You are late to office today and got a lecture from the boss. So you tell yourself you are going to sleep on time and wake up early tomorrow. After all, they say ‘Early to bed. Early to rise’ is the norm. You try hard the whole day to finish everything earlier than usual and get into bed at the targeted time. You are happy. You feel good about yourself. Then starts the problem. You cannot fall asleep. You toss, turn and count sheep but nothing works. Before you know it it’s 3 am again and you know you are going to be late for work again.
Many of us have faced this situation or know someone who faces it regularly. While most of us think, this is a problem with discipline, it might be case of Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder. It is a chronic dysregulation of a person’s biological clock, compared to the general population and relative to societal norms.
People who are diagnosed with DSPD face a difficulty functioning in accepted social settings like school or work. Unlike people with insomnia, people with DSPD do fall asleep on their own. Just a little later than everyone else making it difficult for them to fit in socially.
Even though it’s quite common, it is not very well known. Primarily a genetic condition, it can be managed quite easily. If it is not possible to find a job which doesn’t require one to wake up at a socially accepted time (which is the case for most people), light and dark therapies are quite effective.
And if you are going to do something about getting some good sleep, it’s always advisable to throw in a mattress that suits your needs too. After all, what is the point of sleeping if you don’t wake up refreshed and recharged!