View Full Version : ADD and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)

04-11-11, 06:01 PM
Hey everyone!

I am fairly new to this forum cause I was only diagnosed with ADD about a month ago. Anyways, ever since I was a little kid I always stayed up late and my parents just said that I was a night owl. While researching info about ADD to learn more about it, I started googling the connection between ADD and the enjoyment of staying up late. I came across an article about Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. When I read it, it pretty much explained my life since I was about 11. I haven't gone to bed before 1 am in 8 years (I am almost 19). I usually go to bed around 3am-4am. I am just not tired before then, but like DSPS article explained, I sleep fine but my hours are just delayed :(

I can focus a lot better during late night/early morning hours of the day. Before, I just assumed that I was having small episodes of hyperfocus, but after researching DSPS this seems to make more sense.

Does anyone else have these same problems? Any advice/info would be greatly appreciated because there really isn't too much research done on DSPS.

Also, I don't really know what to do about this. I just started getting medicated for ADD (I have been on Adderall for only 2 weeks now). I don't want my psychiatrist to think I am just trying to get drugs cause I am a college student, but I honestly believe I have ADD and DSPS.

Sorry for the long post, but thanks for reading.

Hope everyone has a nice day! :)

04-11-11, 07:00 PM
i have it too - i showed the psych nurse i see for medication the article and she sort of rolled her eyes and says i can't sleep because of depression and anxiety...but the TRUTH is i am a night owl,hoot hoot,love the night time,when it's quiet and i get my burst of creativity,i can't function well before noon even when i force myself to bed early. as with everything else about adhd,we the patients usually find things out before some doctors because we are hyper focused on fixing our "problems",just my opinion

04-13-11, 12:40 AM
Ya, I know exactly what you mean. It is even worse when I try to explain it to someone and, while I understand why it is hard for other people to understand, it is so frustrating. Because everyone else just believes that it is a 'will power' issue. The truth is I have tons of will power because if I didn't then there would be no way that I would get out of bed for my 8am class 3 days a week, especially because I only get about 3-5 hrs of sleep each night. :( Even though I love the night time, I don't think she realizes that I don't enjoy not getting tired until 3am-4am, but I just don't and there really isn't anything I can do about it. I am now beginning to believe that this is the main cause of my procrastination problem, because A) I think and work better and more creatively late at night and B) I know I am going to be awake anyways so I just do fun stuff during the day and save all my homework/studying for late at night :)

I remember in High school I would always get in trouble for being late in the mornings, but if the teachers only knew how hard it was getting out of bed at 6:20 am after going to bed at 2am-3am, then they would realize that just getting out of bed and going to school that early was an accomplishment in itself! In high school I finally realized that even when I would 'go to bed' by 11pm I wouldn't actually fall asleep until 2am-3am, so I just started doing things. Why waste valuable thinking hours! lol

Sorry for all this venting, but I guess I had to get it out...anyone else have any similar experiences?

04-13-11, 01:39 AM
ADDers are poor sleepers. It takes me a while to fall asleep. It takes even longer if I'm stressed. I take melatonin sometimes and that helps. I also meditate on some nights. You just need to try some different things and see which one works best for you.

05-19-11, 05:13 PM
DSPS is a common cause of sleep problems associated with ADHD. It can make you suddenly get wide awake some time after 9 pm, and you might not be able to fall asleep until some time after midnight, perhaps the next morning. Bedtimes of 2-4 am are common.

Best treatment seems to be a combination of bright light therapy in the morning with melatonin (or a metatonin agonist like Ramelteon or Tasimelteon) at night. Time-released melatonin works better than instant-release for controlling the sleep-wake cycle.

05-19-11, 11:51 PM
You know, up until I got on meds for my Cyclothymia, I was the same way, I was able to stay up until early in the morning and did much better with everything you mentioned. When I was younger, I used to stay up 24-48 hours in a single shot and was perfectly fine with it.

Let me know what all you find out!