‘Force Quit’ Yourself To Get Your Sleep Schedule Back On Track

‘Force Quit’ Yourself To Get Your Sleep Schedule Back On Track

It’s easy enough to decide to go to bed strictly at a certain time, but actually doing it is another story. We often get carried away in the late hours of the night, trying to knock off just a few more things we wanted to do, whether it’s for work or fun. The next day, we’re tired and filled with regret, yet we don’t stop. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start “force quitting” yourself at the end of the day. Here’s how.

Photo by Alberto Zornetta (Shutterstock).

Part of the reason it’s so easy to ignore your set bedtime is that the world around you doesn’t stop. The lights can stay on all night, and so can your computer, television, music player or whatever else. Making things worse, you have few distractions in the evening when stores are closed and people are home in bed. You should be one of those people, but working at night gets very attractive when you have nothing to stop you from focusing on what you want to do. Of course, when regret sets in the next morning, you remember why staying up too late is actually a bad idea. But you have to work through your fatigue, so you do, sometimes with the aid of caffeine, guarana or some other substance, and then you can’t get back to sleep at night. And the cycle continues.

There is no easy fix to a bad sleep schedule, but there is a way to force yourself into one. You have to force quit yourself, or more specifically, make the world around you shut down so your only option is getting to bed at the right time.

Automatically Shutdown Your Computer on a Schedule

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Automatically Shut Off Your Lights

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Schedule An Interruption

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This Won’t Be Easy (at First)

In the beginning this process will be hard. You’ll sit awake in bed, unable to fall asleep. Your mind may be full of thoughts, and you may need to suffer through the boredom of being awake in bed for a little while. Eventually your body will take the cue and you will fall asleep when you want. Just stop with the caffeine (at least after 2pm), don’t take a nap, and suffer through the fatigue until you’re back to normal. It’s unpleasant, but eventually you won’t need to bother force-quitting yourself every night. I used to use this plan way back in high school when I kept falling asleep in class. I told my teachers what I was doing and to shake me if it looked like I was falling asleep. I managed to get things under control in about a week, and now I can tell myself I’m going to stop working at a specific time no matter what, and then I will actually do it. If you decide to give this a shot, I highly recommend setting your force-quit time an hour prior to when you actually need to go to sleep. This way you can plan to do everything you need to do before then and give yourself an hour to do whatever you want before you have to sleep. Good luck and sweet dreams!


  • @johnno Sometimes that’s not an option.
    I work the same roster but 7-7 rather than 6-6. Changing from day to night and back is very hard. Any suggestions?

  • For shiftworkers who sleep during the day, like medical staff, the least you can do is block out all light and sound. Use thick heavy curtains and use eye covers. As for the noises that you can hear, unless you have acoustic insulation you can try sound masking. This technique is used to cover up unpleasant sounds in architectural acoustics. You can use the steady hum of an air conditioner or a rain sound app from your phone to help you feel relaxed and to minimise you hearing outdoor sounds.

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