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Interesting Sleep Pattern.

Hi, I'm 18 years old, pretty much a normal guy besides my sleep pattern...

It turns out that I suffered in school because of this now that I look back on it.

I have tried a few things
-Running myself to the point of exhaustion, doing strenuous work, and trying to fall asleep at 8pm
-Taking Advil PM at 8pm to reset my sleep schedule
-Simply staying up 30+ hours to be completely tired by 8am

Everything and anything to reset my clock, I've tried. The food trick, the non-food trick...it seems like everything I've tried just gets nullified, and I go back to my old sleep habits.

Now, I usually fall asleep in the early morning, right as the sun comes up, and my mom wakes me around 2-3pm. I don't do anything stimulating after dark, I'll either read an article online or read a book, or something that keeps me from getting stimulated.

I've let myself go and told my mom to stop waking me up, and I sleep for 12-14 hours and stay up for 24-28 hours, and can do that cyclically. It seems my body wants to sleep for a long time then stay up for a long time. A day isn't my sleep schedule...more like 30-32 hours a day.

I'm getting irritated to the point where I'm about to move out and get a streaky job that could fit into my sleep schedule because my parents cannot understand this problem, and every "medical specialist" says I'm just not committed to sleeping normally. I believe they're 100% wrong because I've tried so hard to get back to what the world says I should be doing with my sleep pattern, but I simply CANNOT. I've tried everything they've said, and when it doesn't work, they suggest I am the one that isn't working. Well duh.

Question though- is there a way, without medication (which makes things worse- I CANNOT sleep for 8 hours and feel awake- my body feels like a pile of crap when I wake up the next day) to fix this? Some sort of natural remedy? Or should I accept the fact that I am this way, and move on in life as is?

It's a tough dilemma, I just want to see if anyone else out there has an idea of what to do or how to react.

Thanks for your time.
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replied July 2nd, 2011
I can't say for sure just from your description of the symptoms, but I'd venture a guess at either shift work sleep disorder non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome or acute delayed sleep phase syndrome. I myself suffer from the latter and as a result can relate to many of your complaints personally.

The good news is there's a variety of possible solutions, all with a good track record of successfully treating the disorder.

The bad news is there's a very high chance of remission, and the disorder isn't something that will go away after a predetermined course of treatment.

Among other things, I've found that light treatments (Shining a bright light at your face for 20 minutes every morning), short-term prescribed low-dosed anti-histamines and maintaining sleep hygiene (No reading/watching a monitor in bed, no caffeine, heavy meals or exercise after 4pm and no lying in bed awake for more than 15 minutes at a time trying to go to sleep) have been effective in my case. But different things work for different people, and different lifestyles.

Melatonin is a hormone the body secretes to help regulate circadian rhythms that regulate sleep, hunger, sex drive and other cyclic bodily functions. Some people who have trouble falling asleep at night have found a small Melatonin dose sufficient to help their bodies fall asleep more quickly.

I recommend you read up on DSPS disorder and SWS disorder online and maybe go do a sleep study. There's a lot science doesn't know yet about sleep disorders but learning what you can may be a great help with dealing with your situation.

Some links regarding the above:
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep _phase_syndrome

Shift Work Sleep Disorder - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shift_work_sl eep_disorder

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-24-hour_s leep-wake_syndrome

Melatonin - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melatonin

Light Therapy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_therapy #Mood_and_sleep_related

I hope this helps and your situation improves soon.
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