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I'm Pretty Sure I Have DSPS and It's Ruining My Life

Ever since I was young I've had the same problem, I physically cannot fall asleep at a normal time and it is pretty much impossible for me to wake up on time. I'm currently in college and about to graduate and it has gotten progressively worse. I've slept through appointments, interviews, shifts at work, exams, presentations, etc.

No one understands why I can't wake up and assume I'm lazy or just don't care enough. My sleep habits have become an ongoing joke for those who know me and I try to laugh it off but at times it can be offensive because I literally can not help it. For example I slept through 15 alarms and a final project presentation this morning (thankfully due to a lifetime of this I have an arsenal of excuses and have become a pretty damn good liar), I came home from class could not stay awake and took a 'short' 4 hour nap, and it is now 5 am and I'm wide awake... good thing I need to be up in three hours.

I have worked so hard to get my degree and have secured an incredible internship (that is required in order for me to graduate) but it starts at 8 am every day with an hour commute, I know myself I won't wake up on time every day and if I do manage to wake up I am terrified I'm going to fall asleep while driving and kill myself, or worse someone else. If I get fired from this internship (which I'm pretty sure is going to happen if I'm late every day) I can't graduate, and I have to explain to my parents who don't understand why I can't grow up and wake up that I've wasted their money and can't graduate or work like a normal person.

It's humiliating and I don't know how to fix it. I've tried everything but I sleep through everything and if someone helps me wake up I can have a full conversation with them, fall back asleep for hours and have no memory of them ever waking me. I can't afford a sleep study and if one more doctor tells me I just need 8-9 hours of sleep I'm going to punch them. I'm losing my mind over this and from the stories I've read there seems to be no hope. Should I just give up and accept that I'm always going to be lazy and a failure?

Comments for I'm Pretty Sure I Have DSPS and It's Ruining My Life

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Aug 15, 2015
Excessive Sleepiness
by: Kevin

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad you've found this site and hope it's been a little helpful in finding other stories of people with similar situations as you. If I understand you correctly, some of your examples of sleeping a full "night" and then taking another 4 hour nap shortly afterwards could be all the sleep debt you've accumulated, or it could have to do with an excessive sleepiness disorder like narcolepsy. Do you experience any of narcolepsy's other symptoms? Likely not, but it can be worth reading up on some of the excessive sleeping disorders to make sure you can rule them out. Best wishes.

Aug 26, 2015
Joining the crowd NEW
by: Pete

Been fighting this since was around 11 or so. This is the first time I ever heard of this and while it is frustrating at least I know what I am dealing with and it has a name.

My Dad assumed I was just being lazy and used to holler at me once to get up in the morning. When I didn't he would pour a cold glass of water into my ear. After I joined the service this persisted and found myself in hot water over it through the time I was there.

I found after a bunch of years and a couple times being married and trying to function in a normal daytime life it just wasn't going to work.

I went to work on night shift and found I was much more productive.Now that I have retired I am back to fighting this disorder was everything I need to do seems to be in the "Normal" time frame.

Jan 15, 2016
by: Anonymous

I'm so right there with you, and have yet to come up with a solution for myself, and I'm almost 60. Going back to design/architecture school in my 40s set the negative pattern into concrete, and it has been increasingly awful to deal with.

Go do the sleep study. Your insurance should cover it, and if not, make arrangements to pay for it over time once the bill arrives. Don't bring that concern up beforehand or you may get turned away, just deal with it after the fact if need be.

You need that baseline information in order to get treatment. Do it now, while you are still young.

I'm about to do another one myself because I don't think the one I had done some years ago really got to the root of all of my own sleep problems, but this has by far been the most troublesome.

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