The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

Attempting A "Fix" For My DSPS

by Lindsay

I was diagnosed last week with DSPS. Since then I've been taking Melatonin at night and using light therapy in the morning. At first it was simple and I got a euphoria from it. Then my body settled down and I became "normal" ....Today I can't wake up, I've napped twice in the past two days. Today I woke at 8:30 with my light and still needed to nap from 10:30 - noon. I'm very angry and in a bad mood. I want so badly to stay up late and sleep in, almost like an addiction.

My normal time for bed is btwn midnight and 2am, and I wake around 10:30. I work shifts, so when I'm days, I have to wake at 6:45. I set 4 alarms in order to get me up. I feel that I not only have a delay, but I also require more sleep than some people (10hrs seems good for me). I wonder if I can't fiddle with my therapy, so I use melatonin & light on day shifts, and then stay up and sleep in the next day when I can. Doctor told me I should maintain a set wake up time, but it can get under my skin sometimes!!! At first it was so great that I had so much time to do things, now I'm just like "ugh, I have NOTHING left to do," so I just sit here when I could be sleeping!!

There's not enough information on this disorder online. Everything says the same thing. I joined a forum, but nobody has posted there in almost a year!! Today I just feel like I'm losing my mind and want to crawl back to bed! It's been rainy and overcast for a few days now, and I tried using my light a little longer today with no effect. I wish I could find info on what happens to your body while you try to set the clock back. B/C this past week has been a damn roller coaster!

Comments for Attempting A "Fix" For My DSPS

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 09, 2010
I know where you're coming from
by: Mike G

Hey, I'm s college student and I just realized that there is an actual condition called DSPS like a month ago. I have yet to get diagnosed, but as I am writing this it is 7:05 in the morning; usually around the time i fall asleep. I usually sleep until around 3-4 PM. Somehow i have managed to maintain my grades, but lately its been a lot worse...

I can actually stay up all night, all day the next day and STILL have trouble falling asleep the next night. I'm going to get it officially diagnosed soon, but from the looks of the stuff on this website I've already tried everything. People always used to call me lazy; to this day i still feel guilty when i sleep in particularly late, a reflex from when I used to get yelled at by my parents for not going to school and sleeping all day.

Dec 11, 2010
At Last!
by: Bill

I just now found this information on Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and now I know I'm not losing my mind! I have suffered all my life with this and, at age 58, I feel like an invalid.

The ONLY way I can get a restful night's sleep is to take Ambien. Melatonin is somewhat helpful. It has been suggested to me that there "must be an underlying psychological issue" but there is none. Fortunately, I've been self employed most of my life and have managed to cope (somewhat) with this disorder but am being forced to change careers now and the thought of "regular hours" absolutely gives me a panic attack.

I am going to forward this information to my doctor in hopes that he will read it. I am happy just to find that my problem has a name and is recognized by someone.


Jan 03, 2011
Feeling Your Pain
by: Bill


Believe me, I feel your pain. I am turning 59 next month and I've apparently suffered with this all my life. My only salvation is that I've been self employed all this time but that is about to be history and the thought of having a "real" job where I must get up at a regular time scares the hell outta me!

I can't get a decent night's sleep unless I take an ambien and not sure how much longer I'll be able to get that refilled. Probably have had a total of maybe 8 hours sleep in the last three nights. I will admit that I do have plenty of stress in my life and everyone keeps telling me how much better I'll sleep if I can ever get rid of that stress, but I am skeptical.

Wish some others would come forward with some help.


Jan 19, 2011
by: Anonymous

It turns out I am not lazy after all. I am 35 and for years have suffereed from not being able to sleep before 5am. My whole family has the same problem and I always thought it must be pretty normal. However, I have now realised it is a recognised condition. I want to be able to sleep at midnight like my husband and be ablt to enjoy the hours of sunlight awake rather than being awake all night and sleep all day. It is currently 8.30 am and I still haven´t been to sleep. I have decided to stay awake all day and see if I can sleep tonight. Maybe I can trick my body. I am so glad I have found some information on this subject. I am miss out on so much because of my sleep patterns and it affects my relationship with my husband as I can never sleep or wake at the same time as him. Please tell me there is a solution

