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2/8/2011: The Day It All Made Sense

by David B.

Hi, my name is David. I'm a 25 year old with a "day job," and today I was diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS).

All my life I've had problems surrounding the issue of sleep, but I have never understood why. I've been called a night owl more times than I can remember, always having "preferred" to stay up late. Waking up in the morning, of course, has always been a great challenge.

I can remember as early as 9 years old being caught reading in my room long after bedtime, and usually into the early morning hours.

I remember a particular morning in the 7th grade when the telephone woke me up. It was the assistant principal calling to inform me that if I didn't get out of bed right away and come to school, he would send an "officer" to pick me up.

High school was the roughest of my younger years, when classes beginning in the first and second periods were virtually unknown to me. Every once in a while I succeeded in showing up for early morning Biology class, but being constantly shaken by a teacher who instructed me to "go to the principal's office" got old quickly, and I decided to forgo the experience.

College was a much-needed relief from the misery, since I could schedule most of my classes between noon and 6pm if I wanted to (and I definitely did want to). When I had to accept a class at 8am, I could easily come home afterward and go back to bed, sleeping until 2 or 3 pm.

Then came graduation and the start of my first "real job," which is where things took a turn for the worse. That was 2 years ago, and my life has been a mess since.

Today, reading about my newly-received diagnosis I cannot help being in a bit of shock at just how well it describes "me." I haven’t felt so vindicated about something since I read the results of my Myers-Briggs test several years ago.

I suppose my only point in all of this is that (like many others, I am sure) it has been a long, hard road for me to now, and after many years of suffering with an unknown condition I am happy just to put a name to what I have. I am happy finally to be able to say, "This isn't my fault."

Kevin: David my friend, welcome back to sanity. You're not crazy, just operating on a different time zone than the one "society" follows, for reasons you now know more about. So glad the light has come, hope the stories on this site are further affirmation for ya, and have fun putting the alertness back into your life!


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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

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