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Comment author: Spencer_Sleep 13 April 2011 03:17:22AM *  2 points [-]

It trends forward every day, eventually wraps around

This sounds a lot like Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome. The defining symptom for Non-24 is (from Wikipedia) "a chronic steady pattern comprising one- to two-hour daily delays in sleep onset and wake times in an individual living in society". Your delays seem to be longer than 1-2 hours, but it may be a similar problem. I don't know how much you've looked into this, given the impressive extent of your other searches, but it may be something to look into.

Have you tried light therapy? Wikipedia (and this study) recommend it, perhaps in combination with melatonin, as the most effective treatment of Non-24.

Not sure how valid this is, but it might be worth looking into, if you haven't already.

Comment author: pdf23ds 13 April 2011 02:35:10PM 1 point [-]

For a while I thought I had delayed sleep phase syndrome (which is more easily treated with light therapy), and that it's just so severe that the morning sunlight late in my day tends to make it go crazy. It's not quite regular enough for non-24. Or it could be completely irregular.

In any case, light therapy doesn't seems to help at all. I tried it for about a month or two with this and saw no effects. Also, it's a /huge/ inconvenience.

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 12 April 2011 05:19:16PM 3 points [-]

As a starter method, I would try Adaboost. AdaBoost is nice because it is easy to implement, gives some protection against overfitting, and allows you a lot of liberty to define whatever context functions/predictors you want. Try to predict whether a given hour will be sleep or not. Use whatever information like caffeine intake you can as predictors, and use as many of them as you can dream up: AdaBoost will figure out which ones are the most important.

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 07:00:49PM 1 point [-]

Helpful, thanks.

Comment author: Larks 12 April 2011 02:50:49PM 1 point [-]

If you want a model, how about this for a simple but not very good first attempt:

  • markov process, with each state an ordered pair, where the first element is the time you went to sleep, and the second the duration of your sleep.
Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 07:00:14PM 1 point [-]

What I'm wondering with a markov process is whether it could be embellished to include other potentially relevant variables. From 5 minutes reading wikipedia, it seems like I'd have a combinatorial explosion of states, and the more states, the more data needed to train the model.

So I'd have like 48 states, for each half-hour of the day, times 3-4 for 8-11 hours long sleep? Would it work to have ordered pairs where the first item is measured in time since my last awakening?

Comment author: Cyan 12 April 2011 06:31:52PM *  1 point [-]

I notice that the karma on this post has fluctuated a bit. I don't care about the karma per se, but I do care that someone indicated they don't want to see more like this. So I invite any criticism here and now, that I may improve.

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 06:56:36PM 1 point [-]

I have karma display turned off (greasemonkey script). It stresses me out. I think your comment could certainly expand on point 3/4. Really what I was looking for as a response to the post is a good pointer on what sort of algorithms or tools could potentially give me good results on this problem to direct my studying, and perhaps what textbooks or introductions I should be reading.

But point 1 is good. I hadn't thought to do that. I was just going to go on common sense, and a kitchen sink approach.

Comment author: jimrandomh 12 April 2011 03:42:51AM 1 point [-]

Ok, here's what I just did. I looked through that log, collected all the names of pharmaceuticals in there (Klonopin, Vyvanse, Lunesta, Melatonin), and searched each one's wikipedia page for sleep-related effects and side-effects. And I found this:

While benzodiazepines induce sleep, they tend to produce a poorer quality sleep than natural sleep. Benzodiazepines such as clonazepam [Klonopin] suppress REM sleep.

So that's probably a net negative, sleep-wise, although there might still be non-sleep-related reasons to take it.

Wikipedia has this to say about Lunesta:

In the longest, largest phase 3 trial, patients in the Lunesta group reported falling asleep an average of 15 minutes faster and sleeping an average of 37 minutes longer than those in the placebo group. However, on average, Lunesta patients still met criteria for insomnia and reported no clinically meaningful improvement in next-day alertness or functioning.

Vyvanse has insomnia listed as a side effect. It's not clear from the log whether you just used it once, in which case that's unimportant, or for a long time in which case it is. Melatonin is sometimes used as a sleeping aid, but in my experience it's pretty weak. It may be effective against a particular cause of insomnia, but it didn't do much for me and if it didn't do much for you, well, that's not that surprising.

So, the good news is that the reason using drugs to help you sleep hasn't worked is that they're lousy drugs. The next step is to go through the wikipedia page for insomnia, and collect a list of candidate substances. Then read the page for each one, cross off the ones that sound bad (mainly based on side effect risk), and get a list of candidates to try. Bring this list to your physician, let him veto any subset, get prescriptions for any remaining ones that require prescriptions, and then try each one in turn.

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 03:53:42AM 1 point [-]

Vyvanse has insomnia listed as a side effect.

