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I'm A Day Sleeper, But People Don't Understand

by Dennis Teel
(Texas)

As I was diagnosed as having a sleep disorder since 1981, I've been a day sleeper fo years.


Why is it that I've run into more people than not since 1981 that seem to think I can (and some thought I should) momentarily change my routine without having any problem? For example, just today a person making an appointment for me over the phone suggestd I sleep tonight so I can see the doctor tomorrow as early as possible, so they can take me before afternoon traffic gets bad...

And then just yesterday a neighbor asked me for a ride to work and I told them that I'm 4 hours into sleeping by the time they'd want to leave (10am), as I'm a day sleeper and am in bed at 6am...this person replies "well it would only take a few minutes, it ain't that far and you could come right back and go to bed." (I wanted to mock his jeff Foxworthy accent here but I can't do it via text.)

Frequently, for one reason or another, people are always suggesting I "sleep tonight so I can get up tomorrow" or get up while I'm dead asleep cause I can always go back to bed later..don't these tipwits understand that it would be like if I asked them to get up at 1 or 2am or to "go ahead and sleep today so you'll be available at 2am tonight"...what makes people think a person that sleeps days can just shift their routine around at will and still have a routine!!

Comments for I'm A Day Sleeper, But People Don't Understand

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Jun 01, 2014
I hear you. NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm the same kind of. My sleep schedule is roughly 0430 to noon. My wife gets mad. I tell her,it would be like you getting off work at 1500 and being in bed by 1600 and waking up at midnight to start your day. If it's not convenient for the masses, the odd man out is always wrong.

Aug 13, 2014
Selfish NEW
by: Anonymous

The problem with your sleeping pattern comes into play when or if you have a family. My daughter is married to someone who refuses to get up before noon or go to bed before 2 or 3am. She has to return to work, and he refuses to get up in the morning with the baby. Can you provide a solution for this, or shouldn't this type of sleep pattern be disturbed? It sounds very self serving to me.

Aug 29, 2014
always been day sleeper from birth to now age 35 NEW
by: Tennessee sleeper

From birth even thru school I was a day sleeper if possible. When I was in school I may have slept about 4 hrs a night and didn't take naps during the day. After school I only worked night shift jobs and took only evening classes in college. I sleep best 7 to 9 am till noon or 2pm.

Nov 05, 2014
Me,too. NEW
by: Paula

I have suffered with this since infancy. I am now 59. I have been in treatment for sleep disorder since I was 21. It's very difficult to go to school, raise a family, and work with this disorder. NOBODY understands.
My best period was when I worked in a restaurant kitchen between my freshman and sophomore years of college. I started work at 5 p.m. and got off at midnight. My sleep time was 5 a.m. til noon.
I am now a professor and ready to retire because I can't deal with early classes. My earliest class has been pushed back til 9:45 a.m.--but it's still way too early.
Am so grateful to have found others with this issue. I really need the support.

Dec 06, 2014
Me Too NEW
by: Anonymous

It makes life so difficult. I am a housewife. I tried for 13 months to live a "normal" life. I was living on OTC sleeping pills, caffeine pills & energy drinks. I woke up every morning with a hangover from the sleeping pills. I was taking 3 & 4 a night because my body was getting used to them. I always felt ill all day from the caffeine and sleeping pill hangovers. I have decided to stop taking everything and just give up. I am going to sleep all day and stay up all night. Luckily, I do not have kids. I wouldn't dare drag them into this nightmare. It is a lonely existence.

Dec 27, 2014
Feeling Better NEW
by: Paula

It has been a huge help to finally understand what is wrong with me. A proper understanding of this condition can help me make better decisions about professional life and home life. My husband (who of course is a morning person!)is very supportive.
I look back on how exhausted I was as a mother. Thankfully my kids are grown and it just me and my husband, now. Very, very, hard to not be able to work, thrive, and enjoy the 9-5 lifestyle.
But I'm at the point where I care more about my health and less about "fitting in" to the 9-5 world.

May 05, 2015
I Agree.... NEW
by: Cushings/Addison Patient

with most posts up here. The one who talks about "her daughters husband" who is asleep during times she needs his help? Does he HAVE DSPS? Or is he being a jerk? There is never anytime (unless YOU HAVE a medical degree!) that you should EVER assume you know what is best for another person. I feel sorry for her daughter, yes. But she likely knew this person prior to deciding to "do life" with them. I have survived an extremely rare and debilitating disease called Cushings Dusease (not syndrome - there is a difference). I traded it for Addisons, in 2010, after a failed brain tumor removal surgery in 2007. I have always been an over-achiever. nine years ago, upon receiving this diagnosis, I had two young kids. After dealing with all of that whilst simultaneously dealing with enough adversity from other areas to take down a city, I am still her, still fighting, for THEM. I may not be able to meet ALL of the desires of their hearts, but no parent can. It does not make my contributions less, but more.
I am constantly frustrated, by people without any understanding, or compassion for others. Not very many health problems are visible to the naked eye.

