xxv. Live with it?

28 December 2005 at 05:16 | Posted in Circadian rhythm | 7 Comments
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One speaks of Delayed Sleep-Phase Syndrome sufferers.  One calls it a disability.  Can one just live with it?

People do!  Some of them are, in fact, quite annoyed at words like sufferer and disability. They’ve found night work or flexible work.  They are often geeks, artists, authors etc., who can be their own bosses.  Some are happy with their rather ordinary swing shift or graveyard shift jobs and don’t aspire to being the daytime boss.

One I know about starts work at midnight.  He does his daytime stuff after getting off work: shopping, health club, dental appointments; all between about nine and noon.  He goes to bed at one p.m. without fail, seven days a week.  Works out fine, he says.

The choice requires a lot of strength.  Explaining it all ad nauseum to everyone doesn’t work, so you have to learn to let all sorts of “helpful” comments just roll by, stick to your guns and insist: “This is the way I am.”

Any significant other must accept it completely.  Any employer must also learn that the occasional morning meeting or training session will not be acceptable.

I know I’m sounding a bit skeptical about this solution, but I’m worn down by decades of not knowing what the problem was.  My education prepared me for day jobs only.  Society wasn’t 24/7 in my day, and there wasn’t any Internet.

The great advantage, for those who manage this, is that they don’t waste energy and talent fighting against, apologizing for and messing up their innate rhythms.  Go for it!


Next:  xxvi. Getting a diagnosis



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  1. If I was “able” to work, I’d definately do the graveyard shift! But I’m on SSI for anxiety, etc. You already knew that! Although I must conform to the “norm”, for my childrens’ sake, I’m not being true to myself, and still my most “significant other” I don’t think FULLY understands… god bless him, though, he is a great man… but sometimes I hear, “You had all day….” Yeah, I was sleeping, hello!

    That’s why I run the dishwasher at 3 am, and am running up and down the stairs at the same time doing laundry! And me and the dog go to the park around that time, too, but here in RI everything’s closed down then, so it’s just me and Beau, and an occassional car… that’s MY world.

  2. Oh lord, I get that with the ‘helpful’ comments. My elderly neighbour upstairs regularly knocks on the door loudly in the middle of my sleep cycle and has told me before now that I am a “lazy lump”. I am an artist and spend my nights working and studying, I like the peace and quiet and I get a lot of stuff done. I have to split my sleep into catnaps because so many people think they are being helpful, or just not thinking at all, when they call or disturb me in the day.

  3. Thank you for this site. Great to know I’m not alone.

  4. I know several people whose employer is on another continent to where they live, (including one person with normal circadian rhythm who lives in UK and works normalish UK hours for a USA west coast facility covering their night shift, online mainly of course)

  5. It is good to hear about such tailored jobs/careers. It requires both creativity and luck to get into one of them. Hopefully it becomes more common.

  6. I am so happy I stumbled on to this site for a few of the very positive remarks. Three degrees to prepare me for a day time only profession. I have been sick of being sick of explaining to people and really trying to convince them I am not a slacker, depressed, mentally ill, blah blah. My delay is significant. Very significant. I have split my sleep, pulled all nighters etc. I ran myself into the ground. I am so sick of seeking understanding from persons who are negative, who think in terms of victim and all the other terms that go with it. I am not friggin disabled. I am wired this way. Had I been diagnosed correctly I would not have gone into my profession What a breath of fresh air to read a positive blurb by someone who has been through what WE ALL have experienced and come up with such a creative and positive and yet fundamental paradigm. Yes, I have child, a normal husband and everything else. I am bound and determined to be a productive member of society and I am glad to see others who think likewise.

  7. Thank you for the positive comment!! Progress is slow, but at least it’s possible now to get the diagnosis; it wasn’t in my childhood. Check out csd-n.org if you haven’t already, and good luck!

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