Sleep pattern reversed

Hi everyone. First time posting on here but I've suffered from depression and anxiety for about 8 years now. Been on many different medications and seen many different people but it just seems to get worse even when I dont think that's possible. My main problem is the fact that I can only seem to sleep during the day and not at night. I want to build a life for myself but I feel like a shadow of the person I used to be. I think if I could just sleep at night and not in the day then I could make progress but no matter how much I beg myself to get up I just can't. Does anyone else have this problem?

10 Replies

  • Hello there. Have you recently been on nightshift by any chance? It's not likely that's the cause of your problem but I had to ask. What have you tried to help you get to sleep at night? Why can't you get out of bed in the morning? Is it because you've been awake all night? You've developed a pattern which must be broken.

  • Hi. No night shift work my sleeping pattern just always reverts back to this. Even if I do manage to get up in the morning after little sleep ill get to around 9pm that night and feel wide awake after being shattered the whole day. It's like having constant jet lag. I've tried everything to sort it. Diazepam has no effect on me. I've done everything in the "how to get a good night's sleep" handbook.

  • Hello

    If you take medications at night, take them about thirty mins before bed. Try and go to bed a little later than now. Whatever the situation is always get up at the right time each day, you need to be consistent. The same applies with eating, keep the regular times each day.

    Never eat supper after eight thirty, the body has problems digesting food after that time.

    During the day at tea break and lunchtime take power sleep period of five ten mins before starting work again the fact of closing your eyes can make some people fresher during the day. Some Europeans do this in the afternoon before returning to work later on. The Spanish take these naps.


  • Hi. Thanks for your advice but I've tried all of these things many times. My body won't let me be consistent. I'll sleep right through the loudest alarms. I've regulated my eating, I don't drink caffeine, I've tried having a small nap during the day but it's incredibly impractical as it takes me a couple of hours to get to sleep even if I'm shattered so a supposed ten minute nap takes 5 hours when I inevitably can't wake up. Even if I manage to get a good 8 hours at the right time I wake up absolutely shattered.

  • I think you need to seek out a sleep therapist and have your brainwaves monitored during sleep and while awake. There may be nothing wrong there but it would be a good idea to find out. A doctor is your first port of call.

  • Hi I understand exactly what you are saying as I'm a night owl too. All my life I have fought to go to bed early enough to be able to wake in time to go to work. It's like a square peg in a round hole isn't it? Now I am retired I go to bed around 1/2 am and get up around 9/10 am which is bliss.

    While I was working I became depressed and stopped sleeping properly. It started with waking up every hour or so then graduated to not being able to go to sleep. The only thing that helped me was meds to make me sleep. The doctor wouldn't give me sleeping pills but did give me mirtazapine which is an ad with a sedative effect. This works for me so maybe it would be a good idea to try and get something similar from your gp. x

  • Thanks for your advice. I'll definitely give it a shot!

  • Hello there,

    I have problems with disrupted sleep all the time. I oscillate between two states which is 1: Insomnia, caused by anxiety and unwanted/repetative thoughts, and 2: Oversleeping which is a sympton of depression and causes me to shut down and have no energy.

    Once in a while, between these two states, I may get a normal nights sleep, but this is quite rare.

    I have had medication which has exacerbated one or other of these two states, but the main disruptor is my own mood. When I go into depression all routine goes out the window. I have to say I am spectacularly bad at keeping to a routine, and never really fully left the teenage state which was to stay up late and sleep in late, or stay up late and run on fumes for the next few days.

    Depression (I haven't got a handle on anxiety yet) is something that requires a lot of self-management in addition to any medication or talking therapies.

    When I'm depressed I do everything badly, including eating, maintaining myself/house, keeping appointments, engagements- everything goes out the window. A lot of this is to due with volition, but also because I have gone into a 'fugue' state, never fully conscious or aware of my surroundings or the time of day.

    I'd offer, from experience, that you have to identify your triggers to try to keep in routine as much as possible. Not sleeping sucks, but I can actually cope better on two hours sleep than I can when unable to move because of the heavy tiredness of depression.

    I personally have to watch my sugar intake- a sure sign I'm depressed is that I'm eating junk, if I'm eating at all. I think I'm allergic to exercise, but I've noticed that when I do exercise, I tend to gravitate toward more balanced food, and to have more energy to tackle stuff, due to more alertness.

    I've also had some medications that knocked me out, and others that made me agitated. If you take something that gives you a 'buzz' your not going to be wanting to take that at bedtime. I remember mirtazipine made me dozy, plus one or two others, and I think prozac, citalopram and st. johns wort made me edgy. I can't honestly remember all the meds I've tried, but some also mess with your digestion and can make your body heavy but not your mind. I think the best way to work out the effects is keep a journal and record any changes in doses too. I have a pile of sudokus by the bed for when I can't sleep, and I also get up and drink herbal tea and potter if my brains steaming away for more than a couple of hours. For the depression, I have to get in salads and greens, to wash down the junk I'm eating, and try to tempt myself with simple snack like apple, grapes and cheese. Your blood sugar can play havoc with your energy levels.

    We all know that daylight is vital for your circadian rhythm, but advising someone with depression to go out and drink in the sun is like saying, just go and climb up that tall building there, spidey style, so just do your best and try to sit by a window if you can move, once in a while.

    Also I would say give yourself a break from time to time and watch a comedy, or just scroll through some of those 'my cat is trying to kill me' -type memes ( I love the Oatmeal site), because laughter is exercise too. But seriously, turn off any screens at least an hour before you intend to bed down, and that includes your phone. I think there are some apps that will cut you off after a certain hour/amount of time (and I should really go and download one for myself).

    Also, finally, you should be able to get help with this through your health provider. My ship came in this month, as I finally got my place on a Sleep Clinic therapy group, so ask your GP what provision is available. I hope some of this blathering might be of some use to you? Best wishes.

  • You are brilliant. I will definitely take your advice.

  • I have the same problem. If it weren't for the fact my husband expects me to sleep at night like a normal person, I'd sleep all day. I have to take sleep medication or I just lay there trying unsuccessfully to shut my mind up. For some reason my mind wants to go back and replay all the unhappiness I've had in life just as I lie down at night. It's as though the thoughts are in the background all day and it's only when I'm quiet and still they can be free to torment me!

You may also like...