Have you ever known someone who was a night owl who did not want to be? Or who just could not go to sleep at a normal time at night? I do. I happen to be married to him, that is until about 8 months ago... Eight months ago, my dear husband was diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder/Syndrome. Basically his body wanted him to go to bed at 4 AM instead of when we would normally go to bed. We did not know this because he would be able to go to sleep before that sometimes, but others he would just not be able to go to sleep. I definitely feel that it was made worse by our baby not sleeping between 11PM and 3AM every night for the first few months of his life. Since we were married he would have occasional nights where he couldn't sleep, but it was usually only once per month. After our son was born it became 1-2 times per week - of course we only noticed this after our son started going to sleep at 11 PM instead of 3AM. He would also have a really hard time getting out of bed in the morning. It was rough to deal with both from his side and from mine. While I really tried to be an understanding wife, I could not understand why it took him over 20 minutes to get out of bed.
Luckily we were able to see a wonderful sleep specialist, he was diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder and started light therapy to help his body get back into the swing of things. Also luckily is that he was a college student on summer break and his work was VERY flexible and did not mind him coming in at 2PM.
I felt like writing this because I've been in a few conversations lately about it and this sleep disorder is not widely known. In fact those who have it are sometimes labeled as lazy and irresponsible... It's not fair to them because they also do not understand why they cannot sleep. I wish we could have learned about this sleep disorder 4 years ago, but am glad that we were able to solve my husband's sleep problem when it was at its worse. If you are experiencing any sleep problems I would encourage you to talk to your doctor about them - and if possible to see a sleep specialist. A good night's sleep is worth it!
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