reply to post by Nightflower
Our sleep lab is close to 28 years of focusing mainly on researching this problem and I myself worked there the last 16 years.
We follow Test-Subjects on a tight schedule for the first 6 months (weekly interviews), on a reduced schedule for and additional 18 months (monthly
interviews) and lastly on a follow-up schedule (annual interviews) for as long as they are willing to participate.
The interviews are not only questions, the include nights at our lab and a multitude of bodily tests.
Nearly all people that broke out of the new sleep schedule did so in the first 6 months.
The main reason is that they start to let the times slide. 30 Minutes here, 1 hour there, a "skip-day", "I just don't feel tired yet", …
All our subjects that followed the new schedule for a year stayed on it so far without any problems (Physical, mental, …).
I agree with you that not every person is the same and that there are people out there that have sleep schedules that are out of alignment, but they
are very, very seldom.
It is okay that a lot of people have found a way for themselves to get by, but it is not necessarily the healthiest way out there.
I am not saying that everybody who describes themselves as a nocturnal person is living an unhealthy lifestyle, but without any confirmation on
actually being nocturnal you might be depriving your body from living in an even better state.
I guess it's the same with food.
People know what is considered healthy, but try something else instead.
They might get by pretty well without any problems or limitations but the body is not living to it's full potential or it is slightly deprived of
something that might surface many years later.
Forming a new habit is difficult.
If you don't agree with that ask any smoker that ever tried quitting and they'll tell you that it is actually pretty hard because it's not only the
mind that pushes you in the other direction, in this case your whole body pushes you in the other direction.
The human body I a remarkable thing.
It can adapt to a lot of things over time, even the most bizarre and unhealthy ones without failing. Unfortunately it becomes harder over time to
break something it has done for a long time. And things you have done for a long time become "comfortable" pretty easy.
Kids usually have pretty strict sleep schedules.
Some posts in this threat talked about this already.
They also talked about what they had done when they were in bed and could not sleep.
As I mentioned above most people, especially kids, tend to get up or do other things instead of just staying in bed no matter what.
It sounds like a small thing, but when the body knows "This is the room I'm only in to sleep. This is the bed I'm in only to sleep" than the
appropriate response will come over time.
But as soon as you start to use your bed and/or your bedroom otherwise (Watching TV in the bedroom, Meditating, …) your body will not get that clear
"Time to sleep" signal it needs.
Stress in people's lives in definitely something to consider too, but that would be too much to discuss here at length.
Some people told me that they really enjoy sleeping now, because they feel like they "mastered" it. It's like a skill they finally learned to do
In conclusion I'd like to state that I do not want to say that there are no nocturnal people out there, but I'd like to say that there are very few
even though on the first look it seems like there are a lot of them.
And as mentioned in my previous post I'd like to encourage anyone to try the method described above if they are willing to change their sleep
schedule, but only then.