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Asleep 3-4 AM to 11-12 AM If I'm Lucky & Nothing To Do In Morning

by Tom

Wow, I can't believe I didn't see this before. I was surfing Wikipedia this morning when I came across this by accident. It may as well have been written about my life. The guys who have written here before me could be me.

As long as I remember I've worked, read, watched TV, driven around, fished even, you name it, anything but sleep in the wee small hours. Then trying to get up a few hours later for school, work, appointments.

I've had to work twice as hard as everyone I know to shake off the stigma that I'm "lazy". And on top of that thinking in the back of my mind maybe people were correct.
I've drank or taken drugs (roofies and JD one night and still couldn't lie down). I eventually had to become self employed to try and deal with this, and it's still not any easier.

I've been told I was hyperactive when I was a child, and would never sleep. One person who babysat me told me she often held me close to a fire to make me pass out from the heat. All i know is that my first memories were long nights. I'm 38 now.

As it is now I try to work all the hours god sends for a few days, then go to my natural sleep pattern for the next few days, but the last few years its been getting harder to concentrate and focus.

Maybe this is the answer.

Anyway, sorry for the whingefest, I'm tired and rambling a bit and I've another 11 hours before I pass out, but it feels good to be able to say this.

Keep up the good work!!!

From Kevin

Hey Tom, I'm glad you were able to find us man. There definitely is a lack of quality, real information out there right now, stories that can really be related to, about things like Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. I'm trying to change that, in a practical and useful way, and I'm glad you decided to share a bit of your experiences to contribute to that effort.

What you write about shaking off the laziness stigma is particularly poignant to me. When our circadian rhythms and daytime responsibilities don't match up in a way that lets us get the amount of sleep we need, characteristics of ours such as our motivation and energy, as well as other people's perspectives of those characteristics, are bound to suffer. You're right on the money with that one.

The thing we need to keep in mind first and foremost though is that we are in charge, to a significant degree, of the timing of our circadian rhythms. Different people definitely do have different "natural" sleep tendencies (I put "natural" in quotes because it's tough to say how much is inherent and how much is shaped by, say, our environment or childhood sleep patterns), but nevertheless there are measures we can take to effect change on the mechanisms that tell our body when to go to sleep.

Again, I'm really glad you found our article and hope you're able to take some helpful knowledge out of it that will prove useful for you soon. Feel free to keep in touch about it!


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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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