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Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

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Michael wrote this post to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining good health and some sensible exercise ideas

Over To You. How Many Of Us Have Sleep Issues?

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome DSPS

DSPS is where you fall asleep at a time that may be inconvenient to you and can interfere with your work life and prospects.

Some people may fall asleep at 3,4,5 or whatever a.m. every single day of their lives and this has always been their cycle.

They may have trouble keeping a regular job because they are always exhausted through lack of a good nights sleep.

You can change the time to anywhere you like and you will find someone that sleeps naturally at that time.

We are not machines but we are still definitely governed by the needs of the machine age. Have you ever wondered why most work is centred around the hours of 9 - 5? It's not for your benefit.

It is because 9 -5 are usually the hours of daylight and it is cheaper to run a business in the daytime than at night.

So how can you fit into a system that you have no control over setting up. You could start your own business or find a night job. But to be honest these changes don't actually make much of a difference as you will see below.

Symptoms of poor sleep

You may have you spent years counting sheep, counting backwards from 1000, taken sleep aids. Nothing worked.

You still found yourself wide awake until whatever time, every night/day. You live in a sort of twilight world which can be quite enjoyable but interferes with the rest of your life.

Have you ever felt that you were out of step with the rest of the 24 hour world?

No matter where in the world you may have been. It made no difference to your sleep pattern and you are just tired all the time.

Are you the one lying in bed for hours while everyone that you know seem to drop off to sleep in 2 minutes. Annoying isn't it?

We are not machines

We are not robots

We are not robots

Sleep Debt

Researching this article has shown that it is a much more common problem, than it at first appeared.

I thought is was just me. Why is this? Simply because no-one talks about it, and when we do. The same old chestnuts of advice come out thick and fast.

Just go to bed earlier or get a job at night. This is really missing the point.

Going to sleep at 4 am. When you have to get up for work at 7 am quickly builds up a 'sleep debt' which you can never pay off.

Sleeping in late at the weekend to 'catch up' is just not going to help. After a while, if you do not address the problem, you could be headed for a serious physical and emotional crash. Sleep debt can be fatal.

Learning good sleep hygiene is the first step. This involves regulating food and drink intake. Setting yourself up, and in the mood for sleep. Sounds simple... It isn't.

Scroll to Continue

Always Tired

Do you ever wonder why or how your partner can sleep, and yet you cannot.

Do you ever think there is something wrong. Why can't you sleep at the 'right' time. Or what society dictates is the right time.

If the answer to any or some of the above, rings a bell then maybe you are suffering from:- Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome or DSPS.

The following records my journey through the assessment process, after decades of fruitless alternatives, to a real cure.

What has been most surprising, is the number of people that have similar sleep problems,

Like you, they just get on with it, thinking they are the only one, with this particular sleep problem.

Check your Sleep Symptoms

Tips to better Sleep

The hormone Melatonin is found in all animals, plants and microbes. In humans this compound fluctuates on a daily cycle, (biorhythm) It affects your circadian rhythms and many of your primary bodily functions including your wake/sleep cycle.

Circadian Rhythms:-

“Circadian rhythms are endogenous ("built-in", self-sustained), they are adjusted (entrained) to the environment by external cues called zeitgebers, (from the German for "time giver," or "synchronizer") the primary one of which is daylight.”

The term "circadian" was coined by Franz Halberg in the late 1950s. Although the above is true, using Melatonin as a treatment alone doesn't help people with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. A whole life approach is required.

DSPS affects approximately 0.15% or 1 in every 667 of the population and it can run in families indicating a genetic connection.

There is research on the genetic front but it is still early days. Globally the syndrome has minor variations although it is slightly higher in some Scandinavian countries.

As mentioned above experiments have been conducted in the use of Melatonin in an attempt to control the circadian rhythm and rectify DSPS. Melatonin artificially introduced this way has little long term effect on it's own.

The effects produced by Melatonin can be very short lived with the patient returning to their usual sleep pattern within a few days when the Melatonin is removed. Used with other life changes, it can be very effective.

Melatonin combined with light therapy can have a dramatic and long term beneficial effects. Sunlight or light therapy destroys Melatonin and so aids the waking cycle.

The term that we use for morning or evening people. Larks and Owls. In scientific terms they are known as Chronotypes.

A chronotype is a way of describing a particular attribute of an animal, plant or a human.

In our example indicating what time of the day, various physical functions are active i.e. cognitive faculties, eating and sleeping. In our case we are only interested in sleeping onset habits.

Night Owl or up with the Larks?

Night Owls are what we would describe as a night person, or evening people. They and most active and alert at night. Larks love the morning.

When we consider the situation of the Night Owls or night person, and the problems of fitting into a society that operates on a completely different clock. We must conclude that living like this is extremely difficult and not something one would ‘choose’ to do.

Many people who have this sleep pattern are misdiagnosed and often viewed as lazy or worse. Many times they live their lives thinking there is something mentally wrong with them.

They may take all the tests and listen to the scant advice. They are often misdiagnosed and prescribed sleeping pills; that either don’t work at all, or knocked them out cold.

To keep their finances in order, many struggle on. Working the 9 to 5 on just a few hours’ sleep a night.

