Why this blog

owlDelayed sleep-phase syndrome is a chronic circadian rhythm disorder.  Those of us who have DSPS can’t get to sleep at a “reasonable” hour, and we can sleep through any number of alarm clocks in the morning.  Some “grow out of it” by age 20 or so; the rest of us deal with it all our lives.

Until we are aware that there is such a thing, we are inclined to believe what “they” say about us:  lazy, undisciplined, inconsiderate and more.  It is a revelation to learn that we have a medical diagnosis: it’s not all our fault!

This blog’s mission is to inform about DSPS based on what I’ve learned since diagnosis.  If I can reach people who have DSPS and their families, I may be able to save them years and decades of physical suffering and mental anguish.

If something’s unclear, ask!  If you doubt my info, or, heaven forbid, find something directly wrong, please tell me.  If your story would be interesting to my readers, please tell it.  If you know more than I do, please help us all out.

The blog is written more or less like a book, from beginning to end; see the Table of Contents page.  The posts are numbered and each post is linked by its number in the Table of Contents.

The blog started out on Yahoo360Beta and was moved to WordPress in June 2009.

I am not a doctor.  No doctor treats patients anonymously on the internet anyway.  Nothing here is to be taken as medical advice.

Please also read the page “The two authors”, as I’m no longer alone here.


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  1. Yay, it is not my fault if I sleep at 3AM and wake up at 12PM. ^_^ Although it is quiet mild, since I am able to sleep at 11 if I want to.

  2. My theory (don’t know how original it is) is that while we all have a hard-coded best wake time, a separate factor plays a role. I don’t know why, but some people can be quite flexible about it and not lose their health and others are more rigid. It must be biological, I think.

    I see we’re both fans of Coturnix.

  3. I am the owner of the web site DSPSawareness.com

    I obtained this site because I live with DSPS and have been trying to find the communities and information over the years…but have not seen enough.

    To be absolutely clear, I am not trying to profit; I am trying to help myself and others by spreading the awareness of the disorder.

    I am commenting here with an anonymous name and innocuous email since this is a public forum, but would love to talk more. I hope to make the blog full of content with vetted authors, but have not had the time to update it myself with all of the information that it should have.

    I am also looking into how to form a foundation to follow such pursuits as I feel, based on experience, the public (and most notably employers) should be aware of the actuality of this condition.

    Please feel free to email me so we can work together.

    Thank you for putting this blog together. When I began my research there was little to nothing out there.

  4. I can’t believe you exist!!! I’ve suffered from DSPS all my life, and only now, at 36, have discovered it has a name. I always felt there was something wrong with me, but people assumed I was lazy… Thank you thank you thank you.

  5. Welcome, Marina! So many people say just what you’ve said when they discover this. I’d never heard of it before I got my diagnosis, and I was “high” for six months just having validated that my problem was real. Wish I’d heard of it as early as age 36 — try to look at it that way! Best wishes.

  6. now, my problem has a name. i was reading about dsps over at wikipedia and i stumbled upon this site from the references.

    when i was younger, i used to job hop (i think at one time, i went through 3 jobs in 3 month’s time) because i couldn’t keep up with the normal 9-to-5 work sked. the only way i survived the last 10 years of being employed in regular day jobs is having bosses that allowed me to work flexible hours. now that i’m freelancing full time online, my sleeping time got pushed back farther and farther. i now sleep at 4:00 in the morning (or thereabouts) and wake up at 12:00, just in time for lunch.

    lately, my husband has been griping about my late nights and my lunch-hour wake up time. i’ve also begun worrying that i’m just plain lazy. now i discover–at 38!–that there’s a name to what i’m going through. i plan to do something about correcting my sleeping time and i hope i can get back on regular track again. thank you so very much. now i have great hope i can start recovering… 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for telling your story. Freelancing, you are in a good position to experiment with management techniques while well-rested. As you learn more about the disorder and educate your husband, I hope he will become supportive. That’s kinda necessary. Good luck!

  8. Please keep this going. I have been so alone with this all my life. Doctors can’t help you, don’t believe you, medications for anxiety and depression don’t work for DSPS/non24 and meeting other people can be a blessing.

  9. Thank you for commenting. “Doctors don’t believe you” is a major problem I struggled with for decades. I’m so glad people are discovering this blog if it is a help, as intended.

  10. Thank you for commenting on http://try-therapy.com I browsed your site a bit and I would like to commend you for the depth and breadth of coverage you have on sleep and sleep disorders. I have added your blog to my blogroll (as of this writing, your site IS my blogroll). I would be honored if you would consider doing the same… it would appear that we have similar interests, even if your interests are more specialized in the area of sleep disorders.


    Kent Brooks


  11. Dear Delayed2sleep,
    Thanks for you comment on German Melatonin Milk on my blog. Would you like to exchange blog links? I really like your blog, and I know how difficult or no challenging it is to lives with a condition that almost “does not exist” in the eyes of the mainstream. I have read a lot about sleep in book and on the web but never heard of delayed sleep phase. I mean I know if obscure sleepdisorders like non-rem narcolepsy, parasominas etc but was not aware of this. I will add your link to my blog – because I think it’s important that we help eachother spread awareness of the hugely neglected area of sleep disorders. It’s crazy, that so much money is spent by the pharmaceutical industries on nutrition and dieting and other money spinning research, instead of putting some of that money aside for sleep research. I am sick and tired of my symptoms being treated and NOT the cause. My rant of the day! 😉 ….but there are so many people out there that are suffering and could so easily be helped! Visit me on http://www.queenofsleep.wordpress.com if you would like to hear more about me finding my way back to a healthier more manageable life as a narcoleptic, and general-holistic advice on how to improve your lifestyle and the overall quality of your sleep.

  12. Wow… I really think I do have DSPS. I am a freshman at Texas A&M university and i find it harder and harder to wake up for class everyday. When I scheduled my classes in the summer, I knew I couldnt wake up for 8am classes so i decided to start my day with 11am’s. Since then, my hours have changed from 1am to 8am my senior year, to 3am to 10am this semester. I stay up just as late on the weekends, but I dont wake up till about 3pm… It has always been very hard for me to wake up and now it is getting to a point that I take 4 hour naps. Is there any way for me to get a diagnosis? And I would like to hear your discovery of DSPS if you would like to share it.

  13. Hello Preston. I’ve taken the liberty of editing out your e-mail address. My discovery of DSPS? I didn’t discover its name on the internet, as most seem to be doing today. I knew there was something wrong for years but didn’t learn its name until I finally was diagnosed; see my diagnosis post. I’d even done an overnight sleep study 10 years before, and the report came back simply “NOT narcolepsy.”
    I know what 4-hour naps are. I can seldom take a nap that lasts shorter than that. But it’s a bad habit, if avoidable.
    You should be able to find a Sleep Center at http://www.sleepcenters.org/ but check that they know circadian rhythms before wasting time going to one. Good luck!