Mar 13, 2011
40 years of DSPS & Major Depression
by: Brian M

Wow, Like most of you, I have just discovered that the syndrome exists! I have been fighting it, concurrent with major depressive disorder (MDD) since grade 8. Both started at the same time! Took me 11 years to complete a 4 year professional degree. And only achieved that by being diagnosed and treated for MDD at the beginning of the last semester. Managed a successful career for 18 years, married, 3 kids...then lost it all when I couldn't manage the MDD anymore. If only I had known about the DSPS, in hindsight, I would have worked a night career instead. None of the 3 psychiatrists and 2 psychologists I have consulted with over the last month knew anything about it! And I always bring it up as an issue. They all dismiss it and some say "just practice good sleep hygiene"! So frustrating. From what I have read on DSPS, it seems that it is best not to fight it. There goes whats left of my career.On the positive side, I also just discovered that there is a new antidepressant, the first that targets melatonin receptors, and apparently it is usefull for both MDD and DSPS! Available in Europe, Australia and the US. But not in Canada until 2012! Go figure.

Mar 16, 2011
Everyone thinks it's in our heads!
by: Lindsay

It gets very annoying! If I don't get proper sleep, my Depression gets much much worse! And...if I don't use my light therapy in the morning, ESPECIALLY in Winter, I suffer massive SAD. It's hard to fight depression all your life (For me, it was before I was even 10yrs old), and then grow up and find out it might have been sleeping habits to blame for MOST of your depression. If I get my sleep, and use my light, I'm cheery as cheery can be! Without it, I'm crying about everything!! Work suffers, relationships suffer...As soon as I start taking care of myself again, I'm fine!

I suggest taking Vitamin D also. My doctor recommended 1000mg a day. I actually take 2000mg. Plus I take 3 B12 tablets for energy, and get monthly shots.

I have been able to go to bed earlier these days. Tho it's only when bored. If I'm actually being stimulated by tv or internet, I can stay up til about 2am before getting tired. But if I notice I'm getting moody or feeling off, then I have a quiet night, where I drink tea, and relax, and then I make sure I take Melatonin and go to bed early.

Once you start to treat ur DSPS, I'm sure you'll start to feel MDD dissipate!

May 30, 2011
by: Anonymous

Its amazing reading all of this, I have just found out that I have this disorder also. Having a 2 year old boy is so hard with this condition. I am up early but groggy and find it extremely hard, yet no matter how early I get up, I cant get to sleep until 3 or 4 in the morning. I clean, cook, do homework, housework and catch up with friends at my house during the night. During the day I find it hard to do anything, I watch tv, read books to my son. I wish I could do more, I feel guilty and I always promise that I will take him to the park the next day but I have no energy. I would have thought I had chronic fatique except that during the night I am a busy bee! Im glad I am not alone and am going to start treating this condition!

May 30, 2011
news for veterans on DSPS
by: Bill

I had an appointment at the VA Hospital recently and carried with me documentation about DSPS thinking I would enlighten them about it (seems the only sleep disorder they seemed to know about was sleep apnea). But I was shocked to discover that the doctor was already aware of DSPS and had their own "treatment" for it which basically consists of a chart where you systematically delay the time you go to bed each night by one hour until you've changed your biological clock. I can't say it is practical at all but at least they knew about DSPS.

May 30, 2011
news for veterans on DSPS
by: Bill

I had an appointment at the VA Hospital recently and carried with me documentation about DSPS thinking I would enlighten them about it (seems the only sleep disorder they seemed to know about was sleep apnea). But I was shocked to discover that the doctor was already aware of DSPS and had their own "treatment" for it which basically consists of a chart where you systematically delay the time you go to bed each night by one hour until you've changed your biological clock. I can't say it is practical at all but at least they knew about DSPS.

Aug 10, 2011
marijuana works
by: Anonymous

Marijuana has almost eliminated my disorder. All those prescription drugs made me fall asleep earlier but the next day i would wake up feeling extremely tired and without energy.If you live in a state were medical marijuana is legal you should try it. it might just work for you as it worked for me

Aug 19, 2011
I Work Nights at Home for Myself
by: The Anonymous Gal

I work online as a cam girl. If you want more info on this TheAnonymousGal on Yahoo is my screen name. I make my own hours and work until about 6 AM. My natural time to sleep is between 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM. I have had severe DSPS since I was a young child. I simply cannot work a 9-5 job.