They come home and grab an hour or two on the couch, ‘power napping’. Long term this can lead to serious health problems, including exhaustion and depression.

Finally a Treatment that Works. See update below

If you suffer from this syndrome unfortunately there seemed to be no remedy.

All attempts and there have been many, to reset my body clock failed.

The Good News.

Now you know the truth. You can really do something about it finally.

The 'best advice' around states that the thing to do is to try to accept it. Try to find an occupation that fits around your sleep pattern.

Fortunately our society is 24/7, so the [night person] may consider switching to work that fits in with 'you', rather than drive yourself nuts trying to fit into a system that doesn't run to 'your' rhythm.

Some career choices to consider. Taxi Driver, Hospital Work, Writer (Technical or Blogger) Call Centre Operative, Gas Station Operator/Owner, Bakery Worker/Owner.

And countless millions more no doubt. When you truly discover that ‘you’ are not the problem, and have in fact got a syndrome. It can be very liberating. It’s not an excuse or a 'cop out' but an invitation to jump in.

When you come to the conclusion, that you’re not going to fight or try to control it anymore. You are going to accommodate it and make it work for you for a change. You may feel better for the first time in years.

You may finally understand what the heck has been going on all this time. You are a night person and that is all there is to it?

Of course this is all well and good, but what if, your work is in the daytime?

9th Feb 2012 Update:-

Following my doctors advice on tips to better sleep. I have been doing the following. I have been trying for the last month, to adjust my sleep onset by staying awake, an hour extra every day/night.

So instead of going to bed to sleep at 4 a.m. as is usual. I started going to bed at 5 a.m.then 6 a.m. etc. I couldn't keep it up and have reverted to the 4 a.m. sleep onset. This seems to be my natural rhythm.

I attended Papworth Sleep Clinic today and spoke to Sam (patient tech support). She has given me a new sleep data logger to wear tonight, or whenever I go to sleep, to try to get some decent data, on my sleep patterns.

I have also been advised to try a light box (simulated daylight box) in the next few weeks and see if that helps along with a new attempt at changing my body clock.

I have also been prescribed Melatonin, but advised not to use it, until I reach the time of night that I want to achieve. i.e. 11 p.m.

Simulated Daylight Box

Happy light It actually works. Lite Box uses specific wavelengths of light. You won'r get a tan.

Happy light It actually works. Lite Box uses specific wavelengths of light. You won'r get a tan.

The Pineal Gland

Update 9th March 2012 and 13th April 2012

I have some good news at last. Trying to adjust my sleep pattern manually failed.

So I decided to try the Melatonin and light treatment. I picked up a litebook elite light-box yesterday from Papworth sleep clinic. I had already collected a prescription for Melatonin.

I took the 2 mg Melatonin at around 10.30 p.m. and was sound asleep by 1 a.m. I slept through the night waking at 8.30 a.m. feeling incredible refreshed and that I had had a good sleep.

I could feel the effects of the Melatonin whilst lying in bed. It made me feel deeply relaxed.

I fell off to sleep with no problems. I would normally be awake until 4 a.m. and later. The next morning I awoke and turned on the light box.

The Light Box Therapy Felt Kind of Weird.

To just sit in front of a bright light seems abnormal. It works by stimulating the Pineal gland. The Pineal gland regulates the amount of melatonin the body produces.

Within 30 minutes I was very alert and wide awake. It actually worked.

I am surprised and relieved by these simple solutions. I wish I had discovered these simple fixes decades ago. It would have been very helpful, to say the least.

I have written this update to this article within 1 hour of waking.

This would not normally happen until early evening. When I would become more alert.

I will update again in a months time, I know it is only early days but I am very happy with these results.

Final Update 13th April 2012

I have been taking 2 mg of Melatonin for 4 weeks now. My life has completely changed for the better.

I am sleeping well from 11 pm until 7 am every day like clockwork. I cannot believe it. I have stopped snoring too.

The light box therapy in the morning wakes me up so effectively that I feel 20 years younger. I have not had this much energy in years.

I am so alert and feel like my brain is firing on all cylinders for probably the first time in my life.

I still have Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, yes I am a night person. But it is now regulated by the melatonin.

If I miss taking a dose I revert to my old sleep pattern. I decided to check it to find out if my sleep pattern had changed permanently. It hasn't so I will continue taking the melatonin.

I am shocked, amazed, thankful and very, very impressed. With my GP and the staff at Papworth Hospital Sleep Clinic. Thank you all so much.

Melatonin has totally changed my life, for the better.


I know this may sound nuts, but sometimes, I miss the wee small hours. So I don't take the Melatonin, and revert to being a night owl [night person] simply because. I like the silence and clarity that solitude brings.

It really seems to improve my creativity. Ideas seem to flow more easily. Sometimes some things shouldn't be 'fixed'. At least, now I have a choice, That is truly liberating. Hope this helps you too. Dreams can come true.

This is not medical advice and you should always consult your doctor before taking any course of treatment.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 Micheal


Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on September 03, 2015:

Hello Mary,

I guess it doesn't work for everyone, but it sure does for me.

I suppose it depends on the reasons why one isn't sleeping at a particular time.

My situation was due to a lack of the sleep hormone Melatonin. Simply taking 2 mg at night helps me to drop off. It's still working for me all this time later.