Well, Vyvanse is modified amphetamine, so yeah. I also have serious focus problems. I was only on it for a month or so, and found it ineffective for the same reasons as other stimulants. I think in the sleep log I had just taken an isolated pill I had left.

But your advice is good. Going through the options very thoroughly might turn up something.

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 12 April 2011 03:36:52AM 2 points [-]

Is there some sort of pattern detecting thing ... that could automatically take a time series data and predict the next values based on an unknown, complex model?

There are lots of tools like this. The problem is getting enough clean data. If you don't have enough data, you won't be able to use a complex model without overfitting. If the underlying phenomena (i.e. your sleep cycles) is itself complex, then you won't be able to obtain a good description. On the other hand, it can't hurt to try. How much data do you have?

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 03:44:15AM 2 points [-]

I have six months of past sleep data, though nothing current, with sleep and wake times. I could easily augment that with other potentially relevant variables, like daily caffeine intake or whatnot.

Comment author: jwhendy 12 April 2011 03:31:35AM 2 points [-]

You could ask this guy. I'm saying nothing of the "worthiness" of credentials, just that he's studied and written quite a bit about sleep. Here's an article HERE.

He advocates for biphasic sleep (longer 7-9hr "core" + ~30min nap) and thinks it's how the body prefers to sleep.

Maybe write to him and include your data and see if he can offer you any input? He may very well get contacted by people in your situation and have some information about what helped them? I do know that he advocates for people having trouble to attempt "free running sleep" if possible -- basically sleeping when tired, waking when not. Obviously this is impractical for most, but if your situation allowed for it, you could really give a shot to shutting out distractions and just sleep and keep a log.

Anyway, not much of a help, but I stumbled on his work a bit back and thought I'd at least toss it out as a suggestion. At least contacting him might prove helpful. See his "Apology" link near his contact information. He sounds tough to get a hold of. I'd make it a "provocative" subject line, like "Need serious sleep assistance. 5 mos of data attached."

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 03:41:01AM 2 points [-]

I use Supermemo daily, and have read everything Wozniak has written about sleep. I've talked to him a couple times about other things (1-2 month response time). I may ask him about this.

Comment author: jimrandomh 12 April 2011 03:08:30AM 4 points [-]

Now we're getting somewhere! One thing really jumps out at me in that log:

3-22 back was hurting. need new mattress
4-01 Woke up with horribly aching back. (I blame my bed).
4-02 I hate my mattress.
4-05 got up with aching back. god damn bed.

I see no mention in the log of it having been replaced. That is a big deal. It may not be the entire cause of your sleep problem, but it is at least a very major contributing factor. You need to replace that mattress immediately, or find somewhere else to sleep.

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 03:17:05AM 3 points [-]

It was replaced shortly after, and my back problems promptly dissipated. I had only been sleeping on that mattress for a few weeks at the time, having just thrown away another.

Comment author: jimrandomh 12 April 2011 02:56:34AM 1 point [-]

My sleep is seriously disturbed. ... I find it impossible to wake up at a consistent time every day (+/- 8 hours), despite years of trying, which makes it extremely hard to hold down a job, or do dozens of other normal things. There could be a profession that I could make my sleep work with, but I'm still searching for it.

If it's really that bad, you should use a mild sedative to force yourself to fall asleep at a consistent time.

These don't work for me. The details are boring.

The details may be boring, but they matter a great deal. I believe you when you say you tried using sedatives and it didn't work, but there are a lot of different ones to try and a lot of different ways to use them. Which ones have you tried, and in what way(s) were they unsuitable? Have you actually run out of compounds to try, or did you just get discouraged by a few bad results?

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 03:15:33AM 3 points [-]

I have tried sedatives, melatonin, melatonin-inducing sleeping aids, traditional sleeping aids, and Ambien (whatever that is). Some have no effect, some put me to sleep but leave me unrested, and some put me to sleep and leave me unrested and incredibly groggy for the rest of the day. Generally speaking, trying to shift your sleep schedule by more than 1-2 hours using sleep aids doesn't work. If your circadian rhythm keeps advancing anyway, the results are just like a normal person trying to go to bed at noon using sleep aids.

a lot of different ways to use them

Can you expand on this?

Comment author: jake987722 12 April 2011 02:55:02AM 2 points [-]

How about Modafinil or a similar drug? It is prescribed for narcolepsy. More generally, can I safely assume that "everything" includes having talked to your doctor about how serious these symptoms are?

Comment author: pdf23ds 12 April 2011 03:10:03AM 1 point [-]

I suppose I could shop around for a doctor willing to prescribe modafinil for my sort of sleep problems. I have thought of trying it in the past, but that's pretty far off-label.

"Everything" includes having read all current medical literature, which all says that severe circadian rhythm disorders are basically untreatable, and having one sleep doctor basically give up. I could also try more sleep doctors, I suppose.

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