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It Has A Name! My Sleep Problem Has A Name!!

by Sparrow
(California, USA)

Just the other day I was told by my daughter that I should just buck up and make myself get up and go to the early (8am) appointments. She says that is "what people do" I tried to explain that, yes, I can get out of bed, and get there, but I won't actually be present. Trying to explain, that I am non functional or function on a depleted level, depending on how early I have to get up was futile.

I looked up circadian rythms and came across "Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome" That is me! I cried and was elated at the same time. I finally feel validated.

I am 57 years old and have lived with this my entire life. My mother tells stories of how she could run all her errands in the morning when I was little, because I did not wake up before 11am.

Left to my own devices, I sleep from about 4am to about 8:30am then take an afternoon nap for another 3 or so hours. I get two full days of energy, work and vitality in a 24 hour period. When I was actually able to live like that for a brief time. I was happy and accomplished a lot.

When you live with others, you cannot turn on the music loud at midnight and start running a vacuum! LOL

Now I am unemployed, had to move in with my daughter and am miserable. I also have chemical sensitivities and that adds to the difficulty of finding and keeping a job. Oh and there is age discrimination too. I desperately want my own home again!
But I am thrilled to find out, I am not psychotic (as so many have insinuated), it has a name! "Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome" and I am not alone.

I also think that although it is called a disorder, I think it probably is no more a disorder than being left handed. I am sure in ancient times, people like us, were valued, since we would be able to keep watch at night without a problem. We should be valued for our ability to stay up and be alert when others are sleeping. Hopefully our society will realize how valuable we are soon. I would like to be treated like a "normal" person and not be ostracized and belittled anymore for having a different sleep cycle than most.

Comments for It Has A Name! My Sleep Problem Has A Name!!

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Jan 30, 2013
Relief! NEW
by: Tamara Sellman

It's definitely part of human nature to want to affix a name to a health condition, and there's so much relief (oddly) that comes when we find we can actually confirm that condition's identity.

Suddenly your sleep issue is "real" (in a way that is validated from the outside world... it's no longer just "in your head") and you can actually take pretty direct action to correct the problem.

I found this to be very true to experience when I was Dx'd with both UARS and mild narcolepsy almost 3 years ago. I'm wide awake now (thank goodness!) following voluntary sleep hygiene improvements, better treatment of allergies and regular use of an upper airway device.

The good news is that dozens of sleep disorders of varying severity have already been identified, so the odds are good that someone with a sleep problem can usually figure out what's wrong (if they have a doctor who's clued in to sleep's impact on health). Then they can take proactive measures to treat their condition, usually with excellent results!

Mar 15, 2013
thank you NEW
by: wildy

Thanks so much for your post. I too felt elated to doscover that what has been ruining my life for as long as i can remember has a name!! I have recieved so many messages throughout my life that i should feel shame and am to blame - even from GPs! I guess people who don't experience it just can't conceive of not being able to choose when to go to bed etc. I also have found I'm happier when I just let everyone know I'm unavailable in the mornings and don't try and 'conform'. But I DO miss out on stuff, it makes the day so much shorter, the shops still shut just after I get up and i can't get on with things at night when other people in the house are sleeping. But I particularly wanted to thank you for reminding me that we are valuable too and I feel inspired and empowered to think that our value will be recognised more widely some day. Diversity is what makes community strong :) Thanks and love to you x

Mar 21, 2014
Kindred Spirits NEW
by: Perkdiggity

I shared your delight when I discovered there was a name for my unconventional sleep pattern. I am 45 and have struggle to achieve a conventional bed time since I was a child. I have been lucky enough to by and large schedule my life around my sleep pattern (taking second shift jobs, working in fields based on deadlines not fixed work hours). I still struggle with appointments before noon and try to schedule everything for later in the day. I married a sound sleeper who doesn't mind me knocking around in the middle of the night. I have a very productive and balanced life.

However, I still have to deal with the criticism of extended family and at times society as a whole. I am so tired of being perceived as lazy or a party girl because I need to sleep until at least 11AM. What the "first shift" crowd fails to acknowledge is that some of us are up for a good four or five hours after they turn in following the late news. It is really ridiculous that some have a hard time understanding that the body craves about eight good hours of sleep and if sleep doesn't come until three or four in the morning the choices are pretty limited. Either sleep until noonish or destroy your health walking around perpetually sleep deprived.

Hopefully an official name for this type of sleep pattern will lead to better widespread understanding for those of us that keep the night watch!

Sep 16, 2014
by: Anonymous

This is what my daughter felt like when she first found out what it was called. The sad thing is it is now turned to N24. I feel that maybe the Chronotherapy made this happen. There is a warning before using this method but because the parents are not allowed to attend the Hospital or Doctor with their adult child we were not aware of the risk. Has anyone else gone through with this?

Sep 23, 2014
Grrr! NEW
by: Anonymous

Perkdiggity, I so get you!!
My sleep is much better controlled now with melatonin, at least i can sleep around 1am ish and I can hold it around there (no drifting)I would love it to be 11.30 or (can you uimagine) 10.30!! But i'm years away from this i expect and most likely will never get there. Also I can't imagine when i would get anything done! My best time motivation/creativity wise just begins as the first shifters are coming home and lasts into the night. To be creative all day and be finished by teatime.. that's a relly big mindset shift that i'm not sure I will ever make. The melatonin helps the worst of the symptoms but I think i may have to accept that i'm a night owl and just beat pillows about the people who think waking late means lazy Grrrrrr!!!

Anonymous of 16th Sept 2014 can you say what N24 is? I haven't heard that.

Great to read everyone's comments. And so good to be heard :)
<3 x

Nov 30, 2015
I think i have this and two of my sons have it too NEW
by: Mary

I was looking on the internet to see if my lifelong battle with falling asleep at a normal time and waking up at a normal time and being unable to function like everyone else when I came across this site. I have been laughed at for years by my family who just label me as lazy ,a night owl and saying it would take a bomb to wake me .

I am a musician/singer/songwriter I write at night and try to sing quietly so as not to wake up my neighbours I also do loads of other stuff that I cant during the day.I have tried many times to re adjust my body clock but it never really works. If I went to bed at ten at night I would not be asleep until at least 2 am sometimes 4am. If I have to get up early i struggle throughout the day and its like when I finally fall asleep I am totally asleep .

I have a daughter of 30 and two sons 26 and 16 daughter is in bed early and up early for work every day however my 26 year old who is a bus driver is the exact same as me and always has been and my sixteen year old well he is at college and he is a nightmare to get to sleep and to waken . His dad says he is just like you a total night owl . I think I am going to speak with my sons now and see if we can all be helped so thank you so much :)

May 22, 2016
Adding my two-pennyworth NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, just adding my experience to the mix; if only people with what they regard as 'normal' sleep patterns would realise we are all different, and no less productive! I also sleep usually from 3.00 or 4.00 am to about 11 or 12, and only feel refreshed if I get these sort of hours. Sometimes, if I've been exercising or working and feel really tired, I'll go to sleep at midnight or so - disaster! Because then I'll wake up at 8.30, as I did this morning, and feel rubbish for the rest of the day. Like some of the others here, I try to do work that is deadline-driven so that I don't spend all my days in an agony of sleep-deprivation. Instead of sneering at us, people who don't have this pattern should be forced to do it for an extended period - then they'd know how it feels to have to go against your natural rhythms - I'm pretty sure they'd be absolutely useless if expected to work alertly at 2.00 am.

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