Of course one should seek professional medical advice before taking anything. Thanks for asking.

Mary Craig from New York on September 03, 2015:

This was so interesting. While I don't have your sleep pattern I do have trouble falling asleep at night ... not in the afternoon though. Anyway, I had no idea Melatonin could be had in prescription form. The over the counter type doesn't do anything.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope three years later things are still going well.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on March 07, 2013:

Hello WVBards,

Not a problem. Thanks for dropping in again. We can exchange links if they are inside the hub, as I have done with a couple of other writers here. It is just not allowed in the comments section.

I have read your work on sleep issues and found them very interesting and useful too.


Fibromyalgia Daughter from Seattle on December 25, 2012:

Oh man, I forgot about that! Well, just know that I fully agree with your article and write on very similar topics as well!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on December 25, 2012:

Hello WVBards,

Thank you for your comment but I cannot approve it as it contains a link not allowed under hubpages T & C's.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 18, 2012:

Hi Yvonne,

I was thinking of those dawn simulators too. But I find now, that I actually wake up slightly with the real dawn.

I do think my lamp is brilliant. It's like a double espresso x 3.

Yvonne Spence from UK on November 17, 2012:

Thanks for that Michael. It's more for my husband than myself since he gets hit by SAD. I've just been looking at the dawn simulators on Amazon, so will read up about them too.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 17, 2012:

Hi Yvonne,

I forgot to mention the light that I use. It is from Canada but available in the UK.

It is called SAD LiteBook Elite - White Light

Hope it helps.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 17, 2012:

Hi Melovy,

I am glad to hear that you do not have DSPS. It has been a nightmare for as long as I can remember. Trust me you do not want it either.

There have been a few studies on sleep, and I know of the one you are refering too.

However there is not really much going on in this field at all according to the doctors I have met.

There is very little research and virtually no funding available.

Hope you find a solution to you and your daughters sleep problems.


Yvonne Spence from UK on November 17, 2012:

Wow, I thought I had some sleep issues, but I've decided after reading this that I don't! A few nights of waking at 4 am when under stress are nothing like what you have gone through. This was very interesting and it's great that you have found a solution that works for you! (Partly I read your hub because I thought my daughter might have this syndrome, but having read it I'd also say she doesn't.)

It's fascinating how many theories there are on sleep. I once read that rather than being larks and owls, people have a daily cycle that is somewhere on a spectrum between 24 - 25 hours. (I think they tested this by placing people in a room with no natural light and some people slept at roughly the same time each day while others gradually got later.) According to this theory the nearer you are to 24 hours the easier it is to adjust to shifts etc, but the closer you are to 25 hours the more your rhythm will get out of kilter.

Oh, and one question: what brand is your light box?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 16, 2012:

Hello DanaTeresa,

I am so happy that you found this hub helpful. That was my purpose when I wrote it.

If it helped one person, that would have been good enough.

I know from the comments on this hub, that many people have read this and got themselves checked out by their doctor.

I would highly recommend attending a sleep clinic, so you can and get a proper diagnosis.

It has truly transformed my life.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 16, 2012:

Hi Audrey,

Your husband, and your sleep pattern, must lead to some interesting issues. I know it did with us for many years.

I was constantly tired, for so many years. Eventually this sleep debt, catches up with us.

Thankfully I found a solution.

Many people never know they have a problem and just suffer unnecessarily.

Dana Strang from Ohio on November 16, 2012:

This is very interesting Especially the way you have returned to make updates....

I have had sleep problems as long as I can remember. As I have gotten older and also gained a few physical and mental disorders plus a host of medications they have gotten worse. I am out of work and I have been tryng to figure out what my natural sleep patern is. I tried 8 hours a night, going to bed at 12 and getting up at 8am. By the end of a week I was so exhausted I had a breakdown. I have settled into needong 10-12 hours a night! Bed by 12 and up around 11. I hate it! I miss too much of the daytime. I thnk I will look into shifitng to more of a "normal" pattern, like you have. Your article shows that it can be possible.

Audrey Howitt from California on November 16, 2012:

Really an interesting article! I am a lark and my husband is a night owl. So, our sleeping schedules are really different. Thank you for sharing your story around this issue. All the studies that I have read recently indicate that sleep is so very important --and you are right, the sleep debt is impossible to pay off--sharing this!!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 14, 2012:

Hello Millionaire Tips,

I totally agree it can be really frustrating.

I did work nights many years ago but it still robs us of the whole days daylight.

The light box works really well. After 10 minutes in front of it, it's like drinking 6 espresso's. : )

Shasta Matova from USA on November 14, 2012:

It is frustrating when your sleep cycle doesn't match everyone elses. The early risers always chide me for waking up so late, but it works for me. We do have to accept our cycles the way they are, unless they are affecting our work and our health. I am glad you found a way to change your cycle and have a choice. The light meter sounds awesome. Voted up.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 12, 2012:

Thanks for bringing up this issue restless leg issue up Jackie, it can be very disturbing.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 12, 2012:

Hello Deb Welch,

Thanks for you input to this hub content and debate.

I too have tried valerian root and a whole host of other herbal remedies.

I even tried some soporific inducing chinese tea, from a specialist chinese herbalist.

Whilst some of them did work, they only worked for me, for a couple of nights at most.

