Finally found out what keeps me up at night

I tend to tell people who wonder why I only sleep a couple of hours a night and am generally up until 3-4 AM that I have suffered from insomnia since my childhood. The truth, however, is that I’m not in actuality insomniac, but have developed a severe case of delayed sleep-phase disorder when I was about eight.

This is how Wikipedia describes DPSD:

Delayed sleep-phase syndrome??(DSPS), also known as??delayed sleep-phase disorder??(DSPD) or??delayed sleep-phase type??(DSPT), is a??circadian rhythm sleep disorder, a chronic disorder of the timing of sleep, peak period of alertness, the??core body temperature??rhythm,??hormonal??and other daily rhythms relative to societal requirements. People with DSPS generally fall asleep some hours after midnight and have difficulty waking up in the morning.[1]

Often, people with the disorder report that they cannot sleep until early morning, but fall asleep at about the same time every “night”. Unless they have another??sleep disorder??such as??sleep apnea??in addition to DSPS, patients can sleep well and have a normal need for sleep. Therefore, they find it very difficult to wake up in time for a typical school or work day. If, however, they are allowed to follow their own schedules, e.g. sleeping from 4 a.m. to noon, they sleep soundly, awaken spontaneously, and do not experience??excessive daytime sleepiness.

The syndrome usually develops in early childhood or adolescence.[2]??An adolescent version disappears in adolescence or early adulthood; otherwise DSPS is a lifelong condition. Depending on the severity, it can be to a greater or lesser degree treatable. Prevalence among adults, equally distributed among women and men, is approximately 0.15%, or 3 in 2,000.

I haven’t seen a more accurate description of my condition until reading those lines. ??
While I’m kind of bummed now that I know it is a lifelong condition, I’m sort of happy to know that there’s an actual name for it that I can now refer to when people ask.
I stumbled across the disorder reading this blog post, from a guy that basically has my life pinned down:

I regularly can’t fall asleep. ??

I often can’t fall asleep even when I feel tired. ??

Once asleep, I generally sleep through the night just fine. ??

It’s nearly impossible for me to wake up early in the morning. ??

Pulling an all-nighter is surprisingly easy for me. ??

I generally direct my lifestyle to avoid morning commitments.

He also offers a (very simple) solution: avoid ‘bad light’ in the evenings, get a lot of ‘bright light’ in the mornings.
I’m so going to try it. And probably fail.

6 thoughts on “Finally found out what keeps me up at night

  1. @joris hehe, obviously I do, only problem is my role there requires me to up during the day in Belgium. Although admittedly it’s perfectly fine if I start around 10 AM.

  2. crap, rubbish, the ignorance of, ta-da, western medicine!! a syndrome, no less. crikey!any yogi knows this for what it is, a side effect of a more developed consciousness. is an example, but every guru i ever met needs very very little sleep … and it is commonly understood to be a sign of a developed, and developing being ..totally normal, desirable, laudable, in all cultures of the world that know anything about mind and being …if it was damaging, rather than just socially unacceptable, you could not begin to do the job you do …there is nothing wrong! sleep is a habit, culturally learned, far more than americans know.thanks for your time

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