The following is a visitor-submitted question or story. For more, you can submit your own sleep story here, or browse the collection of experiences and questions other visitors have shared here.

So I'd Never Heard Of This Before Yesterday, But It Makes Sense

by Nathan C.
(Tulsa, OK)

I've had a tendency to stay up late and sleep in at least since high school. I'm now currently 28 years old, and a natural bedtime for me would be between 1 and 2:30 AM typically. The article says that 2 to 4 AM is typical for DSPS (so maybe I have a "mild" case?)

I've been able to get on a more "normal" sleep schedule on and off, but never permanently. Over the last couple of years I've been treated for depression and ADHD with limited success. Daytime sleepiness has been a big part of this as I continually try to adjust my schedule to my job's 8-5 office hours. I had never considered the possibility that my body's natural sleep phase was delayed, I've just been working off the assumption that I'm tired because I'm depressed and I lack the discipline to fight through it. Could it be that I have it backwards and that I'm depressed because I'm tired all the time?

I am lucky in that my boss is flexible with my work hours to an extent. It is difficult enough for me to get up in the morning that I'll often get into work after 10 and work until around 7:30 PM. However, I have been told that it would be preferable for me to at least get in by around 9 AM. So I always try to shoot for normal work hours, going to bed around 10 PM and setting my alarm for 6 AM. Of course this results in me staring at the ceiling for hours (time that I could be using to do house work, making dinner, take up a hobby...), and then in the morning I don't think it's overstating it to say that I probably hit the snooze button 10 or more times typically. So I roll in to work late (and feel guilty and embarrassed about it), stay late so I get a full day in, then when I get home I only have an hour or two before I have to try to go to bed again and repeat the excruciating process.

So, last night and this morning I tried an experiment. I figured I'd be late to work anyway, so I thought I'd see what happened if I just went to bed at 1 AM and set my alarm for 9. I fell asleep probably around 1:30 and actually woke up a little bit before my alarm went off, feeling considerably more refreshed than usual. (And since I'd made the decision to go to bed later, I was able to actually use the time between 10 PM and 1 AM productively!) I think I may have a conversation with my boss about the possibility of making this schedule permanent as I think I will be considerably happier. Now if I could just find a bank that's open after 10 PM...

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Thoughts On Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.

Enjoy this page? Please help us pay it forward to others who would find it valuable by Liking, Sharing, Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or Voting below.

About This Site

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

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

More Questions:

Ask | Answer

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

Important Disclaimer

Please Note:

The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.

For more info, see our
Terms of Use.