What I can honestly say, is that the most successful and long term solution for me, has been the melatonin.

I have been using it for almost a year now and it is still 100% effective. I have never slept better.

I know that melatonin is a naturally occurring human hormone so I'm not overly concerned, about using it long term.

As always speak to your doctor before taking any medicines or even herbal remedies.


Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 12, 2012:

Hi Jackie,

The leg movement is not unusual and in fact has a medical definition.

Google ' Restless Legs Syndrome ' for more details.

Hope this may be of help.


Deb Welch on November 11, 2012:

I am following this Hub and I am now using Valerian Root with Sleepytime Tea that I am getting better results with. It has a pungent odor - though. Cheers.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 11, 2012:

I'm like a dog, I keep on the go all the day long and my legs keep moving after I am asleep. lol

I will try them again sometime, have heard more than one say thy are really good.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 10, 2012:

Hi Jackie,

Same for me too. As I write it is 4.12 am. I haven't taken the melatonin today and am back to my old pattern.

I don't worry about it anymore, as when I need to go to bed at a 'regular' time I take it, and it works for me.

Sorry it didn't work for you but there are a few other things to do as well. i.e. stop working several hours before taking it etc. as mentioned in the hub.

I am off to bed soon'ish. :)

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on November 09, 2012:

This was very interesting. The only wee hours I like are like right before daylight. I get very sleepy but after a couple hours I am awake and have to get online, write, read, anything until I am sleepy again. I took one melatonin one night and I couldn't go to sleep for hours, lol. Weird huh? Maybe I will try another sometime.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 02, 2012:

Hello Rajan my friend,

Linking to this hub from your hub, sounds like a splendid idea.

I will put a link in this hub, to your hub on colour therapy as they are closely related.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 31, 2012:

Hi Michael,

Very interesting and useful read. The light box seems to be a great aid to help awake fully.

I have a hub on combating insomnia or sleepnessness. I am including a link to this hub in my above mentioned hub, since both are related to same topic. Hope this is fine with you.

Voted u, useful, interesting and shared on G+1.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on June 12, 2012:

Hi Becky Katz,

Glad you found it useful. It is a pain when people do not 'get it' that there is little you can do about it. Well that was the case. lol Now you have a answer that may help you sleep like 'regular folk' :)

I have been taking Melatonin now for 10 weeks and it is amazing. Remember to see a doctor first before taking any treatments.

Good luck

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on June 11, 2012:

I am up all night and finally get tired about 4am. I sleep until noon when my husband wakes me up. He thinks that normal people sleep at night and wonders why I don't. Now I have an answer for him. He did not marry a normal person, he married an exceptional one. And since it is heretory, I did not pollute our two night owl children, I just passed on my wonderful genes. The other boy sleeps normal and gets impatient with us too.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on May 07, 2012:

Hello RealHousewife,

Thank you so much for your warm comments. That is the great thing about hubpages. We can find many ways to understand a topic in greater detail.

When teaching, I often put forward several versions of the same information as people learn in different ways.

Some are more visual etc.

You are right. Our hubs compliment each other. Thanks for adding it in.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on May 06, 2012:

This is really EXCELLENT! I love how you covered the tough topics. I didn't even want to touch going into chronotypes or the pineal gland when talking about the light therapy. I just did not think I could make it so understandable and you did a beautiful job.

I agree 100% with everything you did and said. Being an R.PSG.T - I rarely ever say that when reading a sleep article. I mean you just did everything right. Including - consult a doc before using melatonin.

Many people misunderstand the use of melatonin - it is not exactly a sleeping pill. Actually, the only reason you can get it in the states without a perscription is because it is considered a dietary supplement. However - it is used to change the circadian rhythm - it is used in cases like yours or if a person is changing jobs for example and they need to change their whole entire sleep schedule. It is not to be used on a rare occasion to help a person sleep. I was so glad to see you really made that clear too - beautiful!

I am super impressed. I am linking this to mine right now - I think it is pretty cool how we both have covered different things about this. It is a terrific addition to mine! Thank you so much!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 30, 2012:

Hi Stephanie,

I really didn't realise how bad it was, until I got a good nights sleep.

I cannot believe that I carried on for years on just a few hours sleep per night.

I do not like taking pills but the melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone. I just do not have enough of it.

Hope your friend gets some help and thanks for coming over.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on April 28, 2012:

I'm a night owl, but nothing as drastic as you were. Luckily, my sleep patterns don't interfere with other members of the household, and I can enjoy the quiet solitude of nighttime wakefulness without feeling guilty. Although I've heard some people praise melatonin, I never knew that it could be so beneficial for people with serious sleep problems. I have one friend with chronic insomnia, and she just hates to take sleeping pills. This sounds like it might be a wonderful solution for her (with doctor's approval, of course).

Great hub, voted up and useful! Interesting as always!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 20, 2012:

Hello Jackie Lynnley,

I would always suggest speaking to a pharmacist first before taking anything.

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by our bodies. Sometimes some people do not produce enough and a supplement can be used to the required dosage.

It has been of great advantage to me but people should consult their own doctor first, before taking anything.

Thanks for your useful comment.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 20, 2012:

Hello Jackie Lynnley,

I would always suggest speaking to a pharmacist first before taking anything.