  14. You have no idea how happy I am to find this blog. I was told this afternoon that I have “DSPS”and am really happy to find out I am not alone. I am trying to establish though whether anyone else has had this since birth like me? What therapies have worked? I unfortunately am not able to move into a job that will allow for night shifts or working from home (Law firms frown on that).

    Any advice you, or fellow suffers could provide would be wonderful! Am about to spend the next 6 – 8 hours until my “body clock”allows me to sleep reading all your information!

  15. And I’m glad you found us and commented; information was what I wanted, too, when I got the diagnosis. Several of my blogroll links have good information.
    Since birth? Hard to establish or document. Most people have it start some time before school start *or* at the beginning of puberty. (Many of the puberty cases end at the end of adolescence.) My DSPS started before Kindergarten, probably in infancy.
    As to whether treatments work, my sleep specialist and I disagree 🙂 He points out that I’ll never have contact with the many (?) whose problem is solved, as they have no need of the mail list (see circadiandisorders.org) nor the blog. True enough. But I’m in daily contact with people who struggle, although light therapy and melatonin may help somewhat. Enjoy your read, and good luck!

  16. OMG! I thought I was alone with this problem!

  17. There are many of us, Neve. But we’re spread pretty thin. I’ve never met one face-to-face and most of the others haven’t, either. Thanks for commenting.

  18. Hello Again!
    I am compiling some information on the usefulness of using lightboxes, light therapy rooms and blue light products. Does it help people with DSPS? or do you know anyone with DSPS that have benefited from using this form of therapy? Does it address the DSPS or just the associative difficulties? Would be grateful for a reply! Sweet Dreams!

  19. Hello again. I don’t know anything about light therapy rooms, except that I’ve seen pictures. Lightboxes come in white, blue and green. White light, 10000 lux, has been shown to work for many (most?) people to advance sleep timing up to about 2 hours. Blue does about the same, but can be dangerous if one is disposed to macular degeneration in the retina. Green light is new, and sounds promising; it’s used at a lower intensity than the others. All of them work only if applied daily.

    So light therapy (alone) works if one is satisfied with an advance of about two hours. People who naturally wake at 10 and need to be up at 8 may do well. But people who naturally wake at noon and need to be up early aren’t helped much.

    Avoiding (bright) light in the evening and using melatonin in addition can give a somewhat larger effect.

    Hope this answers your questions!

  20. Thanks for taking the time to create and continue to update this blog. It is nice to know that I’m not alone!

  21. And thanks for commenting. I appreciate it!

  22. I have discovered today that my d’ter of 15 has this, she has been thought of as lazy, she often doesn’t get to sleep until 6am. If she is woken up (forced waking) she has no memory recall of any conversation we have had. She misses out on social activities because of dsps.
    For 3 yrs she has also been passing out just after waking which as time went on became convulsive syncope, every time she is forcibly woken this has occurred. She never passes out at any other time, always on waking if she has been forcibly woken. Every test known to man has been done including brain scans, eeg’s, ecg’s, bloods etc, all came back clear. I have tried telling the doctors and consultants it’s sleep related to no avail.
    We are now being referred back to the consultant but this time I have some knowledge of what she has, dsps may not be it solely for her but it’s a starting point. Her sleep pattern is exactly as dsps describes. She herself believed it was insomnia. The doctors wrote her off and believed it was all psychological. We rejected this.
    Thankyou for sharing this information, I am relieved. I will continue to fight for her and hope that everyone affected by this condition gets the treatment they deserve.

  23. How wonderful if we can be of help. How good of you, Dawn, to write. It’s fine that you have so many diagnostic tests out of the way. I do hope you can find a doctor who has any experience at all with Circadian Rhythm Disorders (CRDs). The best of luck to you and your daughter!

  24. Thankyou Delayed2sleep,
    Many thanks for the email, I will follow up all the links you have suggested and very much appreciate your support.
    All the best to you!

  25. Same story as everyone else, just great to put a name and an actual disorder to something I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember. Melatonian has helped a little – now I fall asleep at 2 rather than 4. I’m excited to read the rest of the blog and find how other people have coped with it.

  26. Thanks for commenting, Paul!

  27. Hi! I’ve just started my own blog about DSPS. Could you please consider adding it to your blogroll? Thank you.

  28. Glad i found this blog and similar articles regarding dspd.
    Since as long as i can remember i have had problems going to sleep early most nights only getting to sleep at 1am then having a real tough time getting up for school i have fairly regularly missed the bus because of this. My parents thought the usual that i was a “lazy” child and i myself thought that , until recently that is within the past 2 months my sleeping pattern has become allot worse i now can’t sleep until the early hours of the morning (4-6Am) and am a pain in the ass to get up at 7/8Am
    So recently this past week i searched on the internet for anything that could be related and i’ve finally found it.
    Most symptoms if i can call them that about dsps are the same as i experience:
    Cant sleep until it gets to early morning
    Incredibly hard to get up even with a radio alarm clocks on full blast (Probably waking up the neighbors :D)
    Can sleep fine if left to my own sleeping pattern on weekends i can easily sleep in excess of 9 hours
    I’m more alert at night times, and always been considered a night person

    I’m currently 18 and have just begun to write a sleep diary using sleepchart thanks to your blog.
    Thanks for this great source of information and advice 🙂

  29. Comment by Sleep Deprived — 23 November 2010 #

    This comment and your response really grabbed me as I was just cruising your site.

    My mother tells the story of how I was impossible to get to bed from birth. I would NOT go to sleep before 3-4 a.m. throughout my childhood and no amount of cajoling, singing, rocking and God knows what else they tried would get me to sleep (my father confessed to slipping me beer in my bottle several times). Mom says I am the only baby in the world that you had to wake up at noon. My family has always made fun of me for being a “night owl” and a “sleepyhead” and I was often called lazy in my pre-teen and teenage years.

    I’ve had this disorder all of my life and although I have a 9-5 career I managed my way through the first 8 years of hard core 8-5 to get the privilege of working from home.

    I haven’t tried light therapy. I have tried melatonin and it does work some of the time but, like tonight, not always. Ambien helps me get to sleep before my normal sleep time but is addictive so I alternate between melatonin and Ambien to manage the addiction (I don’t think I’m addicted but how would you know? I don’t crave it.). Plus I have the lovely side effect of Ambien of sleep eating which is giving me very bad reflux in my sleep. Very dangerous. I’ve choked in my sleep and literally woken up vomitting as a result.

    I read an article once on CNN where there was a study done that indicated that some people may be naturally nocturnal as part of a genetic layover of tribal times when the safety of the tribe was depenedent on the “night watch” while the majority of the tribe slept. It makes sense in a way but doesn’t help in the knowing or pondering.

    I was diagnosed a couple of years ago and was relieved to learn that there is a diagnosis.

    The most difficult part of this disorder is that it is so far outside the societal norm that you never really fit in if you are true to yourself and your natural sleep cycle.

