Living with Non-24 can feel like you’re always working the night shift. It is a real struggle, but we’ve collected some tips and tricks for living well with Non-24 from our support group: Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder Support Group.
Use your “schedule send” function in gmail, that way you can catch up on emails at whatever time and have them delivered at a “normal” time. Read the How To here. The “Snooze function” is excellent when you are to tired to deal with an email, but don’t want to forget about it.
Schedule Send also works for text messages. On Samsung in messages there is a little plus, like you’d use for adding a picture or attachment. One of the choices in there is Schedule Message.
Do It Later –> an app that will allow you to write scheduled texts, emails, and other things
The Work-Out Struggle
- I go hiking whatever the time. The forest is spooky at night, but you get used to it – Irina
- Walking the dog.
I used to borrow my neighbor’s dog when I took walks after dark, for that very reason. They were glad to let me give their dog an extra walk, and I was glad for the security of having a dog with me, as a woman walking alone at night – Renee
- I run the stairs in my apartment building when I need to exercise at night – Chava
- Lift weights
- I go running and do calisthenics at a nearby park. I prefer jogging at night when everyone else is asleep; it’s so peaceful. When I’m awake during the day I actually find I exercise less – Andrew
- I lift weights and do meditation at home. That is part of my “wake up routine” the first hour or so I am awake no matter what time – André
- I walk/jog and do archery. I don’t change what I do based on light. I just use artificial light / a head lamp – Liberty
- I do Kundalini Yoga at home, and just sing the mantras silently to avoid waking up the neighbors – Lena
Cats are fantastic pets for us. They love to spend the night with you as they are naturally nocturnal, but have no problems at all with your changing rhythm.
If you cannot afford to own a cat, fostering a cat is a good option. When you foster you don’t have to pay those unexpected medical bills and other expenses. So if you are poor but would love to spend time with a cat, this is a good option. Its also a great way to contribute to your community and to cat welfare.
The Sleep Specialist
A tip I give people is to always search specifically for a sleep specialist who advertises themselves as specializing in circadian rhythm disorders. If they don’t have that listed then it’s very likely you will be a novelty for them. Maybe even their first n24 patient. The second tip is know exactly what you want out of the appointment and ask for it. Be assertive and tell them exactly what you want and when you want it. — Raj
Keeping the Romance Alive
One day a week I get up with my partner, no matter what. We make a day of it, and do couple things. We eat breakfast together, and go hiking or swimming or biking, and it often ends up at a restaurant later. This has helped our relationship, because as you probably have felt N24 can make it difficult to have time together – Lena
Tips for avoiding negative thinking in bed
- I listen to true crime podcasts to fall asleep these days. There’s a lot of sleep story podcasts though which are fairly boring stories that don’t keep you awake but keep your mind out of itself. – Nicole
- I turn on some angry johnny or another dark band which melts the negative away. Anxiety on the other hand, or stress, I puzzle over neutral ideas. Explore the universe. – Jesse
- I read a book I have read before. – Lynn
- Guided meditation/hypnosis audio – Sarah
- If you can’t sleep, then don’t lie in bed. Do something other than trying to sleep, if you’re on a schedule that won’t let you sleep during the night. – Floriane
If you need to sleep with headphones but like to sleep on your side, get a neck pillow. — Indie Gee
If you want to go high tech pick up a pair of SleepPhones or WU-MINGLU Bluetooth Headband Sleep Headphones.