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by our bodies. Sometimes some people do not produce enough and a supplement can be used to the required dosage.

It has been of great advantage to me but people should consult their own doctor first, before taking anything.

Thanks for your useful comment.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on April 18, 2012:

I bought some awhile back and took just a bit of a tablet and it did help but besides blood pressure medicine I take a load of supplements like vitamins, calcium, hawthorne, Vit-D, etc, so it frightens me to not know if this can go and not have a bad reaction to any of those. Did you see any info on any of that? I know it says on the bottle something about warnings if you take other sedative, so it would be great to know that part in case it could be dangerous in some cases. What about people who may take nerve medicine you know or allergy medicines that cause drowsiness? Could it be dangerous?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on April 14, 2012:

Hello peachpurple,

It sounds to me like you may have this DSPS like me?

Have you ever had it looked into? I can highly recommend getting a doctor's opinion.

Tell them what is happening and mention what you have learned. That might help them 'get it'

Good luck and hope this has been helpful.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 14, 2012:

I have trouble with sleeping too. Sleep at 3am , wake up at 5am, back to sleep at 6am, sleep through the day until 3pm. Weird, isn't it?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on March 09, 2012:

Hello Tammy,

It is all to easy to knock our sleep pattern out of whack, and not so easy to get it back on track.

I have had a sleep issue, for as long as I can remember.

This Melatonin has really made a difference.

I know it is only one day but I am optimistic by nature.

It's 10.33 PM and I just took today's dose.

I will be off to the Land of Nod shortly.

I can't believe that I never thought of this before.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Have you been taking it for long?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on March 09, 2012:

Hi Aurelio,

I am so pleased with the results of the melatonin.

I just wish I had made the connections much earlier.

It would have saved me a lot of unnecessary poor sleep and what that can lead too, to say the least.

Thanks for SHARING

Tammy from North Carolina on March 09, 2012:

I LOVE melatonin. I used to sleep like a rock for all my life. My youngest child came along and I was up every two hours for a year and a half. I don't think my brain knows what sleep is anymore. Great hub!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 09, 2012:

I'm very much a daybird, so only experience sleep problems occasionally. I didn't know about melatonin so will give that a try next time. Voting this Up and Useful. Thanks for SHARING.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on March 09, 2012:

Hello Joelipoo,

I have had a sleep issue like you describe for so many years. I tried to adjust to it over the years.

It never worked and I spent decades on very little sleep. Until it finally got to much.

I have taken Melatonin for the first time last night and cannot believe it was so effective.

I would recommend you visit your doctor and get a professional opinion first. It worked for me. It could do the same for you. Good luck hope this helps.

Joel from Ohio on March 09, 2012:

I often have trouble falling asleep right away and will lie there for a while. I have wondered if I have some sort of sleep issue but have never looked into it. My mom has encouraged me to take Melatonin. Maybe I will try this.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on March 09, 2012:

Hi Justin, I took the Melatonin last night for the first time and it worked wonders.

I have updated this hub with the details.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 27, 2012:

Hi Justin,

Me too. In fact I have been given a prescription for melatonin and am attending the clinic tomorrow (well in 9 hours actually!) As it's 3 a.m. and I am still up as usual.

I will give the melatonin a try too. I don't need much sleep either? how weird!

Justin W Price from Juneau, Alaska on February 25, 2012:

Michael, definitely an owl. Always have been. I also take melatonin supplements to help me fall asleep once I'm in bed. I also don't need much sleep.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 09, 2012:


The government decriminalized it here a few years ago and then recently reversed their decision.

It is a very grey area indeed.

Sleep patterns are so tricky, anything that can help is worth consideration.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 09, 2012:

It's also technically illegal here, on the federal level, but individual states have legalized medicinal use--I live in one of those states, and the current administration has directed the feds not to "mess with" those states...I don't see how they can hold out much longer keeping it illegal, given all the evidence contradicting the government's position. ;-)

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 09, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy, O I see,:)

I don't think it would help with my condition. Plus it is still a controlled substance here in the UK lol

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 09, 2012:

LOL--"magic brownies" aka "Alice B. Toklas brownies"... (medicinal cannabis) ;-)

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 09, 2012:

Hi Deb Welch,

I think you may well have this same issue? What do you think? I am no doctor but from what you describe it sounds the same.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 09, 2012:

Hi Deb Welch,

I will check it out.

@TrahnTheMan, it is a problem when we have these out of phase sleep patterns. Good luck.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 09, 2012:

Hi DzyMsLizzy,

Lol and we could still be living in caves. Thanks for commenting. Everyone should have a 'condition' Alert!

What are 'magic brownies' ?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 09, 2012:

Hi RTalloni,

Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound and as such has no side effects. It has to be prescribed by a doctor in the UK and people should always seek medical advice before taking anything.

Thanks for your comment

Deb Welch on February 09, 2012:

molometer - Hi again - 11 days ago I commented on your Hub and you replied that I should write a Hub on my experience of which I did. SLEEP, PRECIOUS, SLEEP. Thanks so much for the help.