    I sleep late on the weekends. I take naps when I can because I am *exhausted* when I have to go to sleep before midnight and wake up before 8 a.m. I relish sleeping in the morning sun from 8 a.m. until noon. It is the most delicious treat I can give myself.

    I wish there was a DSPS club we could join and start our own tribe somewhere. It would be so lovely to live near and know people who are on a similar rythm(sp) and can truly relate to how hard it is to function in “normal society” with this “disorder”.

    Thanks for posting this blog. It’s very helpful. I appreciate all of your hard work, time and effort investment into this very informative source.

  30. Thanks, Richard. Lazy kid, impossible to awaken — we do all tell the same story, don’t we? It’s good for us to know we’re not alone. Now, if only doctors would educate themselves about us!

  31. Hello, sleep deprived Holly. Thanks so much for your good letter!

  32. Hi D & L and everyone else!
    Thank you so much for this blog, as everyone has said. On Tuesday morning, sick and desperate with exhaustion at 10am, as my morning-person co-worker babbled next to me, I googled “Nocturnal People”.
    I was just wondering who was out there, if anyone was talking about the suffering my boyfriend and I experience trying to walk the Day People’s world. I never expected to find an answer, an explanation, of the situation that has made so much of my life hell.
    Just learning it’s a physical condition and not the failing of my moral character I’ve always believed it was (couldn’t help internalizing the Day People’s shaming) is such a relief.
    I don’t know what happens next- I’m going to see my psychologist (because of course I have depression and I’m a recovering alcoholic) and get a diagnosis.
    Meanwhile, I wish all of you the very best long lovely nights awake and delicious sunny-day sleeps.

  33. You are very welcome, and thanks for commenting, Suzanne.

  34. I’m so glad I found out about this. I’m extremely tired of constantly apologizing to people and being mocked for my “abnormal sleeping habits”. It’s been years of constant fighting to achieve the normal schedule people expects, with about a day or two of “success” in between months of struggle, always thinking it’s all my fault for not going to sleep like normal people does.
    The funny thing is I’ve been using chronotherapy before knowing it had a name, I actually figured it out for myself out of desperation to try and achieve a normal sleeping schedule, always with too brief successes; and what bothers me now is that my psychiatrist, even after the descriptions of the method I use to try to fix my sleeping schedule -the chronotherapy-, never told me it was actually something that existed, that it had a name, or if it was a smart thing to do in my case. I’ve been doing so much things to my sleeping schedule, pushing it, pulling it, sleep deprivation, that I’m genuinely freaked by the possibility of having broke my circadian rhythm. Now, whenever I’m not actively struggling, I always go to sleep one to two hours later than the day before.
    And the obsessing, oh dear the obsessing.
    In any case, knowing it’s not all just because I’m lazy makes me feel a bit better. Thank you.

    PS. Sorry if this reads like it was written by a 7 year old, English is not my native language, and I’m lousier at it when I’m in my zombie state 🙂

  35. Thank you for writing, Luis. (And if this is a sample of your lousy writing, you must be a true poet when you’re in good form.)

    Learning that the monster has a name seems to be very important to most of us. Would that the medical community were better informed!

  36. Thank you for creating this blog. It’s nice to know we’re not alone. I have been struggling with DSPS ever since I was a child. I remember my mom dressing me for school and putting on my shoes and socks while I was still asleep. I dropped out of high school because showing up for school around noon just didn’t cut it. I have lost several 9 to 5 jobs for being late. Thank God my boss of 10 years sees my value and although he wants to kill me at times, puts up with my “relapses”. My biggest and most important issue that I have with this disorder is that I am a single parent with two school age children. When I can’t wake up in the morning, they get to school very late. I get letters from the state attorney’s office every year and even had a social worker at my doorstep one day. Needless to say, the social worker and school principal do not understand DSPS. I try my very hardest every day, but it’s a real struggle. Here it is 1:30 am and I know my children have school in the morning and I am responsible to open my office, but I am wide awake!

  37. Jobs are tough but single parenting must be the toughest of all. Otherwise we all tell remarkably similar stories. Thanks for writing, Susan!

  38. Hi, I am 40 years old and have this condition. I have had it all my life. I find that melatonin helps and normally take 3 mg at 8pm. I would also take Effexor for depression, and that has a sleep inducing effect. With this I would start yawning around 10pm, and then fall asleep 11 or so. If I would take it any later, I would still be sleepy in the morning. I would set my alarm to 8pm – take melatonin, and my boyfriend would keep asking what is the big deal with me and the melatonin. Now I am pregnant, and I don’t take the melatonin or the Effexor – and I am up all night. I tend to fall asleep 5am, but it can be 6am, or sometimes I am awake when my boyfriend goes off to work at 8:30 in the morning. It drives me nuts! It’s ridiculous – I have no control over my life. It also makes me seem like such a weirdo. I have been kicked out of roommate situations even though I was an exemplary roommate in all other regards, but staying up and sleeping in makes people think you are a major druggie or something.
    I am not working right now, but usually when I am, when it comes to later in the week, like on a Thursday, the alarm clock goes off and I try to think of every reason in the world to call in sick just so I can have another blessed couple of hours of sleep. It is like I would trade my left arm for some more soothing restful peaceful slumber. Wheres just a couple of hours earlier, I would lay awake with my mind wondering and pondering endlessly finding interest in the most mundane things. In other words, my “morning” personality and “evening” personality has almost nothing in common. My night person is charismatic and funny, my morning person is crabby and sullen. I have met people out socially that I later work with and I see them dumbfounded by the change.

    I have read that sitting in front of a computer can exacerbate the problem because of the light exposure. I could see that, before computers I would “only” stay up until 4pm.

  39. I feel for you and wouldn’t wish DSPS on anyone. All the same, there is a bit of comfort in knowing we are many. So thank you for your story and good luck!


    In fact, I enjoy life and (after nine hours of sound sleep) feel like my brain is a Mercedes and can solve all sorts of problems, write articles, work from home, correspond in seven languages (some of my clients are even awake on the other side of the planet when people here are sleeping) and set the alarm clock to jump in when friends and loved ones (the “day people”) want to socialize.

    I like what I am! I’ve contributed much to society and I’ve been able to manage my 26 hour day in order to cater to the needs of “the others”. I’m just different. I don’t have a 24-hour day and I am highly nocturnal. I can appreciate the bright light of day when my day corresponds to it. But when the painful light of morning arrives during a productive night of work and the stress, noise and ruckus begin, I don’t at all mind retiring to the dream world!

