Today’s Read: Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

You know that person who hates doing anything before noon? If you ask them to meet up for breakfast, they’re like, “Uh, you mean breakfast for dinner, right?” It’s me. I’m that person.

For my entire life, I’ve been made to feel lazy and immature because I’m not a morning person. People assume I’m irresponsible, and when I push to have meetings later in the day, you can sense the judgment. When I say, “I’d rather stay up and work at 2 in the morning,” people think I’m odd. And damn near everyone thinks it’s something to fix. One of my old bosses would laugh at me and accommodate me for half an hour. He’d think I was being ridiculous when I grumbled about teaching 8 a.m. classes. All I have to do is get up early and suck it up, right? Or worse, I get tons of unsolicited advice on what to take, what to try, etc. Yeah no. I’ve tried it. Forty years of sleep issues. I’ve tried it. Please save your suggestions.

But guess what? It might not be something people can control. I’m working with a sleep specialist, and she thinks I’m dealing with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. It’s rare I fall asleep right away. I went to bed at 11:30 last night, exhausted, and I don’t think I fell asleep until 2 or 3 in the morning. I wanted to sleep. Badly. But I couldn’t. And yet my brain woke me up at 8 a.m. because sleeping later is frowned upon. Mind you, I stay in bed for at least an hour in the hopes that I’ll go back to sleep, but I usually don’t. And then I’m tired all day and think about napping, but if I nap, it’ll interfere with my sleep even more.

On any given night, I might sleep three hours or I might sleep ten. I never have any idea what I’m going to get. Add in the possibility of sleep apnea (sleep test coming soon), and yeah, there’s a reason my answer is always, “I’m tired,” when you ask how I am. I’m not just life tired; I’m actually sleep deprived.

And guess what else? That probably impacts my weight, my mental health, my physical health, and so on. And because I know I’m not alone in this, DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW WHY I AM FOREVER TELLING MY STORIES TO TRY AND HELP OTHERS?! Like . . . no one tells you this shit. You have to figure it out as you go, and that gets old.

I get tired of having all the things that make me who I am assumed to be character flaws. Y’all . . . I wanna be normal, but I’m literally not wired that way. This is why I’m always trying to embrace my weird.

End whine.