Feb 07, 2012
Thank you & Brian M - are you there? NEW
by: Naïssa

I've been reading all your comments all night and I feel soooo much better! I am finally beginning to realise (although I have been diagnosed with this thing for 3 months now, after having it all my life and actively suffering from it for 7 years to the point that I almost have lost everything) that I am not crazy, not lazy, not weak... After reading all your difficult stories I realise that DSPS is really something horrible.
This is the first night in years that I have not tried to fight this thing and try to sleep... and I feel great! At night I feel alive, alert, happy...
Do you all have that too?
And that waking up is hell? That sleeping is an addiction?
@Brian M - in your comment you write about a antidepressant that you help combat DSPS. Do you by chance know the name of it? I'm from Europe and it is 2012, so it should be available on the market? :-)

Jan 05, 2013
sounds a lot like me, maybe i have DSPS? NEW
by: insomnigirl

Wow, my sleep cycles are very similar to yours, but i don't have light therapy. My mind races at night, even when i'm very tired. I like to sleep late and wake up late, and I miss a big chunk of my day for it. When i wake up, 6 am at the latest for school, it's terrible. I'm not a morning person, I embrace my sleep, but i can't sleep earlier because my body just isn't ready. I also had trouble sleeping even after 2 days of staying awake!
I too take melatonin but after a while my body gets used to it, so i have to stop and take it another day. It just doesnt have the same affect on day 10 as it does on day 1. My general doctor said when he prescribed it that your body shouldn't get used to it, but i guess he doesn't take melatonin.
I've had sleeping problems all my life, maybe i should see a doctor that deals with sleep.

Feb 04, 2013
You're not disaplined enough.. NEW
by: James

Of course its gonna be hard, you're trying to change the habit of a lifetime. Listen to your doctor and wake up at the set wake time, never sleep late. If you keep waking up at the set wake time, no matter how sleep deprived you are, your brain will realise that it'll have go to sleep earlier to compensate for the sleep loss. These things take time.

Feb 16, 2013
Dsps NEW
by: Anna

Suffering from DSPS for 10 years now... completely ruined all my plans, caree perspectives etc... Nothing helps.. Have side effects from melatonin (frogy head, depressive mood), so cant take it. The only things what helped for few days were adaptogens (leusea, rhodila). MY problem is that first i can't wake up early than 2pm, and i need at least 10 hours of sleep..
Also suffer from adrenal exhaustion and chronic headaches. I'm only 28 but feel that my face looks older than it should..
Everybody think that i am lazy adn passive. I'm so tired from this fight...

Sep 04, 2014
James, r u just here to preach? Also, hx. NEW
by: Old and Very Owlish!

The comment by James... are you just here to preach, or do you actually have this condition? People with DPSD can't FUNCTION in the AM. Doesn't matter if your body is walking around; you are essentially dead.

Well, after a lifetime of this condition (first noticed when I was preteen, but erratic sleep before that, too), I am faithfully taking my Melatonin, as well as dimming lights-- which helps "a little". It did manage to help me get up mid- morning-- a big improvement from sleeping until supper-time-- when I first took it. After that, Melatonin worked less and less. I am probably habituated, so need to figure out a better way to take it? I have tried lower doses, but that doesn't work. I usually take around 2-3 mg. However, I am now going to bed around 6 AM. I take it in divided doses, at night. If you can take it all at once and crash, that's best; however, if you need to get up again to "get ready to go to bed", that's a disaster. So the divided doses then become necessary. Actually, that's how the monks and nuns used to sleep (in two nighttime phases), so the idea itself of divided sleep times can be appealing.

The extended release stuff doesn't work for me, either. Just makes me sick.

I am now trying to take it an hour earlier than I was (10 PM as opposed to 11 PM); and need to do things earlier to prepare for bed, though difficult (if one is getting up in the afternoon, how can one go to bed that much earlier?) As for getting up really early and hoping that your body will reset itself-- forget it. You just end up tired, and still go to bed late!

Also, the idea of gradually going to bed later until you come 'round to the right spot wreaks havoc on one's body. I tried it twice; gave up. It did nothing but confuse things for me even more.

Haven't had that much success with light-boxes, either (though I use one, occasionally; migraines make it difficult for me.)

Well, glad to find this spot, and good luck to you all with DPSD, however you deal with it!

Dec 02, 2014
47 year old NEW
by: Anonymous


I too have dsps, had it all my life.
I've gotten no relief from any of the treatments.
I am thinking of making a batch of marijuana oil and trying it. I hope it works.
I feel all your pain.
I wish us all the best of luck with this.

Dec 02, 2014
47 year old NEW
by: Anonymous


I too have dsps, had it all my life.
I've gotten no relief from any of the treatments.
I am thinking of making a batch of marijuana oil and trying it. I hope it works.
I feel all your pain.
I wish us all the best of luck with this.