    As I read the various articles about DSPS or Non-24 (and in particular the “treatments”) my mind is drawn to those old 1950’s/1960’s movies of various barbaric “psychiatric treatments” we’ve probably all seen on TV. A lot of it sounds like desperate “witch doctor” attempts to “solve” a “problem” that has been created by a society that doesn’t fully understand the origins of non-typical rythms and wants to force everyone to have the same rythm. The only problem I see is “adapting” a non-typical day to the REASONABLE needs and expectations of the economy and our loved ones. In my case, it has been a combination of “managed daily clock docking” (i.e. temporarily interrupting the rythm in order meet with clients or attend to important tasks) and adapting my “task in life or job” to who I am so that I may offer my contributions as effectively as possible to society without setting up a potential conflict situation (i.e. like taking up a particular job that requires a “normal” 24-hour rythm). In these days of Internet meetings, virtual workspaces, etc. this should be less of a problem than it was before.

    I’ve inherited this UNIQUENESS from my father. None of us has ever been clinically depressed! It would appear that some of the greatest contributors to society have been nocturnal or had “DSPS”. And last I checked, we as a group were not noted as being cannibals, psychopaths, vampires, anti-christs, anti-social, subversives or a contagion risk! Now if someone proves to me that all of the best medical evidence shows that I have a highly-above-normal propensity to cancer due to this daily rythm or that I’m cutting 20 years off my life expectancy, then I will be all ears for finding a “treatment” (which will likely be one of the little-understood methods we’ve already read and heard about before visiting this blog). Kudos to those who want change. But in my particular case, I like having the world to myself and working and peace and quiet during my night rythms!

  41. I arrived here through the wikipedia article about DSPS. I am going to send this wikipedia article and link to this site to my doctor asap. I have been had this for a very long time, been fired from daytime work several times in the past because i simply did not wake up at the required time. When i keep to my own schedule (in holidays) and when i have no required time to wake up, i have no problem at all.

    Since 2002 i have been doing shift work, which went reasonably well until about 5 years ago when even the 2 morning shifts (starting work at 7am) out of 10 days became too much of a problem where i would not be able to sleep at all and became physically ill during the day to such extent that i had to be sent home on numerous occasions, or called in sick because i just didnt have any sleep at all. Been in and out of doctor, and psychologist offices for the past 5 years which had no result at all. Too bad that this work has been offshored, so now i am likely to have to find daytime work again. I so much dread that soon to come day.

    The only thing that does work to get me to sleep at my unconvenient hours is alcohol.. which i have been doing for 5 years now and it is negatively affecting my health severely.

    I have been called lazy, undisciplined and many other things in the past. No one believes me, and everyone keeps giving me (well meant) advice that is essentially useless. This situation and the 9 to 5 hour demands that society is pressing onto me is having a very negative effect on the quality of my life. And not to mention the long term effects that the (for me necessary) use of alcohol has had as well.

    Reading up on this site and the wikipedia article has opened my eyes. It was almost like it was written with me as the lab subject. Thank you so much!

  42. Thanks for writing, Jeroen. I’m pleased whenever I hear that the blog has helped someone understand what DSPS is. Sorry about your present position!
    Some sleep specialists at some sleep clinics know about circadan rhythm disorders and that number is all-too-slowly increasing in the US. It’s our impression that Canada and the UK lag behind. Good luck!

  43. I am from the UK, am 17 years old and currently at boarding school. I was diagnosed with DSPS 4 months ago and although it was good to finally find out why I could never get to sleep before 5 am, I have also found it very isolating and frustrating when light therapy, sleep hygiene or melatonin did not normalize my sleep-wake cycle. In the UK, I have found that many people do not understand or even acknowledge the condition, regarding me as simply a ‘lazy’ teenager, and when trying to explain to teachers why I have made any of their lessons in 3 weeks life does become very depressing and lonely. Despite being in my last year of school I have been informed that I will not be allowed to return after the Easter Holidays, which end in a week and a half, if I have not significantly changed my sleep pattern. I am currently trying chronotherapy as my last resort and was wondering what experiences people who have tried this have had? Has it worked for you? Thanks so much for this blog, it feels great to know that I am not alone.

  44. What a miserable situation! Can’t whoever diagnosed you help with an application for accommodations? Schools should be required to accommodate people with disabilities! Chronotherapy usually gives only short term help. I’ve never tried it myself but plenty of people on our mail list have; go to circadiandisorders.org and scroll down for instructions for joining the list. To make chronotherapy work for more than a week or two, you have to be VERY strict about bedtimes, EVERY night — not the typical student life. Please try to fight the school on this; some people have have successfully used a lawyer – or even just the threat of a lawyer. Good luck Katy!

  45. Thank you for this wonderful blog. When parents, sisters, friends, employers, colleagues or even the doctors (etc) do not seem to understand that my DSPS is not my own choice, but a disability, it is relieving to read the experiences of fellow-sufferers.

    While this blog has been a great benefit (again, many thanks!), I do have one question. In Wikipedia, DSPD is defined as evolutionary baggage (the See also -list). How so? What benefit it might have had in the past?

    And I have to say that whole of the Europe seems to be lagging in behind, not just UK. But I’m glad to hear that things in US are improving.

    Excuse me for my English, I’m not a native speaker.

  46. Thank you for your very kind words! The blog serves its purpose once again, and that delights me. Your English is very nearly perfect — nothing to apologize for.

    Many lay people repeat a story of possible evolutionary baggage, but I’ve never seen a scientist repeat it. The idea is that stone-age tribes needed someone to watch the fire / look out for predators / and we are descended from those night watchmen. There does seem to be something genetic behind DSPD, but it’s in my opinion more likely just a chance mutation than evolutionary baggage. It may be fair to say that noone knows for sure.

    Thanks for commenting, Neve.

  47. take a look at PER3-5/5 etc
    Sleep, Diurnal Preference, Health, and Psychological Well-being:
    A Prospective Single-Allelic-Variation Study
    Alpár S. Lázár, et al

  48. Thank you very much for this blog now I’m sure we are not lazy or inconsiderate with family, friends or partners, I hope they could understand us and not just only smile when we talk about this problem

  49. Thanks for writing, Nina. You’ve put your finger on a large part of the problem!

  50. Great blog, I suspect that I am also struggling with DSPS although I already found out about this condition 5 years ago, I just came across your blog right now, so I will go through it asap. I am still struggling with my condition (and worsening) and I suspect that it might be related to my adrenal glands which are not functioning well (still has to be confirmed by a PhD). So I performed a quick search through your site and nothing came up when I typed in “Adrenal”, so I am wondering if you are aware of a condition called adrenal gland insufficiency/exhaustion and whether this condition has been researched in correlation to DSPS?

  51. Thanks for writing, Johan. No, we haven’t written about adrenal insufficiency but from quick googling I see that it is mentioned as a cause of various sleep disturbances and perhaps the daily rhythm of cortisol. Interesting. Hope you enjoy the blog!

