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

by Dennis Teel

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.

Mar 11, 2017
Agree NEW
by: Anonymous

Same here. I can't sleep until the sun is about to rise. The morning sun knocks me out. Night sleeping just doesn't work. Even if I try not sleeping for 48 hours, I still can't sleep at night. The night is my natural day. My dad was exactly the same way. I wonder if there might actually be a genetic cause. At any rate I think society should accommodate people with sleep disorders as they would others with a "legitimate" disease or disability.

Apr 20, 2017
Sleep controlling me not the other way around! NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow nice to read other people's experience with this dilemma! I have been struggling with this problem myself for years! I have been taking alprazolam to relax myself to go to sleep. I have tried other things like sleeping pills. I always want to stay up late. I sleep much better in the day time. It has been getting worse. Usually if I have a job I manage to drag myself out of bed and get there at least 5 minutes late. Some days just sitting at the computer falling asleep while talking to a customer. Really annoying I have been trying to stop taking the alprazolam to help myself go to sleep with out it and keep my energy level higher throughout the day. I am getting worse my days are nights and vice versa. Help it is a vicious cycle how can I end it?

Jul 25, 2017
by: Anonymous


Apr 22, 2018
Finally can work around it. NEW
by: Anonymous

My father worked second shift and my two children do as well. I have always been a night person and had to learn to function with short sleep for many years. Finally in 2016 I retired and found my best sleep times are from 5AM to 2PM. I am so much better well rested now! There is the occasional day I must be up early but I find even at my age I can function for one day on almost no sleep once I get up and moving. I have decided, for now, to make peace with the beast and make do. My marriage is intact and I have many evening activities. I even found a great church with an evening service! Supermarkets often are open 24 hours. I would give a lot to change but for now I am "keeper of the fire". Do we embrace what we cannot change?

Apr 22, 2018
Finally can work around it. NEW
by: Anonymous

My father worked second shift and my two children do as well. I have always been a night person and had to learn to function with short sleep for many years. Finally in 2016 I retired and found my best sleep times are from 5AM to 2PM. I am so much better well rested now! There is the occasional day I must be up early but I find even at my age I can function for one day on almost no sleep once I get up and moving. I have decided, for now, to make peace with the beast and make do. My marriage is intact and I have many evening activities. I even found a great church with an evening service! Supermarkets often are open 24 hours. I would give a lot to change but for now I am "keeper of the fire". Do we embrace what we cannot change?

Nov 10, 2018
Misery loves company NEW
by: NiteOwl

It’s morning and I’m just getting to bed. Searching

Nov 13, 2018
Something changed. But what? NEW
by: KeeperoftheFlame

I posted about the possibility that some of us are just evolutionarily disposed to being awake at night. I had the same problems as everyone in this thread, all my life, even when I retired at 61. Except now I don't (I am over 65). I go to sleep at midnight and get up once for a bathroom break about 4, go right back to sleep and wake around 8:30. So what the heck changed? The only thing different is the way I eat now. First I got the dreaded pre-diabetic warning from my doc. Diabetes being caused by too much saturated fat in the liver and muscle cells, I gave up animal products and all oils, nuts, and seeds. Did a year of eating only produce because my pancreas was always so sensitive to starches and sugar that it would dump and knock me out, and not in a good way, so I quit eating sugar and starches sometime in my teens. So summer before last I lost 40 lbs in 5 months (you cannot eat enough calories on produce alone to stay fat). But this past summer, stuffing my face with pounds and pounds of produce I was freezing even on the hottest days and was fatigued too early so I knew something had to change. Then I stumbled over Dr. MacDougal's info on humans being starch-eating machines. The logic was impeccable so I started eating starches, lots of starches (about 1800 cal - I could never eat over 1200 cal of produce). My life-long battle with insulin resistance and low blood sugar disappeared. I am not gaining weight. Oddly, I find sweets to be too sweet. Bread tastes like cake. I want potatoes, pasta, and split pea porridge. And I SLEEP!!! Almost like those unforgiving twits that are such a pain to us day-sleepers. Just the time it saves is worth it. It only takes me 8 hours to get 8 hrs of sleep instead of the 10 or 14 it used to take. Ok, it might have NOTHING to do with the diet; after all, it also correlates to the autumn cool weather. I am also meticulous about avoiding blue light after 10 pm, and I gave up all caffeine. And it has only been a month of blissful sleep. I'll try to keep you guys posted.

Mar 25, 2023
They don't want to get it! NEW
by: Anonymous

They don't want to get it.

Mar 26, 2023
Update NEW
by: KeeperoftheFlame

I have posted a couple of times and am giving an update. I finally settled into the classic Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder of preferring to sleep between 2 am and 10 or 11AM and going round the clock a couple of times a year. Retired and living alone in the quiet country, I am able to do it at my leisure. My friends have quit arranging outings that wake me up earlier than 10 am. I can sleep through the night now without that break 4 hours in, but that is because I spend an hour a day on a treadmill at full incline. Ok, 2 miles an hour is not much but I am in my 70s now. I also do weight training 3 days a week. Still eating a low fat, high starch diet with a bit of flesh from time to time.

But I have formed some definite opinions. Pairing up with a normal morning person is a fools decision if you have DSPD. It will lead to no good. At least it should be a topic between potential lovers right along with how to manage money and children. DSPD should be a legitimate disability if for no other reason than what idiot wants any of us to be driving a vehicle when we have not had enough sleep to make that as safe as possible. As an old woman, I find that I really cannot function well enough on less than 6 hours sleep to allow me to do anything that can hurt someone if I screw up. My personal rules are that I do not drive or operate any seriously dangerous power tools on less than 6.

I know you found this thread in desperation and I am sad for you. It is very hard to find straight shift work that accommodates sleeping 2 to 10am or 5-noon. Freelance work is best. I met a person who works multiple part time jobs to accommodate her sleep pattern, but those jobs do not pay much. I sincerely wish you luck. And try not to have murderous thoughts towards the twits who think you can just shift your sleep anytime to suit their wants.

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