How do you get tired after programming?!?

Hi there,

I’m rather new to programming (I started studying at university again one year ago. Before that I was a musician…) and with increasing frequency I find myself in the position of “getting into the flow” of programming - especially in the late evening. And when I want to go to bed my mind just keeps on buzzing and working and I’m just too awake to sleep.
While I kind of do enjoy that realy productive state, come next morning I’m just really tired-out and good for nothing.

So, I wanted to ask those of you that know that feeling: How do you cope? Do you have any advice on how to get the mind to shut up and sleep?!

Since this is quite a new phenomenon for me in that special way, I’m rather helpless at this and would really appreciate any ideas you might have. I already tried meditation music, going for a walk and reading but so far, nothing helps…

Thank you for your help,

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Hi Veronika,

Like you I find the evenings and early hours of the morning ideal for coding, I tend to start off initially a bit tired after a long day but then I hit a point where I’m active and in the zone that will easily take me into the early hours. Once I start goung thiugh I tend to find its hard to stop and revel in having a quite house/environment to work in.

I’m not sure how you could make yourself switch-off so to speak, maybe setting a deadline/time limit which incorporates say another half an hour at the end to do something. Perhaps you slump into your favourite cosy chair with some warm milk, or read a little, but something easy to read, some fiction rather than something “thinky”. Could also be worth having five minutes after the coding before the half an hour to just brain dump all the ideas and thoughts about what you have been working on on to a piece of paper, letting go of them until the following day so that your brain doea keep saying to you “and dont forget to update that method” and so on.

From attending a Moving on Group (occupation focused) some months back there were a lot of people there that expressed concerns regarding sleeping, it was suggested that staying up later wont necessarily make you more tired for the next day to sleep better, but getting up earlier each day could help. I am in a bit of a unique position at the moment which has meant I personally havent tried it however I can see how it could work.

I hope some of the above is of use or perhaps gives you some more ideas of your own.

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Hello Veronika, I usually start programming at the evenings and stop doing that around 1:00am, in order to shut my mind I always do something to entertain myself before sleeping, such as watching TV, listening to music, playing games and etc. It helps me to relax and to sleep better


I agree with Joao on this. It’s best to know when to stop yourself and “switch-off” so to speak. What someone told me was that things like watching TV, going on the Internet and so on make the brain more busy than say, reading a book so the best idea is if you want to head to bed, give yourself a cut-off time so let the brain slow-down and make your sleep come easier.


Thank you all so much for your thoughts on the matter :slight_smile:
I guess I’ll just have to go on trying - and maybe buy some really boring books or audiobooks ^^
The getting up early part isn’t really the problem. I couldn’t even sleep in if I wanted :-/
Well this term I have some instructors with really deep and soothing voices - if nothing else helps, I’ just have to start sleeping in class :wink: (nah… I won’t do that… but I’m gonna want to really badly…)

Anyhow, thanks again!


Hey Veronika,

I’ve had this for a long time since I started programming and sometimes I would have it even before then from other things. It can keep me up 2-5 hours at night after I’ve gone to bed. I’ve found the only way I can unwind is to watch a show on Netflix with an easy narrative. That is currently Star Trek: Enterprise for me. Anything easy to watch that doesn’t make you think too hard; where at the end of the show all the disasters they were having turn out fine.

Now I go out like a light. I imagine different things work for different people, so it might be worth experimenting.

Hope this helps,
Dana Kauta


Not sure if I’m too late to give advice xD but as a few people said, the best thing would probably be set a time limit an hour or so before bed, and then doing something mindless in that hour like playing videogames or watching tv! :slight_smile: Though it can be stressful not being able to fall asleep because you’re mind is focused on your work, I gotta say, it’s a very good sign :smiley: means you’re truly inspired/really enjoy what you’re working on. Occasionally when I can’t fall asleep, I get up and continue working on my project until I’m so tired that I just pass out the second my head hits the pillow xP though sometimes when one does that, they can wake up the next day and realize they haven’t done the best work (due to being over-worked). None-the-less, it gets it out the system.

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@Zii Very good point and yes, this has happened to me where I started doing it a few hours before bed, but found I couldn’t tear myself away from my programming and soon enough I’ve been doing it for many hours every day. That being said I’d not been too good recently as I had a MASSIVE set back (lost my computer, lost my files, developed sciatica (Partial slipped disk) so I couldn’t sit at the PC for an extended time and another stresser being, I’m under risk of redundency, but if anything the last bit might be a motivator!) however I think part of it is I want to take on drawing courses, but I should focus on the programming and when I’m free start on the drawing training.

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