  52. I wouldn’t be surprised if both conditions are interrelated or that one is the result of the other. The following links contain a good starting point and a lot of good info in regards to adrenal insufficiency, can you please have a look at them and give me some feedback? http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/faq/ http://drsaulmarcus.com/fatigue/adrenalfatiguecortisolcfs.html http://drsaulmarcus.com/fatigue/holisticfatigue1.html http://www.drrind.com/therapies/metabolic-temperature-graph

  53. About the things I mentioned about adrenal insufficiency, is there any way to get in touch with other DSPS people? I am not talking about a couple of them, but lots of them… I would love to be able to contact them (if they don’t mind of course) to fill out a quick poll (10 to 20 multiple choice questions) to determine whether there are any indications that they might also be suffering from adrenal insufficiency…

  54. Getting in touch with others: There are about 4 DSPS/Non-24 groups on Facebook. As well as the niteowl mail list.

  55. Thanks for the info, I already found the niteowl mailing list, but where can I find those Facebook groups?

  56. If you’re a member of Facebook, just type DSPS (or Non 24) in the search box at the top of the page. I don’t remember if I’ve recommended circadiansleepdisorders.org to you; there is a lot of info there.

  57. […] DSPS, a Sleep Disorder – Delayed sleep-phase syndrome is a little known disorder, often confused with laziness or badly managed sleep patterns. This blog aims to raise awareness and help sufferers get a good night’s rest. […]

  58. Thanks for the link!

  59. i was diagnosed with mild bipolar in 1981 but have suffered also with dspd ,i believe in the 70’s..i found the articles about it online a year ago and my dr agrees with me that i probably suffer from severe anxieties and bipolar as well as dspd and that one illness could have brought on the other in to existence over a period of time.he DOES believe i have dspd so i’m unofficially diagnosed i guess and as i said have suffered with it since middle school in the 70’s.i sleep from(it alternates)6 am to 2pm or from 9am to 5pm daily and unemployable //am an all night person for over 20 years.been used to it for so long that i’d never consider being a day person if i could/

  60. You wrote: ” i’d never consider being a day person if i could”
    As far as I know, most people with DSPD would prefer being a day person! So I guess you are lucky that you don’t wish to change. That it started in middle school is common.
    Mine has been fluctuating lately, too, such that I often sleep from 9am to 5pm. That makes it difficult to make appointments, and come winter I won’t see daylight at all if this continues. So I’m trying to change it.
    There is a new (2 years old) non-profit called Circadian Sleep Disorders Network. If you haven’t found it yet, you might want to take a look. It has lots of info and links:
    Severe anxieties, bipolar and dspd — you do have plenty to cope with. Good luck!

  61. I have just been extended the BraveHeart Award — and NOW, I am nominating YOU!

    Click link below to view the “blog- badge,” read about the Award & get specifics of how to accept your nomination (close to bottom of post — above the Related Content links).

    If you choose to accept the award, leave me a comment on the link below & your nomination candidacy listing will immediately be linked to your site.
    (or search for “Brave Heart Award” if it gets stripped out at comment post)

    Each nominee is notified with the inclusion the following words:

    Stand Strong You Are Not Alone

    I call you a survivor, because that is what you are. There are days when you don’t feel like a survivor and there are days when the memories trigger your past and it feels like you are losing the fight – but you are not. Take the past and heal with it. You are strong.

    I want you to know that the abuse you experience as a result of your diagnosis is not your fault. It does not matter what age it happened. You did not deserve it, you did not cause it, and you did not bring it on yourself. You own no shame, guilt, or remorse.

    In your life, you have faced many demons but look around you and you will see there is hope, and there is beauty. You are beautiful, You are loved, there is hope.

    You deserve to be loved and treated with respect. You deserve peace and joy in your life. Don’t settle for anything less than that. God has plans for you. Your future does not have to be dictated by your past.

    Each step you take you are not alone. Stand Strong.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  62. Thank you, Madelyn, for thinking of me in this connection. However, in reading a little about this award, I do not feel that I qualify. Have I been abused? By society, perhaps. All those years without a diagnosis! Otherwise, no. I’m not traumatized. Thanks, anyway.

  63. i have been collecting total disability for dspd since 1980..it IS considered a disability and the social security disability administration considers sleep disorders as disabilities..As does medicare…I tried to work for years but it didn’t happen…Anxieties combined with dspd prevent me from sleeping if I have anything planned the next day..so if ya can’t sleep ya can’t work..period..I’d rather collect disability and sleep days restfully (as I do now)than struggle with trying to work and sleep and wind up dead prematurely from the stress and anxiety..I’ve seen people struggle with this condition and it’s not a pretty sight.The main problem with collecting disability for it is since so much of society has become ant-welfare and haters of those on welfare,if you start collecting disability ,expect a lot of intimidation and nasty comments about being lazy,etc etc..

  64. Good! I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone actually getting disability on DSPD alone. Non-24, yes, of course. This is really good to hear!
    And you were probably getting nasty comments about being lazy before – so what else is new. But 1980? The disorder’d hardly been described then unless you went to Montefiore, maybe. I do wish I’d known that it existed then — I might have been wise enough to find a new career instead of my day job. Heck, I wish I’d known about it back when I was A-Difficult-Teenager!
    I hope you’ve had interests that you could persue at night. Thanks for commenting.

  65. Hi everyone, do you think it is better to adapt my work life to my schedule, or is it better to adapt my sleep schedule instead? Everyone else in my family works normal hours, and I want to spend time with them, but I know from experience the agony of having to get up at 7am for school when I can only fall asleep at 2-3am, then nodding off throughout classes. By the end if the day I would be so exhausted that I go to bed at 9pm, but stay wide awake until 2, and it goes on. I did not use computers at that time, hardly watched TV and had my dose of sunlight everyday so I doubt light/darm therapy would have helped. In fact it was most severe as a child and teenager and somewhat more flexible now, though not flexible enough that I want it to. Sometimes if I need to wake up early (before 11am), I may end up not sleeping at all and sleeping 12+ hours (1am to 2-3pm) the next day to compensate (am currently unemployed). Allergedly I have been this way since I was a baby and toddler. I would be awake way past 12am on my own accord. I have moved from Singapore (GMT +8) to UK (GMT +1) when I got married, moving my circadian clock back 7 hours. At first I was so glad that I could sleep like a normal person for once… but it only lasted 3 days and once I am not jetlagged anymore I went back to my usual sleep-wake schedule.
    Anyway, enough of myself. What do you think?

  66. Yes, jet lag is wonderful when you’re traveling west. So easy to be normal! I can usually make it last for about 5 days but by then it’s starting to slip.
    You say that your CRD (circadian rhythm disorder) was more severe as a child and teen, and it might be getting better now. So, depending on how old you are, you might want to give the suggested treatments a really serious try for a few months — perhaps you might be able to become a day person, though even if so, you may have to continue the treatment forever.
    After the age of 25-30, if the day schedule is not working out, it probably never will. Good sleep is important for our health, and fighting against your body’s
    natural rhythm does not give you good sleep! I’d never heard of DSPS and felt that I was alone in the world not having the self-discipline to manage mornings. You know that it’s not your fault and that you’re not alone with it. Both choices are hard to live with for different reasons. If you mange to do days, you’ll have to keep a strict schedule to keep it up. If your faulty body clock wins, but you try to do days for decades anyway, like I did, it will become much, much harder later.
    Best wishes!

