Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

February 11, 2006

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

This is what I think is troubling me. It differs from insomnia in that it's a circadian rhythm disorder. My sleep/wake cycles push themselves forward incrementally until I'm going to bed at 9:00 a.m. and rising at 5:00 p.m. (like I did today).

Treatments include chronotherapy (progressively shifting bedtimes ahead three hours until desired bedtime is reached), light therapy, and establishing regular patterns of eating and exercise. I'm ready to try a modified form of chronotherapy for starters, but the bright light thing is gonna be tough. I wake up slowly—"dragged out of bed kicking and screaming" is more like it—and don't think I could stand a sudden jolt of light. But I'll turn a couple of soft lights on when my alarm sounds and gradually step it up from there. If that doesn't work, guess I'll have to let loose the floodlights upon waking. In any case, proper light therapy isn't possible until I can afford a light box.

So, that's two sleep disorders for the price of one, as DSPS likely interacts with my CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. (In lay terms, I have a hose attached to my nostrils that pumps air down my throat so I don't stop breathing during sleep. Fun, eh?) To be fair, I don't think one has caused the other to occur, but I believe each is making the other worse.

I'm trying to self-diagnose (and self-treat) in order to avoid seeing the sleep doctor, who will probably tell me what I already know and prescribe some nasty pharmaceutical concoction. But if my attempts fail, I'll pay him a visit ... if I can manage to find a time when he's open and I'm not sleeping.


Anonymous Cpap mask said...

Great post!

Cpap machine

7:13 am  

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