Week of:
Nov 11, 2011

Short sleep + long naps = Healthy?

Hi Alice,

I find that I'm most alert late at night, and at school I'll stay up till three or four in the morning. Since I've had morning classes in the past, I've tried to form a habit of going to bed earlier — around midnight or one — but realistically, I don't think this is ever going to happen. I was thinking of trying, when I go back to school this fall, to go to bed around three or four and sleep for four hours, and then also take a four-hour nap during the day. Is this a good solution, or will I be more tired than if I sleep eight hours straight at night? Thanks!

Insomnia — A disturbing sleep disturbance!

Alice,

I have recurring insomnia which lasts for about eight to twelve days. It seems to begin at about the same time each month. What are the common causes of sleep disturbance? Any suggestions?

— Sleepless

Losing sleep over sleeping pills — Will I become dependent on them?

Dear Alice,

I have been having a really hard time sleeping at night. I do my best to stay on a regular schedule as best as I can and steer clear of caffeine, but nothing seems to be working. I have considered taking sleeping pills, but haven't for fear of becoming dependent on them for sleep at all times. Do you know how addictive they really are or if there are any other methods I could try? Thanks so much.

Stress + coffee + no sleep = ulcer?

(1) Dear Alice,

I have had acid coming up my throat from my stomach for the last 3 weeks. It comes up and just burns my throat. What is it? Do I have an ulcer? By the way, I get 3 hours of sleep a night, and my roommate doesn't help the situation.

signed,

Ulcer

(2) Dear Alice,

I have recently asked you about my would be ulcer. I shall pose the question again. Lately I have this damn acid coming up my throat. I've been under a lot of stress and have strange sleeping habits. I am also drinking a lot of coffee. I drink about 5 cups of coffee a day and my roommate isn't exactly stress relieving. I go to bed about 3:30am and wake up about 5:45am for crew. Am I dying? Do I have an ulcer? What's wrong with me?

Signed,

Deathly Ill

Can't wake up in the winter

Alice,

I have always been a poor "getter-upper" in the mornings, but lately I haven't even awakened when the alarm goes off. I just sleep right through it and wake up at around noon. I have been missing classes regularly and it's very distressing! I haven't been going to bed any later (I go to sleep at around 2:30 or 3 AM and have since the beginning of school and I used to wake up at around ten for my class). I haven't been eating or exercising differently. Could this be a result of the shift in weather or in the clocks? Does it take time for the body to adjust to the new season?

— Sleepyhead