TrahnTheMan from Asia, Oceania & between on February 08, 2012:

I couldn't be more of a lark! My friends know I'll be in bed by 9:00pm and like many of the other hubbers am distressed if I'm not - I feel like a child sometimes but I LOVE the mornings...only problem is I'm not a great sleeper so I'm often 'up and at 'em' early but I'm so tired too! I've never wanted to be a night owl though - I guess you wouldn't if you're a lark! Great Hub, thanks!

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on February 08, 2012:

Hmm... I was born at 7:21 in the a.m., and I've been trying to make up for it all my life. Most of my young to middle-aged adult years were spent as a stay-at-home mom, so I was free to go back to bed after the kiddos were out the door to school.

When I worked for a few years after that era, boy, did I struggle to get to work by 8. Luckily, I worked only a 15 minute drive from home, so I'd perform my ablutions at night, roll out of bed at 7:40, into by clothes and right out the door. The work was at a bakery, so breakfast was when I got there! ;-)

After that, I became self-employed, and work the hours I jolly well feel like working.

When a "lark" saunters up and sing-songs, "goood morrnniinggg.." to me, they are lucky I don't believe in violence. I do growl, however. I used to have a sign on my desk reading, "If it's not yet noon, don't ask."

Interesting that they now want to call it a "condition" and give it a "medical name." Personally, I find that 'magic brownies' turn the trick for a good night's sleep to wake refreshed. ;-)

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on February 08, 2012:

Thanks Jessi10,

I am afraid that it is the same with me. I went for years on only a few hours sleep a night. It took it out of me in the end and I just couldn't do it anymore, hope this info helps you some.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 08, 2012:

I did not know this but I'm definitely a day bird anyway. Voting this Up and Interesting.

RTalloni on February 08, 2012:

When awake time is nighttime we may as well make the best use of it! It's not always easy to give ourselves permission to do so, though. Neat perspective here.

(We need to be careful to check out the side effects of melatonin and follow the guidelines for using it.)

Jessica Rangel from Lancaster, CA on February 08, 2012:

You completely read my mind! This is so amazing! It practically describes me and sleep. Lately it seems that I cannot get up before Noon. I've tried everything, but I believe that part of the problem is that I think too much, and when I want to go to sleep, is when I come up with the best topics to write about. So, then I write, and when its time to really fall asleep, I have to work.. And the cycle continues the next day!

Thank you for writing this Hub! I'm going to bookmark it!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on February 08, 2012:

Thank you, molometer for this informative and well-written hub. I have been a night owl my whole life, and many of the world doesn't understand that. It can't be changed. No matter how many times for jobs I've had to get up before daylight, I never got used to it. I actually struggle every morning with getting out of bed, no matter the time. I get creative late at night. I love staying up late, no matter how tired I am the next day. Thank you for reaching out and validating what is REAL. People are wired differently, and I couldn't become a Lark no more than a Lark could become a night owl! I wonder if taking melatonin would make my sleep deeper and more restful...? Great hub! Lots of votes here! Sharing, too!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on January 28, 2012:

Hi Deb Welch,

That is very interesting. So the melatonin is only partially useful? It is in keeping with what I have discovered but I hoped it might actually be more helpful.

I would like to know more about your experience. Maybe you could write a hub on it?

Deb Welch on January 28, 2012:

Molometer, Useful and Interesting Hub. I take Melatonin and have for a long while - it helps most of the time. I have not slept an entire night through for years upon years - all I ever get is broken sleep. I do get power naps sitting up and they are the best.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on January 01, 2012:

Hello Anaya M. Baker,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. Us night owls need to stick together.

Interesting that the melatonin didn't work for you as my research indicates the same thing. It just doesn't work!

Maybe for short periods but not long term.

I am attending a sleep clinic but not holding my breath. Like you. I am learning towards freelancing and writing in general, as I can do that when it suits me. And I like to write. So why not? Great hubbers make great company and I feel that I am always learning here.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on January 01, 2012:

Hi Brett,

Thanks for the good advice and you are right there are plenty of opportunities out there for working odd hours. I have done a few in the past.

I am due to go to the sleep clinic on the 17th Jan so will update this hub then.

Anaya M. Baker from North Carolina on December 26, 2011:

Great hub, I read it with interest! I've been an owl as long as I can remember. Would lay awake for hours at night when I was 5 years old, even though bedtimes were strictly enforced. Over the years I realized that I just couldn't function in a 9 to 5 world, and have luckily always been able to find jobs that could accommodate that. Now as a freelancer working from home I try to be at work by about 10 am, but my brain doesn't really switch on until closer to noon. And it's funny, when I'm in a different time zone, it really doesn't help, I'm just later to tire and later to wake up than the rest of the world. Glad to know I'm not the only person like that out there! (And I've tried melatonin- doesn't do a thing for me!)

Brett C from Asia on December 10, 2011:

A very in depth scientific hub ... although it made me laugh when the solution was acceptance lol. I have always been a night owl, hence I prefer working afternoons-evenings. Thankfully, there are many jobs that fit this cycle ... a lot of which will actually pay you extra for 'unsociable hours' ... so there are some benefits to the problem.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on December 06, 2011:

Hello Alydar,

I know what you mean about the freedom of solitude. I love it and I am more productive I find. We are obviously, not all the same and what if ;we like sitting u[ until the wee hours.

Who is it hurting? No one.

I would be interested to learn more on what you mentioned re dosha types.?

