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Why Does Everyone Assume That My Sleep Cycle's Wrong?

by Charley

I'm on a 2am -2pm 'night time' I will generally sleep for 6-8 hours or so between 2am or 2pm. This is fine for me it genuinely does not bother me in anyway.

What bothers me is everyone assuming that I must want to sleep at a 'normal time' I could care less. This is what works for me and what has worked for me since I can remember pretty much, with the only problem being when people demand that I be places in the morning (I've lost two jobs because of that so far). When left to my own devices I'm absolutely fine it's when you flipping daywalkers start insisting I conform to your wishes that the problems kick in.

Any now it's 8am for me now and thus bed time.. night night.

Kevin: Hi Charley, thanks for sharing your frustration. I feel ya. In no way is a delayed sleep phase inherently bad. It works wonderfully for many people, and in fact, I imagine many of the world's greatest discoveries were made late in the candle-burning hours of the night by minds that were alert and focused thanks to the benefits of a delayed sleep phase. It's when these late hours conflict with societal demands that call for us to be awake in the morning that the debilitating effects of sleep deprivation make a delayed phase a tough thing to have.

I've written about this elsewhere on the site, including once here, and I've included a little excerpt from there at the end of this message.

Perhaps a good way to avoid having to deal with the conformity pressures is to strive to create as much personal freedom for yourself outside the system as you can. I think to a large degree I mean financial freedom here--the freedom to live well without having to settle in and work a job with hours that doesn't work with your preferred sleep schedule. I've found success the last few years in my effort to do this using a website-building suite of tools called SBI (this site is built using SBI technology). If you like you can check it out and get more info here.


Excerpt: "I'm sometimes most productive late at night myself, when the external busyness of the day has less of an effect on my attention and I can focus on my tasks. This, I imagine, can be hard for a person who has never had anything but a traditional sleep schedule to understand--especially if they have the "early to rise, early to work" mentality and view sleeping in regularly as lazy. But it's how we choose to spend the time we are awake, whether it be late at night or early in the morning that defines our laziness--not our sleep schedule. In a day and age where endless new opportunities exist on a World Wide Web that can be accessed at any time of day, making any night full of potential like it never was before, this may be difficult for some from generations before us to readily understand.

"But it's clearly how we use our waking time, and not when we use our waking time that should be the key factor here...." (Read the full post here)

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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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