Why is it so hard to fall asleep, and so hard to wake up?


I am wondering why it is so hard for me to fall asleep and also so hard to wake up in the morning. Granted, I am not a morning person, but even if I get 11 or 12 hours of sleep, I still find it hard to wake up in the morning. I suppose this may be a medical issue specific to myself, but in general -besides “morning people” - it seems many people find it hard to get up in the morning (as the old song goes “Oh, how I hate to get up in the morning”) Assuming that one has gotten their healthy “8 hours” of shut eye, shouldn’t they feel rested and ready to go? Or, is our culture’s 9-5 schedule out of whack with the body’s clock?

Any explanations appreciated.



Not to pry, but how old are you? A quick Google search confirms my recollection that doctors think teens may be on a different sleep cycle than older people. Try searching “circadian rhythm” on Google for a little more info regardless.



Yes, the 9 - 5 routine is only in sync with a plurality - which means that most of us would feel more comfortable with a different schedule.

But –

11 or 12 hours of sleep and you’re still banging the snooze button?

I do think it’s a terrible thing that most of us begin the day with a pre-programmed machine scaring the crap out of us (i.e. alarm clocks), but I’d be doing you no favors if I didn’t tell you that the SDMB isn’t the best place to look for help with this. Especially if this is a recent development, you should be asking an MD for the straight dope. For one thing, that could be a symptom of depresssion.
Share more details here if you want, but better still I would urge you to explain your situation to your doctor if you suddenly are having a hard time waking up after you’ve slept for more than 12 hrs.

Wow, nice to know I’m not the only person who has trouble falling asleep, and feels the need for twelve to fourteen hours of sleep.

I’ve been wanting to ask about this as well. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been constantly tired.

Let’s say, for ease of calculation, that I (a 25-year-old male) need 8 hours of sleep. Monday, I get up at 6.30 am. Since I didn’t fall asleep at 10.30 pm, I’m tired since I didn’t get my 8 hours of sleep. No problem there.

But then, Monday night, I go to bed at 9 pm since I’m so godawful tired. And simply cannot fall asleep. I’m not lying there brooding or anything, I just will not go to sleep. In fact, I do not fall asleep until well after midnight. So, when I get up at 6.30 am Tuesday morning, I’m still tired. And so it goes on. Endlessly.

Since I’m giving my body a chance to fall asleep whenever it wishes, by going to bed early, shouldn’t my rhythm logically adapt to whatever is best for me? Shouldn’t my body adapt to getting up at 6.30 am, so that I naturally wake up at 6.30 am? I understand why the people who just won’t go to bed until 1 in the morning are tired, but why am I?

The thing is, that this happens on weekends too. I go to bed when I feel like it Friday evening, often around 2 or 3 am. Then I wake up at maybe 7 in the morning and wish I could sleep some more. But I can’t.

This has been going on for as long as I can remember. I’ve basically been constantlly tired since I was 7. It’s been the same in three different homes with two different sleeping partners, as well as when I’m alone. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to suspect that maybe not everyone feels this way and maybe this isn’t normal. Once, last year, I somehow managed to sleep for 14 hours straight and when I woke up I felt so different I couldn’t even identify what I was feeling. I was rested, alert, for the first time in years.

So, why doesn’t my rhythm adapt? I go to bed early, my body should jump at the chance to get its hours of sleep (even if it needs 10 or 12 rather than 8, it should fall asleep when given the opportunity), but it doesn’t. Does everybody feel like this, or is there something wrong with me? Is it treatable?