Circadian rhythms are amazing

My streak continues: 5 consecutive nights in which I go to bed, fall asleep, and then at between 2:00 and 2:05 am, my eyes snap open and I’m wide awake the rest of the night, although too tired to get anything done. I’m still kind of impressed at the consistency of this effect of the drug on my system. There’s also a bout of late afternoon/early evening shakes, but that hasn’t been as precisely predictable.

So now I’m being a bad patient and stopping the medication prematurely. I’m kind of curious to see what happens tonight. Does my internal alarm stop going off altogether? Does the clock start to vary? It’s not a great experiment, because the fact that I’m currently so dang tired is a confounding variable, but I do want to see the outcome. Unfortunately, I’d rather not do further experimentation along these lines on myself, so I’m not going to play with the variables any more. Student volunteers? The cat? Nah, that would probably be fatal to me.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Being an insomniac, I have gone long periods having just 2-3 hours of sleep each night, but I have obviously not been in a shape for great cerebral accomplishments during these periods.
    I wish you good luck with the experiment, and hope the pain will not get unendurable.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Experimental subjects: I know about a guy in Florida who is currently unemployed.

  3. stroppy says

    Huh. That happens to me no drugs involved. Have to work at putting myself in a calming frame of mind to where I can go back to sleep again. In my case I think part of it is aging, part is probably that my circadian got disrupted years ago and my body is in a kind of rut.

  4. davidc1 says

    I wake up after a hour’s sleep or so .Lively as a cricket ,as my mum used to say. It takes me a couple of hours to get back to sleep ,and once asleep I could sleep the clock around .

  5. brightmoon says

    My latest routine is to watch a post 10 video on YouTube before I go to sleep. . I don’t know why someone cleaning leaves and trash out of backed up street drains is so relaxing but it is . Puts me right to sleep after I watch a few. I occasionally wake up around 2:30am too . I just grab a book and read until I doze off. Usually I get insomnia when I don’t get enough exercise during the day. That one of the reasons I started doing ballet and yoga again at my age .

  6. Snidely W says

    Occasional insomniac here. Any one of the following always work for me. I don’t know if your particular med can override these, but here goes:
    1. Exercise. Aerobic or weights based. Get the big muscles of the legs involved if you can. To the point of getting tired. Any time of the day, but the latter half of the day might be a little more effective.
    2. Stretching. As many parts of the body that you know how to stretch. You can feel it when you’ve had real good stretching. Within about the two hours before retiring (to bed, that is).
    3. Melatonin. The OTC doses are usually more than is needed. I break my 1 mg. pills into quarters. That’s plenty for me. Take 30-60 minutes before you intend to go to bed.

    Inadequate sleep really sucks. Good luck.

  7. deleted says

    As I’m sure you know, stopping Prednisone cold is not recommended since it suppresses your own hormone production and Bad Things can happen.
    Presumably PZ has assessed it’s OK in his case (or is feeling adventurous).
    Anybody who’s been taking it for a while: please reduce dosage gradually so your body adjusts.
    This has been a Public Service Announcement by some random person on the internet.

  8. chesapeake says

    I have been taking zolpidem nightly for 20 years ,since the onset of chronic back pain and it works wonderfully. It also has the,incredible side-effect of eliminating my pain within 60 minutes of taking it for many hours. I take it in divided doses, at midnight and 6 or so am. One dose doesn’t let me sleep long enough. Don’t need pain meds until noon.

  9. steve1 says

    I have been on the Prednisone train. I hate it. The side effects I have experienced included. Increased appetite with associated weight gain.
    Moon face. Roid rage, getting angry at things that normally wouldn’t get you angry. Cataracts, this is a possible side effect and I got one. My doctor just tried to put me back on Prednisone. I refused. My treatment is being changed now something I wanted. I know be careful of what you wish for.