Sep 15, 2016
3 to Noon NEW
by: KeeperoftheFlame

Spent nights as a child under the covers reading books by flashlight. 5 year old's nightmare was when they woke me up at 5 AM to polish my dads shoes because I forgot to do it before I went to bed. Still gives me emotional chills to think about that. College was a godsend. I worked nights and slept between classes. Lucked out with years of night shift jobs or jobs that started at 9 am, which I could manage when I was younger. Now 65 and lucky enough to get married at 60 but he left in 3 years with his parting shot causation of "we sleep at opposite ends of the day." Gosh, I thought we had worked it out with me tiptoeing through the house from 9 PM to 3 AM and him doing the same from 6 AM to noon. Maybe it was those weather pressure migraines where I did not sleep at all that broke him. Maybe what was left unsaid was how much of a royal pain I can be when sleep deprived, which was a normal occurrence because EVERYONE in his family planned things early in the morning. NO ONE BUT OTHER DAY SLEEPERS UNDERSTAND. He insisted on heavy evening meals, which gave me acid reflux, so there I was waking up multiple times when I did sleep. Surgeon working on me advised that I might have sleep apnea because of the severe drop in blood oxygen when he knocked me out. Sleep study showed 78% blood oxygen! CPAP cured the nighttime reflux and the oxygen problem but did nothing to fix my sleep schedule. Retired and separated so I can sleep as I want now. Found that physical exhaustion would let me sleep just about any time for at least 4 hours. So I work every day to be dead on my feet by bedtime, one cup of tea in AM (cannot function without it) and hot bath before bedtime and I can sleep midnight to 8:30, pretty much straight through. Historical records show that humans used to sleep in two four-hour sets sandwiching about a 2 hour wake period they used to stoke the fire, check the stew or porridge, check the livestock, and make babies. That is exactly how I sleep best. I use low lights and read during this pause when it happens, which is a lot. Paleontologists suggest that someone had to be awake at night to stand watch and tend the fire so there may be an evolutionary reason some of us are day sleepers. I like that - Keeper of the Flame.

Sep 15, 2016
Day sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

Ok. So that's what it's called (DSPD). Well, I don't care what it's called but all I know is I'm not a morning person and just can't start functioning normally until about noon even if I force myself to go to bed early (like 1 am), which is very hard anyway. I've always hated mornings since my early 20's. In fact, I hated waking up early mornings (7,8, or even 9 am) so much that I'd cry as soon as I woke up especially on ugly dark and rainy mornings (which is most of the year here in the WET Coast).

People always tell me I'm "lazy" or I'm someone who likes to sleep in, which is NOT the case. I'm usually fine with as little as 4-5 hours of sleep but I always try to explain to them that I just can't function normally until around noon. I have tried to force myself to sleep early (as early as 12 am) but that just screws everything up for me as I keep waking up every hour or so throughout the night and then comes morning and I feel worse than if I had gone to bed at 4 am and woken up at 9 am. It doesn't matter even if I went to bed at 11 pm (in extremely rare cases where I've only had maybe 15 hours or less of sleep in the previous 3 days), I still have a very hard time getting out of bed before 10 or 11 am. So, I know sleeping early does NOT fix this problem. I think I'm a nocturnal person as I come alive at night and can stay up all night long with no problems.

To add to my problem, I also suffer from depression and anxiety and I'm usually most depressed and have high anxiety levels in the morning. But I'm much relaxed and less depressed at night. And that's why I like to stay up to take advantage of the time when my depression is at its lowest. What's the point of being awake during the time when my depression and anxiety are at their highest?

Unfortunately, this is affecting my ability to get anywhere (work wise).

Oct 19, 2016
Not Alone NEW
by: Anonymous

I've always been more awake and active at night and feel most refreshed with a natural wake up time of 10-11am. It's been a real difficult struggle over the years to raise a child and be married to an early morning person who would like to be eating and exercising right away. Arguing over and over about how I should just be like everyone else as if its something I control. As a father and a husband I do feel a need to take care of my responsibilities so I maintain a 6:30 wake up schedule for the most part and try to turn off the lights and sleep when others are asleep as well but it doesn't really work, I just stay up tossing and turning feeling like I'm wasting my time. I believe it has taken a toll on my system and so I look forward to a day where my schedule can work along side my own clearly natural patterns. It's good to find pages like this though to remind me that I'm not alone.

Nov 21, 2016
Because some people are just immune to reason NEW
by: Christina P.

Quote: ..."don't these tipwits understand that it would be like if I asked them to get up at 1 or 2am or to "go ahead and sleep today so you'll be available at 2am tonight"

Bingo. And I've given that same example to many people over the years. Thankfully, some of them "got it". But, sadly, many were confused by it, and didn't even bother to think through the logic in the statement.

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