  67. Hi everyone,
    and thank you all (especially the authors, of course, but also those who commented here and shared their experiences) for bringing this blog to life.
    I am a life coach / well-being coach who promotes a science-based approach to everyday life’s choices, basing their values, beliefs and actions on reality rather than on beliefs and “common sense” (in our case, of the sort of “you’ll get better if you just try to get asleep a bit earlier each day, you’re just lazy/undisciplined”).
    As a writer I’m also working on a few books which promote this mindset (along with an other about the importance of sleep). I’m working on a chapter on the concept of “normality” as defined by the majority opinion within a certain culture and by the laws of a certain state. As many (most?) of you live in the US, where DSPD is recognized as a disability, I’d like to have more informations about this. From ratkooper’s and others comments I understood you have an economical settlement? Of what kind? And what other accomodations are usually provided (schools, work, etc.), and in general about the experience you had from a legal point of view (after you gained awareness of your condition). What about children and daycare?
    My point is to compare how people affected by this disorder are treated in different countries.
    If anyone of you want to discuss their experience about this it would be highly appreciated.
    I’d also like to ask delayed2sleep about the current sleep/work routine. If I understood correctly, you are currently living a day schedule? And you feel it is getting worse? I actually tried to adapt to day living this summer, with very poor results, for about two months, and it seems to me it just get worse all the time. But I understood from some other post on this blog you managed for about one year (maybe more after that)? “if your faulty body clock wins, but you try to do days for decades anyway, like I did, it will become much, much harder later.” What exactly do you mean by that?
    Finally, a scientific question I wasn’t able to find an answer to: there seems to be some heritability on circadian rythms, but does anyone has a clue about how likely exactly it would be, for instance, for my daughter to have DSPD? Maybe someone has information about this? And how does it turned out to those of you who have kids?
    To conclude, thanks one more for this blog and for giving so many people a place where they don’t need to feel they don’t belong anywhere!

  68. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, David. What’s normal is an interesting question. I insist that my sleep is abnormal; we are supposed to be diurnal. Others disagree.
    I’ve seen many people say that “DSPD is recognized as a disability” in the states. It may not be that simple; probably those who do get it approved also have depression, anxiety or similar. I assume that “an economical settlement” would generally be some kind of pension.
    Retired now, I did work days for decades, In the beginning, I just slept extra on weekends. After some years that wasn’t good enough and I developed a sleep schedule with one long nap about 03:30 – 07:30 and another about 18:00 – 22:00; waking up at 10 p.m. was easy, at 7:30 in the morning it was always difficult and sometimes impossible. I was often late for work and felt like I was apologizing all the time. Always being on the defensive & inconveniencing others is stressful.
    Yes, circadian rhythm disorders do “run in families.” The best studied disorder is ASPD, Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder. There the genetics are clear. One might assume that something similar might cause DSPD. DSPD runs in families less often, less clearly, but it does exist. You can learn about what is known on http://www.CircadianSleepDisorders.org and there you’ll find many links to studies, etc.

  69. Thanks for you answers, I’d ask one more question about your current routine, was it my correct impression that you still do a “normal” schedule, although retired? That was my impression from reading the blog (you mention the 36-hour trick you regularly resort to as “catch up”). If that’s indeed the case, can I ask how are you coping, and if you are feeling better/worse compared to when you were younger (and doing either schedule you described in the first post)?
    Kind regards.

  70. No, there’s nothing normal about my sleep scheduling now, unfortunately, and hasn’t been since retirement. I’d be happy if it would settle down to anything regular. I still fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly, thank goodness. I usually sleep 5-6 hours OR 8-9 hours, starting when I feel I must sleep, whenever that is. I still am awake for more than 24 hours now and then. My average sleep per “day” is too little. Except for some sleepiness, I’m fine, thanks.

  71. I’d like to say that I really hope groups like this can flourish more. I am glad someone started to organize, because seriously, it SUCKS having EVERYONE around you misunderstand you because they “KNOW” better, or because they had issues sleeping once upon a time and then just “tried” harder. I’ve even heard from my family members that I “just want to be different so badly…” Ridiculous.

    I was diagnosed with DSPD at 24, although I knew there was something “off” since my junior year of high school. At that time I was told to see a sleep specialist after having to be woken by smelling salts for a week. Though I was tested AT A SLEEP CLINIC, they did nothing, thinking it would just go away. No therapy, no recommendations, nothing.

    How does everyone here feel about Nature-deficiency as a contributor to sleep disorders? Anyone heard of this?

  72. Thank you so much for telling your story. I’ve been suffering from this for years, but no one seems to believe me that it is a real thing. Thank you.. Thank you!

  73. Thank you for your blog. I was a late-learner of my condition with DSPD as i was always labeled a night owl by my parents and friends but I always knew something wasn’t right. Even if I would miraculously get a full 8 hours sleep and have to get up at say, 9am for something (keep in mind I’ve avoided early hours after school years ended) I would still feel awful, somewhat crazy- and THEN I would still not be able to go to bed until my “regular” time that night. I once had a job on day shift 7a-3p for a year and everyone said “you’ll get used to it”- but I never did.

    That was long before the age of the internet. I did not become aware that this was a real thing until 2011 after losing two jobs in a row because I couldn’t work days without being a mess- confused, whiny and just miserable; important body functions not working properly or at all. At night I am a highly competent worker so it’s hard for me to look that bad when it’s out of my control.

    Finding out about this disorder validated so much BUT I am still trying to get people, especially employers, to get an understanding of it to no avail. I even started working in the hospitality industry due to where I live now (had to leave my career as I could do days no longer) but now that I’m older most employers want to put me on days. Even the ones I tell that it’s a disability don’t get it and that usually just gets me shown to the door. Even friends I’ve had for years that I thought understood have said, “well, you’ll get used to it” like I am normal and just like them. If they can’t understand, how can anyone else?

    I just went through starting a new job where the first day I had to be up at 8am but got there and found out they’d start me at 5pm- I had only 4 hours sleep and was unable to nap so I toughed it out and then was told to be back again in the morning the next day. I was unable to crash early and got only 4 hours sleep again and while I tried very hard and did better than i thought I would, I was not in the best place to be learning what I needed to and may have looked a little inept or confused. I stayed up until 3am even after that and then slept for 12 hours.

    I am waking up and venting, maybe whining a bit- I’ve had 2 days off and back on my own schedule (got up at 2pm but still “recovering”) and tomorrow I’m up for 8am again. I take xanax to sleep, otherwise I’d probably be a non-24, and that helps me immensely but I have nothing to alleviate the “crazyhead” that I feel when I get up too early. I don’t want to be an incompetent, whiny mess but I have no control over it just as I have no control of peoples understanding of this disability. It was a big deal when I found out this is a real thing- little did I know that the knowledge wouldn’t translate well to others. One last thing about me, my whole apartment is blacked out and when not working, I avoid daylight completely- I go weeks without seeing any daylight whatsoever. Sorry for the long post!

