It’s really late and I’m very wide awake. No, I don’t have insomnia — this is typical. I just answered some work email and now I’m thinking about getting a snack. Most people have been sleeping for hours but I’m not tired. Not at all. I could start cleaning the house now, I’ve got so much energy — and indeed the house could use some attention.
But I will be tired in the morning. I struggle to release myself from the bedclothes. Luckily, this passes by the time I’ve completed my morning ablutions and I’m quite awake by the time I’m at the streetcar stop. And after my morning coffee (which I have at work) I’m practically vibrating with awakeness.
But geez, waking up is the hardest part of my day. It’s not that I’m dreading the day ahead. I enjoy being at work — it’s dragging myself into the shower that I can’t stand.
So, since I’m up anyway, I decided to see if this condition has a name.
It does. I think I have delayed sleep phase syndrome.
Attempting to force oneself through 9–5 life with DSPS has been compared to constantly living with 6 hours of jet lag. Often, sufferers manage only a few hours sleep a night during the working week, then compensate by sleeping until the afternoon on weekends. Sleeping in on weekends, and/or taking long naps during the day, gives people with the disorder relief from daytime sleepiness but also perpetuates the late sleep phase.
Bingo. I don’t get much sleep during the workweek — five hours is typical. I can (and do) sleep in very late on the weekends but that’s because I fall asleep so late.
By the time DSPS sufferers receive an accurate diagnosis, they often have been misdiagnosed or labeled as lazy and incompetent workers or students for years.
Not me. No one would describe me as a lazybones. Well, if you’ve seen me throw the alarm clock on the floor and whack it with a pillow that phrase might cross your mind.