I'm only sleeping 5 hours a night (down from 8-9 hours). Should I worry?

I’ve never suffered from insomnia and even now I don’t have any problems falling asleep, or even staying asleep. What has changed is that I’m going to sleep late (2-3 am) and waking up early (7 am). It makes no difference whether I drink or not, and I don’t think sleep apnea is the culprit either. It started around 6 months ago. I do feel tired and sleepy during the day, but I wake up excited thinking of the books I’m going to read the plays I’m going to watch. I’m not experiencing more nightmares than usual, but I think there is a part of me that deeply resists going to sleep. What could be happening? Thanks in advance for any input you may have.

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Do you nap during the day?

Yes, for about 1 hour. But often I sleep for less than 5 hours (4 or less).

You could try skipping the nap. It could be messing with your sleep. But 5 at night and one during the day is totally a normal amount of sleep.

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Sometimes the natural sleep cycle can be thrown off. Try going to bed the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, after awhile you will get your sleep cycle back on track.


Yes, but for some reason I’m psychologically resisting the idea of sleeping more, and I don’t understand why.

Why are you afraid of sleep in such that you resist it?

Have you struggled with mania in the past? When I’m starting to get manic, I wake up after 4 hours fully rested and ready for my day, then start to get a bit delirious towards the afternoon, but no matter what I end up having trouble getting to sleep and then waking up totally energetic after 4 hours or so.

5-6 hours of sleep is still a healthy amount of sleep, provided you don’t feel tired during the day, but since you are feeling tired during the day it could be worth talking to a doctor about. Melatonin, valerian root, Benadryl, and Unisom are over the counter sleep aids that are generally safe to take (provided you don’t mix them with alcohol) and you can ask the pharmacist any questions about them. I’m personally allergic to valerian root so I don’t like it, but Mr. Star loves it.

Alcohol dependency can cause sleep disturbances, whether you drank that day or not. If your body has developed a dependency, it won’t matter if you abstain one night. The alcohol will still have altered your brain waves.

I don’t know, maybe fear of death, or maybe because I enjoy feeling awake, stimulated with tv shows late at night. I genuinely don’t know, but it’s never happened to me before. With all this covid, isolation, my ability to always keep myself entertained and not sleeping much these last 6 months are something of a blur to me.

Have you tried cutting out the drug which causes sleeplessness as a direct result of taking it? Caffeine!

Boring, I know, but if I took amphetamine and expected to sleep then I wouldn’t be able to.

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No, never.

I do feel tired during the day, but it’s almost like a narcotic.

I’m not at that stage yet. I’ve drunk more in the past and it never affected my sleep. I don’t have a problem falling asleep or staying asleep, but with wanting to stay awake.

I would maybe get a doctor’s opinion on that. It’s not always about how much you drink, but how often.

Would you say you enjoy being so tired during the day? Like it’s almost like a high you are seeking out?

Maybe, yes. Most days I spend over 23 hours in bed so in a sense is a luxury I can afford.

The main thing my insomnia doctor tells me is to stay out of bed unless I am sleeping or having special Mr. and Mr. Star together time. Your body gets used to certain activities in certain settings. If you spend large amounts of time in bed awake and doing activities, it associates lying in bed with awake activities. If you only use it for sleep, it associates lying in bed with falling asleep.

I will also say my insomnia is much better now that I am being active throughout the day. When I never expend much energy, my body doesn’t feel the need to recharge at the end of the day.