  74. I’ve had DSPS my entire life but…after 8 years of daily Ambien use I’ve developed a cyst on my pineal gland. I now sleep like “normal”! It’s amazing. I have a regular life. They have no idea what caused the cyst. I go to be before midnight and I wake up before 8 a.m. I used to sleep 12-16 hours/day. Has anyone else had this experience that you’ve heard about?

  75. Hey guys. I know this blog is out of steam but if you really want to become a member of something looking for solutions please go to http://www.circadiansleepdisorders.org They are a non-profit working for us.

  76. I have been supporting my teenager through difficulties with DSPS/Non24 for over 3 years. I have learnt that it is better to adjust his education/social schedule to fit around his more natural sleep patterns than to try (futily) to force him into “normal” patterns. I have had to stand up to systems (health,social services & education) that simply don’t understand what he is dealing with. A long hard struggle involving home education (later afternoon/evening lessons) and battling depression. Resisted doctor’s recommendations of anti-depressants as these don’t appear to help sufferers who are depressed because of the impact of DSPS but have instead found that 5HTP has helped with his mood/depression. It also creates melatonin so may have helped bring his sleep a little earlier (this could be summertime influence though). He still sleeps late (2am on a good day, 4am on a normal day and 7am on bad days) but is so much more positive now. It is possible to get exam boards to agree to later exam start times (with appropriate doctors letters) and there are a few later starting colleges and universities so it is still possible to get an education. I think the key is learning acceptance of being “different” and adapting accordingly. An adjustment families of sufferers need to make too (I have made lots of changes in my life to support him in his). DSPS is very challenging but I feel half the battle is working WITH it not against it. WIsh we’d got an earlier diagnosis and that I’d known about this beforehand as we had not idea what was going on at the start but now we have learnt much more about it. Doctors, schools and the general public need to learn about DSPS/non 24 so that society is more accepting of the needs that go with it. I see this as an equalities issue. Once supporting my child becomes less time consuming I would like to think of ways to raise awareness to help other sufferers past and future out there to cope better.

  77. Happy New Year, everyone. I’ve been neglecting this blog. Thank you, Deyana, for your comment in December! You write that you are “glad someone started to organize” and that’s what some of us have been doing the last 4 years. The non-profit CIRCADIAN SLEEP DISORDERS NETWORK, http://csd-n.org , needs members, volunteers and help spreading awareness. Search that site for “infographic” — we’ve just made it. Print and spread around!
    And thank you, CC98, for your good comment. It is so heartening to know that teens today have a chance to learn that there is such a thing as these disorders. Thank you for supporting your teen so whole-heartedly.

  78. Yes, indeed, Judy! Every plug for CIRCADIAN SLEEP DISORDERS NETWORK is appreciated. Join. Volunteer. Print out the infographic (type infographic in the search box to find it) and spread it around — and don’t forget to give it to your doctor. 🙂

  79. Jackie Whitfield, sorry I missed your comment in March.
    Your story is so much like mine! But I heard of and was diagnosed with DSPS waaay back in 2004. Would that it had been known when I was a kid! I do so agree with: “It was a big deal when I found out this is a real thing- little did I know that the knowledge wouldn’t translate well to others.” Not even to doctors, in fact. SOME people who live in the same house with people like us really, really try to understand. But many don’t. Best wishes.

  80. Harrumph … my message didn’t load in correctly.

    Next week I will have a sleep study at The Royal Brompton Hospital in London.

    If as I suspect the test proves I have DSPS it will allow me to have some closure. I have suffered with mental health issues for over 40 years.

    It took the NHS 25 years and six separate GP’s before I was diagnosed with depression. It has taken another 16 years to obtain a referral for a sleep study.

    And I have had to pay for my consultation myself.

    I have acquired Modafinil from a reputable source overseas after the NHS have refused to prescribe it to me no less than five times over the last 16 years. The results have been remarkable. For the last three months I have felt so much more alert. Alive.

    I’m tired and exhausted by the journey I’ve taken and would like some peace towards the end of my time.

    I’ll be back 🙂

  81. Yes, ‘Prefer not’, it does seem that UK makes it a bit harder for people, but it’s difficult most places. There really isn’t any test that can prove DSPS. An overnight sleep study can rule out other sleep disorders and an MSLT the day after can confirm daytime sleepiness and possibly rule out narcolepsy. I hope you’ve been told to bring at least a couple of weeks of a sleep log. Maybe they’ll send you home with an actigraph to measure your sleep timing for a week or two.
    If your study is a polysomnogram, I hope they’ll let you sleep your usual hours to get enough data and realistic data.
    So nice that Modafinil is working for you! Good luck next week!

  82. 23 years ago I was told I had DSPS and confirmed by dept head at medical school. Told no cure. Sleep onset times have varied between 4AM to 6:30AM, average sleep time 7.5 hours, sleep good, no wake ups. Tried lights, sleeping pills, sleep debt, home remedies and over 400 different supplements. Nothing. One month ago a single simple supplement rolled it all back, within 3 days I was at 2AM to 9AM. After 2 weeks I was at 12 midnight to 7:30AM. After 3 weeks I was at 11PM to 6:30AM. I like that and will probably stay there. The supplement was 6mg copper sebacate, why? maybe some epigenetic expert could tell me. Remember everyone is unique and there are other things to consider.

  83. Well, I’ve been reading the comments, and I decided to join in. I’m sixteen. I’ve had this disorder for as long as I can remember, but it got worse with puberty. As a child, I would fall asleep at midnight, but now I usually sleep at 3 ish. Thankfully, since it runs in the family and my sister and pop have it, my family is very understanding. Right now, I’m on summer vacation, so I’m okay, but during the school year, I sleep five hours a night. I actually found out about DSPS from my sister (we call it DSPD), who discovered it on this site and a Wikipedia follow-up. There’s a chance it’ll recede when I’m older, but that didn’t work for my family, so it’s not likely. I’m super glad that someone is trying to spread awareness of this problem, otherwise I never would have known. There is one plus though. I discovered that if I do intense workouts every night, I can fall asleep about two hours sooner, so a sleep disorder made me ripped. And oh crap it’s 4:30, gotta try and sleep.

  84. Welcome, Devin, thanks for commenting.
    Yes, I call it DSPD now, too, but I don’t think anyone did in 2005. Some just call it DSP.
    Interesting that there are three of you, in two generations. It seems *likely* that it would run in families, but I don’t know of many cases where it does.
    You sound like a sensible 16-year-old. If you don’t yet have a formal diagnosis, you might want to try to get one. Some universities and even some employers are helpful in scheduling, but it’s less likely if you don’t have a doctor note. Best wishes!