Alydar from Beaufort, SC on December 06, 2011:

Great hub! I could complain about being an owl but luckily the husband and kids are all larks so I'm happy the gift of temporary nighttime solitude:) I used to study a little about Ayurveda and also found it interesting that many unusual sleep cycles may pertain as well to your dosha type

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on December 04, 2011:

Hello fpherj48,

I am busy attending a sleep clinic at the moment and it appears that I may have this DSPS.

They had me keep a record, of my sleep pattern and then hooked me up to a recording device, to see if I had enough oxygen during sleep.

I will write another hub as I get more information.

I sleep soundly too just at weird hours, always have. I want to find out as much as I can about it and will do an interim update soon.

If it is not a problem for you I wouldn't worry.

The sleep apnea is the real problem and although that has been eliminated for me, my wife does have it. She is on a C-Papp machine while sleeping now. So that is at least one good thing that came out of this hub.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on December 04, 2011:

Hello fpherj48,

I am busy attending a sleep clinic at the moment and it appears that I may have this DSPS.

They had me keep a record, of my sleep pattern and then hooked me up to a recording device, to see if I had enough oxygen during sleep.

I will write another hub as I get more information.

I sleep soundly too just at weird hours, always have. I want to find out as much as I can about it and will do an interim update soon.

If it is not a problem for you I wouldn't worry.

The sleep apnea is the real problem and although that has been eliminated for me, my wife does have it. She is on a C-Papp machine while sleeping now. So that is at least one good thing that came out of this hub.

Suzie from Carson City on December 04, 2011:

molometer..wonderful hub and one that sparks my interest. Sleep has always been easy for me. I am somewhat of a night owl but I don't think I go overboard. Nights when I realize I'm quite tired, I give in and go to bed. I'm up & having coffee by 5 a.m. every morning and regardless of the # of hrs I slept, feel pretty good most mornings. I fall asleep fairly quickly and sleep well throughout the night. I have taken a 3mg. tab of melatonin as I get into bed, for years. Not because I ever had a problem with sleep, but it is a very beneficial supplement for many reasons. If I happen to be out of meatonin, it's no problem. What I'd like to know is what wisdom can you share with me about SOUND sleeping...because if this is considered a "problem," I'm in trouble. All my life I have been accused of being DEAD rather than My Dad was this way and my 4 adult sons are as well. I woke one morning to the aftermath and debris of what I was told was a terrible truck accident. My neighbor told me the impact woke the neighborhood up (really?) there were at least a dozen emergency vehicles, 30 people, lights, sirens...OK. My neighbor then looked at me like I am from Mars and said, "Don't even TELL me you slept thru that!!".....(OK, I won't tell you)..This occurred in front of my home under my bedroom window. Because this is a "regular, normal" thing to me, I make nothing of it. I have mentioned this to my Dr. and her response was, "Good for you, I'm jealous." After all these years, should I be interested in finding out what this is all about? I mean, the worse thing that can happen is that 6 men could come into my house and empty it out entirely, to include my bed after they knock me out of it....and I would never know they were here until I want to sit down for my morning coffee.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 24, 2011:

Thank you Plinka, I am glad you found it useful and interesting.

plinka from Budapest, Hungary on November 24, 2011:

I'm easy sleeper and definitely an owl, I hate mornings, it usually takes me a lot of time to pull myself together. However, I must practice dance techniques, so I get up early in the morning to do my regular Horton exercises before going to work. It revives me and helps to concentrate during the day. It's not easy for me to fall asleep but when I'm in the nature and I sleep in a tent, it takes me only a couple of minutes. I think, it doesn't matter which type you are if you can live a life which really fits you. It's not easy. People should choose not just a job but a lifestyle, maybe the latter one is more important, because this way they can reduce stress. Useful hub, because it makes other hubbers think.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 22, 2011:

Hello klurbauer,

Guess what? it's 2.30 am and I am wide awake and busy busy busy. I can't fight it anymore. I am what I am and it seems I am not alone.

Welcome to the ta wit ta woo club.

klurbauer from Brink of Insanity ;) on November 22, 2011:

Thanks for this article. It's nice to know other people deal with the same issues. I'm a definite Owl. I've gotten used to it by now, as I remember lying in bed waiting to fall asleep, even as a small child. My dad always had sleep issues (light sleeping, waking up in the wee hours of the morning) so I can see that sleep issues in general might run in families. Interesting.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 21, 2011:

Hi alladream,

That's really interesting, I don't thing I have come across that before.

I have been battling my whole life and have almost accepted that I am an Owl and that's that.

I am going to see a sleep specialist in the next few weeks so who knows.

Hope you found it useful. Thanks

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on November 21, 2011:

Very interesting,I am a bit of both actually,depends on the season!

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 20, 2011:

Hi Vasantha,

Me too, thanks for popping in and leaving your comments. Appreciated.

vasantha T k on November 20, 2011:

congratulations for 30 hubs in 30 days. I am a night owl. I find very difficult in getting up in the morning.But it's going on . Thanks for sharing. voted up interesting.

Best wishes.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 16, 2011:

Hola Dialed,

Hablas como si fueras una broma entonces, y no un búho. Gracias por venir de una lectura y dejar un comentario.

