feedback.

  3. DerekP says:

    Great post – I’ve been going through this exact same situation for quite a while, with this past week being especially rough – haven’t been able to go to sleep before 2am, having to get up at 6:30. The exact same reasons as well; it is a trade off between personal time and sleep. Mine tends to be mostly computer work/gaming (I’m a computer technician).

    I’ve tried different techniques, but for me it is like a mental struggle between my day and night selves. After a couple weeks, night self gets used to whatever is being used and ignores it, then day self has to try something new.

    I do have one suggestion for those like myself who stay up mainly on the computer. Schedule a task to shut down the computer. Alternately, you could schedule yourself a reminder to go to sleep.

    This also makes a great alarm clock if you keep music on your computer. Much nicer than waking up to beeping.

    See for help on how to do it.

  4. Eric says:

    Derek, great idea. Thats a very interesting technique. I would sort of do a similar thing with my laptop. I would take it to the den and leave the power cord upstairs. I have about an hour and a half until the thing goes into hibernate mode. But sometimes I would go back up and plug it in and then stay up late again.

  5. I find for me that the reason I stay up late is because I have to much on my plate or I do a bad job of not wasting time during the day. I often meander around tasks, instead of attacking them and getting them finished. Then at night I feel like I need to do some things before I do to bed.

    Also when I am stressed, I want to stay up late. It is a coping mechanism that only exacerbates the stress.

    I personally find that examining as derek mentioned, my day self, I can identify a lot of changes that can affect bed time.

  6. David says:

    Wow…..I thought I was crazy by not being able to go to bed. Certainly like the contract idea……will do. Wonderful stuff. Cheers….David

  7. Clare says:

    Thank you for suggesting a new approach. The usual sleep advice doesnt really tackle this issue. I dont exactky know why my ‘night self’ chooses to ignore what I know deep down is best for me, but I think holding myself more accountable (and not blaming others!) is a good start. Many thanks, I will try it.

  8. Garratt says:

    Well it’s 2:03 AM and I found this site containing individuals like unto myself, who can’t sleep at night due to so called free time needs away from the kids. Wow, there is a run on sentence. Anyway, I am an at home father who does a great job (self proclaimed) raising my three boys except for when I am to bloody tired to function. Well that’s like all the time now. My wife works 6 days a week and I need free time at night to be balanced don’t I? I I also need sleep. Here’s my solution starting Monday; gym time will be my free time. This way I hope to wind down for bed, get adaquate sleep, have more energy, look better, and play hard with my three little hell raisers. Okay, that’s my therapy writing for the night. Gym days are coming.

  9. sam says:

    i stay up late reading this!!!!!!

  10. Carl says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one out here battling this problem. I was once in the military and had to be on the job at 7:30 a.m. every morning, and several jobs after that required arriving at 7:30 a.m. I have been self employed for a number of years and have slowly digressed into staying up way too late. This causes me to get started late and it seems to be a never ending problem, with such a simple solution – I just can’t go to bed early no matter how hard I try. Maybe I’m just insane :)

  11. Mark Rimmer says:

    Eric & all who have posted – this is great – I too thought I was the only crazy person who couldn’t even get himself to bed.

    I find myself trying to find reasons & excuses or people to blame other than myself!

    I’m going to try the contract – written on a mini white board in the kitchen for all the family to help hold me to it. I will also set the PC to shutdown at 11:30…Mark.

  12. lyn says:

    It’s nice to hear that other people suffer from this problem too (not that i want others to suffer!). Thanks for the tips. I’m gonna try the contract and shutdown tomorrow!

  13. JDD says:

    Thanks for this post. I did want to mention that not everyone who goes to bed late does so willingly. There are neurological conditions that can also affect sleep in very similar ways (e.g., delayed sleep phase syndrome, a circadian rhythm disorder). If you’re choosing to go to bed late, that’s one thing. But if any of your readers actually can’t go to bed earlier but otherwise get good sleep, it might be prudent to talk with a sleep specialist. Thanks!

  1. August 6, 2007

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