Dec 02, 2014
Well, finally! NEW
by: Old/Owlish

Not to many comments on here, eh? Glad "Anonymous" finally posted.

MJ OIL... not familiar with that. Though MJ in general, in whatever form... well, wish it were legal at least MEDICINALLY, in all US States.

Update: I am now taking a tad more Melatonin (about 3.50-- 4mg.) I am able most nights to do a bi-phasic sleep schedule. I am still not going to bed as EARLY as I would like, but if I can knock myself out earlier- enough with Melatonin for the first phase, I can take also get up a bit earlier (early afternoon, as opposed to supper- time). Also, if I take enough Melatonin, I can take less Ambien.

Whatever works, eh? My Holiday Wishes to all you Sleep Disordered (or should I say, "Differently Rhythmed" ?) people out there!

Feb 11, 2015
DSPS comes & goes NEW
by: Anonymous

Now convinced of the importance of sleep for health I work at it by taking melatonin and getting early sunshine outdoors. My pattern is often sleep two hours at a time and then get up and make chamomile tea. I put it next to the bed so I can breathe the aroma and sometimes I drink it. I listen to BBC on the radio as quietly as possible and drift off.
Ways I contribute to DSPS: eat a large amount of almonds in the evening, eat a large amount of fruit like berries or otherwise try to overcome my feelings of being tired because I still want to do things. Every Sunday I stay up an hour or two later than usual to watch Masterpiece on PBS and maybe a drama after that. That can set off a pattern where I don't sleep all night until 4 AM and despite being very tired on Monday I still can't sleep when I go to bed Tuesday. I'm thinking of changing my usual bedtime to later since I don't have to get up early.

Feb 20, 2015
I "cured" my DSPS NEW
by: Anonymous

Medical marijuana changed my life. Nowadays, I'm asleep by midnight at the very latest (and with rare and explainable exception) and I'm up by 7:30. I do not know if it will work with everyone but I suffered from DSPS all my life.

I'll be 50 in a few months and got a prescription for medical marijuana for arthritis in 2013 but found that it "cured" the DSPS for me. At present, DSPS is not a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in my state and, to my knowledge, it's not a qualifying condition in any state in the US but it should be in my opinion!

I posted on this thread years ago and a few times a year, I get a message saying someone else has posted so I thought I'd add this update in the thread.

Best wishes everyone suffering from this "invisible disease". I know I still have it and will for the rest of my life. I still have to dim my screens and wear blu blocking glasses at night and do all the same sleep hygiene I have had to do for decades even with the medical marijuana if I want to sleep well.

May 07, 2015
schook kids and dsps NEW
by: vicky

Hi there,

it is winter and my dsps has returned. I try and try to keep awake during the day but fall asleep anywhere and then feel hopeless. I have school going young kids and I am supposed to drop them at school and pick them up but it is so dangerous for me to drive to their school or even take the bus that my husband has to do it and leave work etc which is affecting his work. I just wish I can control myself from sleeping during the day so i can sleep at night. Feeling hopeless...what to do?

Oct 30, 2015
Destroying my life NEW
by: Anonymous

Perhaps it would be a bad thing to say this, but I am really glad to know there are people like me! Thanks for all your support! I know very well how hard to live with this condition.

Dec 15, 2015
I'm tired and I have had enough! NEW
by: Chantel

Hi I'm 13 and I have been dealing with the same thing as you, I haven't been able to get to sleep till 2-3 in the morning and normally I will wake up at 11-12 but sometimes I will wake up at 8am. I have just done my ballet concert which would take all day just to reherse and as soon as I get home and go to bed I am not tired just exhausted and this has been making me very depressed because I haven't been able to go to sleep. I am going to talk to my mum today and see if I can see a sleep specialist though. At the moment it is now 1:25am and still no hope of going to sleep😞

Dec 15, 2015
New FDA drug, and update NEW
by: Old/Owlish

I will pray for you, Chantel. That's rough to have this disorder so young! I guess you've been checked out by doctor? Or, you will be, soon?

As for me, I am worried because I've needed to increase my Melatonin dose (10-14 mg. per night) (in divided doses). I know it's not addicting, but my stress has also been thru the roof, the past year or so. Still, it bothers me.

There is new drug, just approved by FDA, called Belsomra: It works as the others do, but also shuts down the "wake" receptor, "Orexin". I am hoping for script, as the other ones now barely work for me. On the other hand, I'll have to stop taking other meds and maybe Melatonin, as it may be overkill...

Good luck to all on here, and Happy Holidays!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Thoughts On Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

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

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.