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My Sleep Schedule Doesn't Fit Society's And It's Destroyed My Life

by Amanda
(Charlottesville, VA, USA)

I have been just like what was described in the article for years. It started at about age 10. I could never wake up in time to go to school but I was constantly called lazy. I couldn't interact with other children properly because I was so tired after being forced to go to school and was a social outcast. I was stressed and tired and diagnosed with chronic severe depression, I was in and out of mental hospitals, pumped with drugs to the point that I felt like a Zombie and constantly sick.

I never understood what was wrong with me until tonight, and my own problem began to depress me more. I was forced to quit school from all my absences and tardies. I have a horrible job record and it is difficult for me to get a job or stay employed once I have one. It is easiest for me to sleep in the day, from about 7am to 3pm (or later if im stressed ).

I am now 20 years old and I struggle every day with my spouse, my job, even making my doctors appointments. All my doctors just tell me I'm depressed, and sure my life isn't great, but it could be worse. I'm not depressed the way they think, I'm depressed because I love to watch the sun rise but I haven't seen it in years, because I don't fit in socially, because all this time I thought I was just weak willed and depressed because even after taking ambien, sominex, and nyquil in one night I still couldn't force myself to go to sleep so that I could get up and be at work by 7.

This has destroyed my life. I have done everything my doctors told me to, go to bed at the same time, sleep hygiene, everything! Its not an excuse for all my shortcomings but it does answer a lot of my questions. Thank You.

And if you have any insight into my personal situation or any advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Kevin: Amanda, the warmest, most sincere thanks for sharing your story here. I'm glad we were able to offer you some insight into your personal experiments and take heart at your desire to improve your alertness. A big key in doing this is likely gaining as good of an understanding as you possibly can about your own personal circadian rhythms -- the times in which your body is chemically promoting alertness vs. when it is promoting sleepiness.

Often these times don't match up with the orthodox circadian times of society. We can struggle and struggle against it (bright-light therapy, phase shifting, etc.), and sometimes this works and we're more in sync with the "societal clock," but often it just leads to massive amounts of sleep deprivation and frustration. Then, for some people I feel like the actions that will help them most with achieving alertness and satisfaction is to strive to create a life situation for themselves that gives them the freedom to operate outside of the "societal clock."

One of the most fun, rewarding, and effective ways I've come across to do this is to create an online web business based on one of your passions in life. Snorkeling, horseback riding, science fiction, writing--you name it, whatever really gets you going that you can see yourself writing about and sharing your thoughts about with others. You can work on it in your own time, set your own schedule, and if you put some brain and motivation into it you can make quite a bit of money doing it--enough to let you set your own schedule forever if you so choose.

That's what this site is, in fact--a site of information built about one of my passions--sleep science. There's a suite of very easy to use tools that I used to build it, and thousands of other people have used to build theirs, called SBI (or Site Build It). Those tools include an absolutely life-changing education framework to teach and guide you along every step of the road. It's a truly incredible toolkit that can really put you on the first step towards the rest of your life.

On that note, I heavily invite you to see what SBI may have to offer you, and you can do so here:

If it sparks your interest, and you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to let me know :-)


Comments for My Sleep Schedule Doesn't Fit Society's And It's Destroyed My Life

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Mar 07, 2011
I agree
by: Swapnil

I agree with you. The same has been my experience, I have fallen in this sleep pattern for the last 8 years. I don;t remember watching sun rising in the last 5 years, I have been late to all my lectures and exams in my life.

Not waking up early have cost me admissions to top notch B-schools just because i could not perform when interviews went from morning 8 to evening 4. I have been mentally depressed and physically lethargic.

I have not slept more than 2 hours in the last 48 hours and I was reading about sleep deprivation on Wikipedia for the first time. I came across your page and just felt it as story of mine.

May 17, 2011
I understand!
by: Lindz

I've always gotten into trouble at work for being late. I missed school so much b/c of this. I would move my alarm across the room to help me get up...instead I'd sleep walk n shut it off. No one understood.
I was just diagnosed last year with this...finally I understand it. I recently quit my full time job to get a pt job bartending. The late shifts work with my disorder! I have to recommend looking into something like that! Find a job that fits your disorder. I also use light therapy if I have to get up in the morning for something. It really helps, but I found I can't use it all the time.
At first I tried to change my disorder, then I realized I needed to work with it. It doesn't have to be a burden.
Get officially diagnosed tho. Talk to ur doctor and go to a sleep clinic. That way you can have something OFFICIAL to tell people.... The WORST was being called lazy...and I am lazy, but it's not my fault! I sit around all day wanting to clean my apt, and then finally at 9 or 10 pm I have the energy to do so!

Jun 04, 2012
DSPSD has also attacked my life NEW
by: Dennis Teel

i've had this problem since i was in my early teens and i'm now doctor has recently come to the decision that i indeed have dspds(delayed sleep disorder syndrome).like the OP says,this has destroyed my life.women won't date a man that's unemployable and that has such odd and scattered and changing sleeping hours,and added to that,the many other effects that dspds causes in one's life.i can't even find male friends due to's "men" rejeect other men that are on disability,and generally consider them welfare bums.i can't begin to count the times that people have accused me of taking money form the hard working pockets of society because i receive disability.this condition is somethiung i got used to having but only to a degree.even tho' it's not their business,i t's difficult to get used to people's disgrundlement of my being unemployed.

Jul 05, 2012
work with it not against it like Lindz said NEW
by: Brendan o

I agree its been hell living with dsps. I am 45 and have only discovered this syndrome classification today after 30 years or more of suffering. Before like in the last few years I had decided I would just upskill so that I could partsupport myself by being self employed.... I am far more unable to maintain an income than the 90% of the population who can hold down 9- 5 permanent work. I will keep on up skilling til I get independent but until then I think we should all be in receipt of dis ability....I just thank Good for this classification and will now look for a formal diagnosis....its a disability that only a sub 10% of the population...a don't fit societies strict work scheduling...its time for society to recognise this as a chronic disorder under the international classification of sleep disorder ....see ....please let's support one needs public discussion

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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

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