Dip Stick Psychotic Delusion? Nah, that ain’t it. Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. At the moment I’m a-thinkin’ that that’s what I gots. I dunno, though. Amateur diagnoses are best taken with a grain of STFU, but going to the doc didn’t get me anywhere when I tried it two years ago. The doc ruled out HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis and thyroid disorder with all of my numbers being dead nuts centered in the normal range, said everything else was also dead-centered except for some elevated triglycerides, there was no evidence of disease, then suggested that I work on my “work/life balance” and see a psychobabbler. He also said that he wanted to have a look around with a colonoscope, but I told him that my original complaint was phrased as a figure of speech and there was no need to look in there for my brain or the source of its fog.

Be proud of me. I’ve just successfully avoided going off on a rant about the myriad unnecessary and often worthless tests that docs do primarily for the purpose of siphoning some insurance dollars. He recommended a few of them, and I declined.

I set myself up with a perfectly balanced schedule: 3.5 days of work, 3.5 days of weekend. If it ain’t worth overdoing it ain’t worth doing at all, right? 😀 The balanced schedule helped a little bit for a little while, but here I am today with my schedule still balanced and I’m worse off than before. If you’ll pardon the pun, I’m really getting tired of this. I’ve been fighting it throughout my adult life and it’s looking like the right time to call it a lost cause. It’s tougher than I am, or at least tougher than is my commitment to social norms and expectations.

Heh. Commitment to societal norms and expectations. Me. What a hoot! 😀

I blew off the advice to see a psycho-the-rapist. I’m not emotionally or mentally unhinged. I’m just sleepy all day and wakeful all night, with mental clarity being impossible between 5AM and 11AM. In the past when I’ve slept from three or four o’clock in the morning to about 11 o’clock, I’ve had no brain fog, no persistent fatigue, and absolutely no trouble falling or staying asleep. I would awake feeling refreshed and ready to take on my oddball day with gusto. So why have I been fighting this for most of my adult life? It used to be because those who matter most in our culture get to dictate terms to those who matter least. And what’s my excuse for it lately? Dumb as a box of rocks stupidity.

Y’see, Amethyst’s gig starts at 4:30AM and she is very uncomfortable driving in our interesting winter weather, so I’ve forced myself to be on her schedule (as dictated by her employer) even though I don’t work for her employer and she never asked me to try to sync to her schedule. Her work schedule is almost exactly 180° out of phase with my freak circadian rhythm. I’ve been trying to sleep through the second half of my physical and mental peak period and work the first half of my workday during my nadir. It’s made a zombie out of me.

I have decided that this has been well more than quite enough of that foolishness. I made the decision at about one o’clock this morning before my nightly nap began, and the decision looked just that much better when my alarm sounded to end my nap at three-thirty. I’d planned to return home and cop some Z’s but I’m so out of whack that sleep didn’t seem at all likely, so in a couple or three hours I’ll take a nice long nap and assume my freak-normal schedule. The only one who has to like it is me. I’m done playing the social expectations game.

Kinda means I win at it, doesn’t it? 😀







9 thoughts on “DSPD?

  1. LAMarcom

    “a grain of STFU”
    “I’m not emotionally or mentally unhinged. I’m just sleepy all day and wakeful all night, with mental clarity being impossible…”

    There are so many great quotes in this post…
    Ah fuck it!
    I cannot paste ’em all.’

    So…I just say,
    “Rock On!”

  2. whyzat

    I’ve tried all the usual stuff to make myself want to sleep at appropriate times. No coffee all day, no eating after 6 pm, dont’ read the news just before bedtime…etc Nothing works. My brain does not want to sleep, which is strange; it’s not like it does much work at 4 in the morning. After about a week of getting 4 hours of sleep a night, I become forgetful and unfocused and generally hard to live with. I mean, moreso that normal. Surprisingly, a colonoscopy has never helped either, other than the fact that they put me to sleep while it’s going on. (I get the test because my mom died from colon cancer and it’s survivable if caught early).
    Anyway, I hope that following you Circadian rythms helps you. I don’t think I have any rythms, at all!

  3. solberg73

    I’m not sure what the perfect reply would even look like. i do know that lately I’ve enjoyed/ toying with saying ‘My body seemingly has a mind of its own.’ Details: I eat a meal at 2PM and immediately enter a zone where sleeping is the only option. This is both new and embarrassing. Two hours later I awaken feeling guilty as all get-out and need to walk about a half hour just to get back on the horse i may or not have been riding.
    All I want (and I suspect we have this in common) is a regieme which functions for me, … and as a plus that it will be somewhat approved by society.
    Here in the low latitudes as in Mexico, the afternoon siesta, (schlaff-stunde in yiddish) is accepted.
    What I’m doing lately is to use the ‘better living through chemistry’ solution. Works wonders, it’s just that I worry that I may now be incapable of coping ‘bare-handed’.

    Curious: are there jobs, codings to write, phone calls/emails to write that you feel, in the ‘off’ mood, that you just can’t manage?
    It could be that age is playing puzzling tricks on your functioning. If so, you have nothing to feel especially guilty about. Just learn to go with the current flow.
    My two(2) cents.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I’ve heard that the afternoon nap thing is just something that, for many, goes with having refused to die way too young. Myself, I’m not really too concerned about society’s approval — such concerns have proven to be inconsistent with what’s best for me.

      Yes, indeed, most of life has proven to be unmanageable when I’m too long out of sync. Persistent fatigue and brain fog set in, and with them the irritability that humans under stress exhibit unless medicated. It’s really not a state that one in my line of work can push through by faking it. If I continue that way for too long, more than several weeks, my depth perception is affected, and I experience transient light-headed episodes that last for one to three seconds and occur seemingly at random. It’s like being washed over by an invisible wave.

      It’s not an age related thing in my case. When I was a kid in elementary school I had no trouble staying awake during films, but once I hit junior high school I was sure to be asleep within five minutes of the lights going down. It occurred to me just this morning that one long wall of the elementary school classrooms was window from countertop to ceiling, but in junior high and high school there were essentially no windows. All it took to knock me out before about 2PM was to remove the critical mass of stimuli. I spent much of my childhood looking out my bedroom window at night at the stars and planes passing overhead, and listening to the announcer at the nearby horse racetrack. When I was a teenager I’d sneak into the track and get older friends, usually stable hands, to place my wagers for me — I was a consistent winner because I knew all but the youngest of the horses by name and how each ran under various jockeys and on various track conditions.

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ll litter up your yard with some insipid comment or other as soon as I get out of autopilot-or-crash mode.

  4. theinfiniterally

    A thought just popped in my head, that I had a much much more normal weight when I stayed up all night and slept in the morning. I probably ate far fewer calories.

    Wait, we weren’t talking about me? I was just thinking how much fun it would be to keep company with the Heathen organization up until the wee hours. And what kind of snacks we might have.

    Here’s hoping a return to normalcy brings about a return to normalcy!

    1. happierheathen Post author

      Yes, indeed, we were talking about you, but in code so no one else would know of it and think I was off on a more obtuse than usual line. 😀

      I eat more, and store more of it, when I’m sleep deprived. Most do. I don’t know that there’s science already done to prove it, but for myself I’m convinced that my body craves the easy energy. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of anything one might eat is easy energy so the rest goes into storage, and when fatigued the metabolism slows, thus creating a double whammy.

      I don’t know about normalcy, but I surely am embracing the freakishness. 🙂 Thanks, man!


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