Dailed on November 16, 2011:

Soy todo lo contrario, siempre tengo sueño y me duermo en 2 minutos no necesito mas, puede haber ruido o mucha luz, ayer fue un ejemplo de esto. Me dormi a la 9pm y me desperte 45 minutos despues de la hora porque no puse la alarma :(

Creo que es la hemoglobina baja que me da mucho sueñooo..... Y el remedio para eso?

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 13, 2011:

Hello phdast7,

I will give it a go and let you know how I get on at the sleep clinic.

I will contact my agent and ask her to start fielding lecturing post's.

Hubpages is virtually the only place I get to converse with other adults on a daily basis.

Thanks for your sound counsel.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on November 13, 2011:

Like you, I wouldn't hold out much hope from the sleep clinic, but maybe....? Maybe this is the time to return to lecturing and perhaps obtain a schedule much more suited to your natural rhythm and patterns. I has made a huge difference in my life. Best of luck with the clinic, sleeping, and returning to lecturing. :)

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 13, 2011:

Hello phdast7,

Sounds like you got the balance just right.

I qualified originally as a lecturer in FE; which suited me fine for several years.

I switched to high school teaching when my kids came along and like you survived on very little sleep during those years.

Now they have all grown I had been thinking about getting back into college work.

After many years of trying I have discovered that no matter what I do to try to adjust my sleep pattern nothing works.

I am booked into a sleep clinic in a few weeks time, but my own research indicates to me, that they will not be able to change my pattern.

I had been vaguely thinking about getting back into lecturing and you have inspired me to seriously consider this simple change. Thanks

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on November 13, 2011:

Interesting and useful Hub. I am definitely a night owl and getting up early all those years to get my kids ready for school was a killer, but I did it. Projects, reading, studying, some chores, writing letters were all things I did between 10 and 2. I still had energy, but I made myself go to bed then so I could stumble out of bed at 6:00 in the morning.

Interestingly, the night owl sleep pattern works well with my profession. As a college professor I have some freedom to set my own schedule. So three days a week my first class starts at 1:00pm and two days a week - my early days - my first class starts at 11:00. Of course there are meetings to attend and office hours to keep and so on but basically I have a late morning to early evening schedule. And I love it!

At many colleges and institutions half of the classrooms sit empty after about two in the afternoon. Deans are eager to have faculty who will take the afternoon/early evening slots. Fifteen years ago I even taught the 8:30-10:50 class two nights a week. But after doing that for 7 years I decided it was time for some of the other faculty to take a turn. Now my latest class is through by 6:30pm. It's a great schedule for a night owl who no longer needs to be home with and cook dinner for her children. Excellent Hub.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 12, 2011:

Well there you go. Carrie,

It is truly astonishing that a thing that we do for a third of out lives is so little understood.

There has been plenty and still is plenty of ongoing research but we are a long way from fully understanding this most vital subject.

Sleep like many other things it seems is on the 'to do' list.

carriethomson from United Kingdom on November 12, 2011:

hey molometer that was such an enlightening hub:)) now i know why i cannot get enough sleep at night!! lying down in bed and falling asleep in 2 mins has never happened to me!!


Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 11, 2011:

Hi moonlake,

I know exactly what you mean, as soon as the sun creeps over the windowsill I am off to bed and conk out for 7 hours straight.

Alaska? this is quiet interesting. As Alaska is geographically parallel with the Scandinavian countries where rates of DSPS are higher.

moonlake from America on November 11, 2011:

I wake every 4 hours never seem to make it past that. Let that light come through in the morning I'm out like a light.

My Mom said when I was little and they lived in Nome, Alaska my dad would be up playing cards with buddies and I would be right there sitting on his lap.

I am an Owl.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 10, 2011:

Hello marcoujor,

Thank god for central heating is all I will say lol

Glad you found the hub illuminating.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on November 10, 2011:


This was fun! Thanks for not "going there" about why some of us gals have a difficult time sleeping... BTW, has someone turned up that heat again (LOL)?!

Anyway, being a nurse and hubbing do allow for me to be an owl and a lark! I am grateful to require less sleep with age!

Voted UP & UFABI-- Congratulations on your recent HubNugget! I will check that out soon, mar!

Hubertsvoice on November 09, 2011:

Have a nice nap. Rip Van Winkle.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 09, 2011:

Ha Ha funny Alastar, I have at 3 or 4 more hubs on this topic and will load them shortly.

I have actually booked myself into a sleep clinic for next month so that should be fun lol.

Thanks for the visit and comments ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! lol

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on November 09, 2011:

ZZZZZZZ...uh, where am I? Oh! Hello molometer; some good info on sleep probs. Wake up every 2 or 3 hours sometimes. Its not snoring, apnea, or the syndrome. Will stay up on your sleep series and see what else you write on it.

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 09, 2011:

Good night or is it Good morning lol

Hubertsvoice on November 08, 2011:

Bony nachos

Micheal (author) from United Kingdom on November 08, 2011:

I really must retire. 3 times you say. O dear. I am knackered though. lol I really must go to bed. Now!

Hubertsvoice on November 08, 2011:

You posted that message three times. Did you fall asleep on the enter button?

Hubertsvoice on November 08, 2011:

Thank you cepheid. I love to have fun. Glad you both enjoyed.

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