In addition to sleep apnea, I recently found out that I had been diagnosed after my sleep study with "delayed sleep phase syndrome". I'd had no idea. I guess we focused on the apnea and the other thing took a back seat. Anyway, it explains so many of my sleep issues. I have always been a "night person" able to function late into the night/morning. But to do pretty much anything early in the morning has been a major problem for me for my entire adult life. I ALWAYS had a problem getting to work on time, so I was seen as someone who was undependable. I thought if I were only more disciplined, I would be able to fix it, but it was always a major obstacle. Finally I began to work only from home, to a large extent because I could no longer tolerate the horrible feelings brought on by the daily ritual of walking into the office late, breathing heavily and sweating from rushing, being stared at by all of the other "on time" employees. I never lost a job over it, surprisingly, but I also was rarely considered worthy of promotion. To find out so late in life that there was most likely a legitimate reason why I can't function in the morning really blew my mind. My doctor says that although there are behavioral techniques that are used to try to adjust a person's sleep cycle, they rarely work for very long. He said that the prevailing attitude now is that someone with DSPS should work their life around it. Get a night job, etc.. NOW he tells me! But he also said that if I make an effort to keep a fairly consistent sleep schedule, even if it's from 3 A.M. to 11 A.M., I will have a much more productive "awake" life because I will have had enough sleep. I've only recently been experimenting with this idea, but it seems to be helping. If nothing else, it has relieved me of much of the guilt about being out of synch with the world.
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