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DSPS Questions... Please Share Your Experiences and Symptoms!

by Naïssa
(Belgium, Europe)

I have been battling problems with sleep and fatigue as long as I can remember, but it's only been for the last 7 years that things got out of hand. Because my doctors know very little about DSPS I've started reading a lot on this website and other websites. I'm starting to connect dots. I'm wondering if some things are the way they are due to the DSPS or that they are characteristically for me. I find that I have a lot of questions.

I would like to ask these questions to you all. I think it could help us all if we could compare behavior and realize what is what...

Some questions that come to mind:

• Did you suffer (and/or still suffering) from nightmares as a child? (I have had nightmares as long as I can remember)

• When I (rarely) succeed in sleeping during the night, I always have horrible nightmares. Does anybody have that too?

• I suffer from sleep paralysis and hallucinations (due to the fact of waking during REM). Anyone?

• When I force myself to wake up at 7.00u I don't hear the many alarms, I'm barely able to move or open my eyes. If I succeed in getting up, I start to vomit violently and cannot stop until I return to bed. Do you recognize this?

• When I try to go asleep at 10PM I lay awake for years and when finally falling asleep, I feel psychically bad when waking up (f.e. headache). I also notice that I sleep longer as when I go to bed when I'm tired (7.00AM). When I go to bed at 10PM, I have a horrible night and I wake up at 3.3PM. When I go to sleep at 7.00AM, I awaken (rested and cheerful) at 1.00PM. Does anybody recognize this?

• If one stops trying to control DSPS (and constantly failing, like me) and one organizes their work and life according to their rhythm, does this mean we can stop with the bright lights, the chronotherapy, the pills... Or do we still need them to function at night?

• Tomorrow I have an interview to
start as a night reception at a hotel. (I haven't been able to go to my daytime job in 9 months, I'm going mad. this is my first step in accepting DSPS) In case I start working nightshifts, do I keep taking Melatonine 5h before going to bed? What do you do?

• I read that Melatonine not only regulates sleep, but also hunger and body temp. I'm always hungry, I have no measure in eating! And I'm constantly complaining that it's too cold (below 22° I start to wear longsleeves and sweaters)... Is that just me or is that DSPS?

• I also read somewhere that DSPS causes intestinal problems. I have chronic constipation. Anyone else?

• I'm also diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fybromyalgy (the latter is under control thanks to Cymbalta)

• Does anyone take Provigil? (also called Modafinil, Alertec, Modavigil, Modalert, Modiodal, Modafinilo, Carim, Vigia) Does it help? It helps me to stay awake, but unfortunately it doesn't help me to get up. When I take it at 11AM (earliest hour for me to wake up) I seems to work 24h... Does anybody have this too?

• What is the best way to take Melatonine? I used to take 2mg at 6AM, hoping to fall asleep at 11PM, but it does not seem to work for a long time. My doctor says that it doesn't help to higher the dose, but that the timing is more important. Is that the same information as the one that you got?

• When I finally fall asleep, I feel sooooooo good lying in my safe bed. It feels like I'm addicted to sleep... Is this common?

Other questions will probably pop up on other occasions. Maybe you guys have other questions? I would like to hear them! It would be so nice to be able to compare some symptoms! I have read all the stories on this site and all the patterns are very similar, but It would be interesting to have a more systematic understanding.

Please answer the questions and please ask your own! Thank you! (Also, English is not my mother tongue so thanks for bearing with me...)

Comments for DSPS Questions... Please Share Your Experiences and Symptoms!

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May 24, 2013
You won't need the technologies NEW
by: Holly

I had some trouble with nightmares as a child, but not every night by any means. Getting up in the mornings has always been a challenge for me, since at least elementary school. (My mom told me I used to be so happy in the mornings when I was very little; I'll take her word for that, since I have no such memories, but I'm guessing it may have been because I was allowed to wake on my own as a baby/toddler.)

As for taking a night job, you will not need the light boxes, drugs, etc. to live on your own natural, genetically determined schedule. Most of my dear friends have DSPD (it's vital to surround yourself with people who truly understand!), and most of them who work have night shifts, and none of the night shift workers use any of the schedule-shifting technologies to be able to function at night.

May 24, 2013
More symptom comments NEW
by: Holly

Oh, and I also am chronically cold.

My adult nightmares pretty much stopped once my life's anxiety levels decreased. I have an amazingly supportive life partner, and friends, and limited needs to wake for early mornings, etc. Mostly if I try to go to bed early, I just don't sleep.

You don't say what your diet is like. If you are not already on a high-fiber diet, try weaning yourself onto a high-fiber diet carefully and gradually to see if that helps your gut. I do seem to have an occasionally slightly irritable bowel when I'm particularly stressed, but my diet mostly prevents any problems and always automatically smooths out the "bumps" in my gut function.

As for some of your other symptoms, they may clear up as you relax into your body' natural schedule. If they do not, you probably will need some professional help for what sound to me like serious anxiety symptoms. (I am not a doctor, of course, which is why you'd want to have a doctor look at any symptoms that persist.) Good luck.

Mar 21, 2014
Common Symptoms NEW
by: Perkdiggity

I share some of the symptoms that you asked about. As a child I suffered terrible nightmares and tantrums, always around midnight, after going to bed at 9 or so. Still not sure what that was about. As an adult i go through phases where I have horrific nightmares several nights in a row, usually shortly after falling asleep. Trying to accommodate a conventional sleep pattern causes me to suffer from many of the symptoms you mentioned, such as gastrointestinal problems and headaches. I feel best when I am able to go to sleep around 4am and get up at noon. Right now my job requires me to report at noon so I struggle to get to sleep by 2am. I have recently graduated from college and am looking for a job as a programmer that allows me to submit work according to a deadline rather than work set hours.

Please try to embrace the sleep pattern that is natural for you. I'm not going to tell you that it will always be easy, but the consequences of continual sleep deprivation will kill you in a most unpleasant way. Best of luck!

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