  85. I had this since I was a child (my parents say) and it hasn’t left me.

    I have tried everything now. I tried light therapy and chronotherapy (which has accounts of being dangerous by shifting DSPS into N24). I tried it 4 times already. It has a 90% relapse rate with 20% relapsing in the first week. Why is that treatment even used at all?

    My current sleep schedule is 11:30pm to 8:30 or 9am. However, I’m drowsy, fatigued, tired, and irritable. I have been like this for the past 4 weeks with no restorative sleep. I am also with a cold for the THIRD time in a year and I never get sick. I lose things, I forget things, I don’t even think I should be driving either.

    Not a single person believes I should go back to sleeping the way I should. I have set out to prove this to everyone. I am even getting a sleep apnea home sleep study. I have logged my sleep hours and other things related to sleep, I do daily bright light therapy and I even have a fitbit to track my movement and sleep more carefully. I want this condition to be recognised as a “disability”. I have further proof of my cognitive functioning. I nearly failed my psychology degree (done during “normal” hours) but obtained a first class (highest possible result) in my honours year doing a social sciences degree and now I’m doing a PhD in sociology because of it. I did that degree on my own hours, at night, where I can produce meaningful work.

    I hope I will be able to find employment or source of income after I finish my PhD. I rather live in my own hours feeling good, being productive, and of service to others than having to take drugs and being sleep deprived. Being sleep deprived means heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, chronic depression, etc. No thanks, stick your “normal” life up yours society. Besides, those who sleep like us are said to have higher intelligence :P. Google this.

  86. Ferdo – (late reply, sorry)

    Such a typical story. So sad we have to discover these things for ourselves, one at a time. Somewhat better, now, with the Internet — but still.

    You write about chronotherapy: “It has a 90% relapse rate with 20% relapsing in the first week.” I’d love to know where you got that statistic! Not that it’s surprising at all. 😦

    “Not a single person believes I should go back to sleeping the way I should.” Let me be the first!

  87. Hey thanks for the reply. I have some updates. I was able to manage my sleep. I wake up at 10am and I’m working as a freelance copywriter which allows me to sleep like this. I quit my PhD because it was making things worse. It’s not for everyone for sure. I won’t get into that now. Using light blocking glasses has helped me tremendously. I get better sleep.

    Oh, and the citation:

    Dagan, Y., Yovel, I., Hallis, D., Eisenstein, M., Raichik, I. (1998). Evaluating the role of melatonin in the long-term treatment of delayed sleep phase syndrome.
    Chronobiology International, 18(6), 1019-1027.

    My numbers were also wrong. Out of 61 DSPS patients, 90% had relapsed to their original sleep schedule a year after their treatment and 28.8% after only one week. A pretty old study but there you go.

    There’s little research that I found regarding DSPS being caused by psychological factors. It is known that DSPS is associated with depression. But, I found that many DSPS (including myself) has/had psychological problems or a personality type that may lead to sleeping that way. For example, I don’t like people too much and so living at night allows me to be alone more often than if I was diurnal.

    So little research and acceptance of sleep disorders. We’re a society that doesn’t value sleep. It’s super weird. If you’re tired from “working” then you’re a hero. If you wake up at 5am, you’re the best. Such non-sense.

  88. As mum to a teenager with severe DSPS (verging towards non 24) I wouldn’t recommend chronotherapy. It has always failed with my child and simply exhausts him. We have instead adapted his lifestyle to suit his natural sleep patterns as much as possible. He never gets up before Midday and I have told everyone (mostly education people) not to ask him to. Happily we have finally found a school than starts in the afternoon (after having to home educate for several years- not ideal but this was the only option as no school was flexible enough to accommodate his needs) and they are very supportive which has been great. Even getting up early once can throw his sleep patterns out very dramatically so I would never expect him to try to get up early. This includes planning holidays (including flights) and special occasions for afternoons only and applying to sit exams (with doctors letters etc) in the afternoons. My son would very much like to “normalise” his sleep patterns and bring his sleep to an earlier point (he generally falls asleep between 3am-6am and this gets worse during the dark winter months and is also worse on darker days). I am hoping this may become less extreme when he is older and it would be good to hear from others as to whether things improve a little after the teen years in terms of lateness? My son is now seeing sleep specialists and would like to shift his sleep to an earlier stage and I will fully support him in anything he tries but would NEVER try to force him to go against what is manageable for him. Whilst it is frustrating to be limited to more flexible forms of education/work/uni etc by DSPS I would rather find ways to adapt these to fit his needs than to try to do things the other way round which historically never works and also has a very detrimental effect on mood/health/wellbeing etc.

  89. Thanks, Ferdo, for the citation. Dagan is wonderful; he’s been taking these conditions seriously for a long time, not least in children. In one paper I read, which I’ve never been able to find again 😦 , a fair number of kids lost their ADHD labels after he treated them for DSP, and parents asked to continue the treatment after the study was over.

    I have blue-light blocking goggles, but I fear I’ve not been consistent enough with them to be able to say if they help.

    Congrats on consistently waking at 10 a.m.!

    You write that “Being sleep deprived means heart attacks, strokes, …”
    Yes, but before that, it means being sleep-deprived, which itself is bad enough!

  90. My whole life is affected by my sleep problem my relationships are holding on by a thread including relationship with my daughters… I don’t know what to do I feel so alone and depressed nobody understands I hate myself everyone thinks I’m lazy and don’t have a care in the world because I sleep all day! I’ve been to my doctor about it he put me on a no carb diet and then sleeping pills and when they didn’t work he just said perhaps I’m one of these people that need 12hours sleep and I should go to bed at 7pm which is impossible I’ve tried I physically cannot get to sleep until early hours no matter how tired I am! How do I go about getting a diagnosis when no1 believes?!

  91. Makayla, I am sorry for the delay in approving and replying to your comment. You are right. It is very hard to find a doctor to properly diagnose DSPS. Simply going to bed earlier does not work. That is why it is a disorder.

    One place to start in order to get a diagnosis would be the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network. We have a list of doctors who have been recommended by others with DSPS or N24. Hopefully one might be near you.


  92. Well, I knew their had to be more people like me. I have felt so alone, for so long. I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy but truly believe I have DSPS. I have never really excepted my doctors diagnosis and have always tried to find relief of my symptoms. I have been on adderall, nuvigil, provigil, ritalin, and melatonin for the sleep portion. I have also became depressed and have tried several depression medications with nothing really working, but rather making me feel empty. I have fought disability for 9 years only to be told I’m able to work, and have them joke that I could be a bed tester. When I see other people with physical disabilities, it makes me feel horrible because I look fine, however I feel like a ton of bricks is weighing me down, and I feel spacey all the time. I have 5 children, and most doctors just past it of as being a mother and stressed could make me feel this way. I’m so sick of excuses and just want to know what is wrong with me. I have invested money in vitamins from the health food store, taken all kinds of energy drinks, changed my diet, stopped smoking, and drank more water. Sorry to ramble, but I’m so happy I found this blog.


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