Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, is this me? cant fall asleep before 5AM

So i've been doing some research, and i found an article about delayed sleep phase syndrome and i'm curious as to what people may think who knows anything about it.  For a couple years now at least ive always thought ive had insomnia, i have the worst time falling asleep at night.  Its ridiculous and makes it very hard to get up in the morning.  I'm a college student and i regularly miss classes because i cant fall asleep and then get up for them though im still managing to do alright.  The normal time i fall asleep though is between 5 AM - 8 AM usually.  If i try to go to bed earlier it doesnt do any good and just makes me restless, I'm constantly laying in bed for hours to fall asleep and i really can not remember the last time i fell asleep before 5 AM without sleeping pills or something.  Its also very common for me to just stay up all night through the next day, probably at least twice a week or more, because i cant fall asleep and then it gets to be 8 am so i just get up. Even if I stay up all night though i still dont fall asleep till 4-5 AM usually the next night.  I was reading about DSPS and it sounded a lot like what i am experiencing, and when I am asleep i sleep amazingly well, can easily sleep till 3 PM if i let myself.  It also seems to be worse if i want to fall asleep, such as because i need to get up in the morning.  If anyone has any advice or knows anything about this that would be very helpful, it makes functioning really hard lol. Thanks in advance
4 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
675347 tn?1365460645
Well I've got DSPS myself! I had it in my teens, then it started to really kick in again when I was in my late 40's. During the middle period I was fairly 'normal'.
But I can't say I know a lot about it, or what to do to control it.....because I can't. I have had to try working from home because I wouldn't have a hope of keeping a normal schedule to fit into other peoples ways.
Basically with me it's this: No matter how tired I am I cannot fall asleep (or very very rarely) before 2 am, and usually later. My optimum time for falling asleep seems to be around 3-3.30am. That's just fine if I can sleep undisturbed a good 7-9 hours, I sleep really deeply and well and wake refreshed. But if there is any reason I can't (such as a morning appoinment, or anything I have to do mornings, I set the alarm, manage to get 4-6 hours or something, and just ride it out. I've kind of got used to it now. (That happened last night, only it was a bad one....didn't fall asleep till 5.30! Unfortunately I had to wake up at 9 so felt tired today. And after dinner could hardly keep my eyes open. Now, when it's 11 30 at night I suddenly feel fine, not a bit sleepy, and know the same thing will happen again....won't be able to sleep till at least 2.
So that's how I manage. I sleep my good hours when I can, don't sleep them when I can't and....well, kind of learn to live with it I guess. I haven't been sick as a result, nothing bad has happened to me. I'm fit and well. So I guess it's one of those things.

But I know it is harder for you because I work from home to my own schedule (albeit for little money!) but you have to fit in with a schedule.
I wish I could suggest something that works. The ONLY thing that does work to help me 'fit in' is to go a whole night without sleep deliberately, then the next night I have a chance of getting to sleep around midnight. Then I'll wake about 8. That will help for a few days (ie I'll go to sleep at 12, wake at 8) then it stops working and I'm back to the same old thing again! Trying to get to bed early feels like fighting nature for me. It's the equivalent I guess, of a 'normal' person trying to go to bed at 3 in the afternoon!
Helpful - 0
675347 tn?1365460645
....By the way I've heard (forgotten exactly where now) that "night owls" do better in IQ tests than "early birds"........so we've gotta be good for something hey?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm in the same boat!  I'm self employed, work at home.  There are days I have to be online at 8:30 am, but lately I've been sliding that back to 9:30, 10, 10:30 am.  My wife gets up and gets the kids off to school. She's a morning person.  This really worked out well when the kids were babies. I took late night baby shift coverage, she got the morning.  Now the kids are 7 and 3. They come into my room and give me a hug while I'm in bed on their way off to school and I go back to sleep for another hour or two.  I'm generally on my computer from 10-5:30, then have dinner and spend some time with the kids. Sometimes I doze in front of the TV with them.  After dinner is a really low energy time for me. My eyes are zapped from staring at the computer all day, and I'm destressing. The past few months, my 3 year old wants me to stay with him for a few minutes after reading to him in bed while he falls asleep. That's fine, but then I'll catch a little nap. Say 8:45 - 9:15 pm.  Tonight it was until 10:15 pm. Then I come downstairs to watch some TV with the wife while the kids are in bed.  10:30 / 11 pm comes, she's off to bed, and I'm up for another 4 hours.  It's 2 am now, and I'm barely tired.   I can work on 6 hours Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat.  If I do that, Thursdays and Sundays I need at least 8 hours.  Really hard not to take a nap those nights though.


As a programmer, I do my best work during these hours if I can bet my butt back to the desk as there are no distractions, and I'm wide awake.  

I don't know if I should try to do something about it, or just roll with it.  I've always gravitated toward this sleep schedule.  It's what comes naturally.  I honestly feel like I'd do better on a 25 hour day.  I need 7.5-8 hours sleep to feel refreshed, but then I'm up for 17 hours. My main concern is, it's cutting into my family time.  Does this self indulgent sleep schedule make me a bad dad?

We took a vacation to California which is a 2 hour time differential.  Our flight was early  morning so I got virtually no sleep going into the trip. By the time it was time for everyone to sleep night 1, I was right there with them.  We managed to stay on the same schedule for those 10 days and it was great getting up with the kids.  Having breakfast with the family, planning what we'd do that day etc. Unfortunately, vacations being what they are, we let the kids stay up later, and sleep in later.  The family gravitated closer to my normal schedule on Greenwich Mean Time.  Say a Midnight PST bedtime for my wife and me which is 2 am CST.  When we flew back to Wisconsin, I was right back into my routine. The wife and kids adjusted to school schedule I was back in my whack sleep routine.

Some folks work 2nd or 3rd shift their whole careers and love it so maybe I'm not so strange.  Maybe some people are just built for a different sleep clock?

Thanks for letting me vent.  It's kinda hard to talk to friends who have to be at a 8-5 job about choice in sleep schedule.  Main reason I got in trouble in my work history was being late for oversleeping. I'm very  thankful I don't have that stress right now. I just hope my kids understand - and take after my wife when it comes to sleep.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
so im in the same boat as you. up till 5 or 6, but I went to a sleep doctor and was diagnosed with a circadian rhythm disorder and more specifically DSPS and the way he explained it to me is that i have it because i cant fall asleep but when i do i usually sleep 11-12 hours and then dont feel at all refreshed in the morning and am tired all day until my wired hours between 10-4. i have a very hard time getting out of sleep, the grogginess sticks with me (which is also hypersomnia) and the whole sleeping 11-12 hours. This is how the disorder was explained to me, so i dunno you definately have some sort of circadian rhythm disorder.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Sleep Disorders Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Dr. Steven Park reveals 5 reasons why breathing through your nose could change your life
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.