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Can't Work First Shift & Diagnosed With Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

by Kerry McCoy
(Fayetteville, NC)

I thought I was going crazy and so did my family. I didn't know that there was a disorder out there. I didn't sleep at night and I slept late in the mornings to afternoons. I been that way all my life.

I never stayed long on 1st shift jobs. I always applied to 2nd or 3rd shift. Mainly 2nd. I took on a new position which required me to work all three shifts. I could handle 2nd and 3rd hours. But I could not handle 1st shift. It got to a point that I experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, heart fluttering, bad temper and falling asleep at the wheel. Luckily, I went to a sleep professional based out of Virginia and he diagnosed me with the disorder. I transferred back to my previous position which is on 2nd shift. I was doing o.k. but then I started taking my little girl to class in the mornings, which breaks my sleep. So when I drop her off and come back home I go back to sleep but over sleep and become late for work. So it has been a struggle.

Kevin: Thanks for sharing your story Kerry. The main way DSPS gets us is when the schedule imposed by society doesn't allow us to get enough sleep. The delayed sleep schedule just makes it impossible to wake up refreshed for work/school/kids' transportation/etc. The way to adjust is either by advancing the sleep phase or changing society's schedule on us. Many people have found solace in the latter option, but for some (with children, for example) it is hardly possible, leaving the first option the better choice.

Can anyone else with a first shift work schedule and a delayed sleep phase relate to Kerry's story? Feel free to share your own in the comments section below.


Comments for Can't Work First Shift & Diagnosed With Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

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Jun 10, 2012
I can totally relate! NEW
by: John

I have had many first shift jobs in my life and they were all hellish because of my DSPS. I never ever went to work feeling refreshed and well. I actually felt deathly ill from the minute the alarm jolted me out of my slumber until the end of the work day (and those last few hours of the day really dragged on). After getting off work I would still end up staying up late at night just to start the whole hellish cycle all over again. By the middle of the week I was a basket case. I would either make it to work by the skin of my teeth or be a little late. Sometimes I got to the point to where I had to call in sick to work (because I really was physically sick from extreme lack of sleep). This severe lack of sleep for so many years caused me to have depression, anxiety (panic attacks), extreme weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. At this point I can't imagine having to suffer through having a "day job". I have been out of work for so long that my sleep schedule is all over the map. Sometimes I am even awake for two days straight. I'm sure this stems from depression at this point. I have actually gotten to the point that I absolutely despise day time because of what I suffered through having to work a day shift. When the sun starts rising in the morning (as I am still awake) I start feeling depressed. I fall asleep some time in the morning and get up late in the afternoon. When night time comes, my mood becomes much better.

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