View Full Version : Should I just accept it?


BellaVita
02-27-16, 10:09 AM
Here I am, lying awake. Early morning hours.

This happens to me every night, and has for my entire life.

Even since I was a baby, I would not sleep. (I was even told that while I was in the womb I would routinely start kicking at night - it was when a certain show came on)

Much to my surprise, exercise has actually helped me fall asleep quicker. (Although I still wake up several times a night)

I usually fall asleep between 4-7am.(sometimes 7-10am ish if I'm having a particularly bad night) And wake up between 1:00pm-5:00pm. (My ideal time to wake up is 1:30pm or so. I assume my 1:30pm feels like a normal person's 7:30am, so it can sometimes be a struggle to wake up especially if I had greater difficulty falling asleep than usual)

Lately I've been keeping it regular-ish (naturally), I get sleepy around 5 am and then usually am asleep by 7am. (With exercise, it takes me 1-2 hours to fall asleep every night. This is good compared to before.)

I dream of one day being a mom, I love to take care of people so I look forward to taking care of my future kids(all of the good,crazy,chaotic,and messy that goes with it!), of being able to spend time with my soon-to-be husband, of having a life.

I know for certain there is no fixing this sleep issue, I have faced the reality that I likely have Delayed Sleep Phase disorder. (And before you offer advice - I have tried it. All of it. Nothing will ever work, just trust me on this one.)

I guess really the only thing left is for me to accept it. I semi-have. But sometimes I fill with fear thinking about how I'll never be normal.

I am just asking - has anyone lived a life like this? Even if you haven't, do you imagine it is possible for me to be successful like this? I mean, I don't have a choice about it anyway, but I'd like to hear some possible positives from this situation.

I won't ever be able to take my future kids to school, that's fine I can't drive anyway. My fiancÚ is much better with that morning stuff than I am so by then I think maybe he can handle it. OR if it is early enough I can be up helping and then go to sleep after they leave.

I guess I'd be really helpful from afternoon-end of the day, and that might take the stress off of my (gonna be)husband. (And if I am able to work there would be plenty of night-shift jobs I bet that no one wants.)

Those are some of the sort of good things I could think of. I'm a very what-if, daydreamy, plan-everything-down-to-the-detail type of person so I'm sorry if this post is weird thinking about things so far away. :)

But yeah any thoughts on this are welcome. :)

mctavish23
02-27-16, 12:37 PM
Bella,

I always "knew" I had a Sleep Disorder(s) (Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Primary Insomnia),

but couldn't get them treated until I had (3) Sleep Studies, which I found interesting.

Don't know if you'd had one or not, but I hope this helps, and I wish you some relief.

tc

Robert

Lunacie
02-27-16, 01:13 PM
My autistic granddaughter spent the first 10+ years of her life getting maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep per night.

Which means the mommy didn't get much more sleep either.

Finally the psychiatrist agreed to prescribe Trazadone and everyone has slept better for the last few years.

My granddaughter has done so much better in school and at home since she began getting some real sleep.

I can't remember a time when I fell asleep easily. I would lie in bed and read until my parents turned off the light or yelled at me to do it myself.

When I was married my hubby wanted the light off so he could sleep, but I couldn't sleep. I was sleep deprived nearly my whole marriage.

When I finally fell asleep at 0-dark-thirty, his snoring would wake me up.

About a year before my granddaughter began taking Trazadone, the psych prescribed it for me.

I took it every night, very low dose, for about six months, and found that I am able to fall asleep most nights without it now.

ginniebean
02-27-16, 01:18 PM
Well, accept what's happening for you when it's happening. You can't assume it will never change.

I remember being able to stay up all night and sleeping until 2 in the afternoon.

stef
02-27-16, 01:48 PM
Bella i dont know,
But the huge positive for you with babies is that they need to be fed in the middle of the night and then very early morning!
You may then have an early riser toddler or pre schooler....you will not be torn from your deepest sleep!

dvdnvwls
02-27-16, 04:54 PM
I think ginniebean's point is a very good one. Accept it, but also accept that you can't know your "sleep future" until that arrives. Don't spend effort to plan your life around this, since it might change.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 08:54 PM
Bella,

I always "knew" I had a Sleep Disorder(s) (Obstructive Sleep Apnea & Primary Insomnia),

but couldn't get them treated until I had (3) Sleep Studies, which I found interesting.

Don't know if you'd had one or not, but I hope this helps, and I wish you some relief.

tc

Robert

No I haven't had a sleep study, I have had other brain stuff done though where they monitored my sleep with all of these things hooked to my head.

I was young then, so I don't know all of the technical terms.

But they said that the back of my brain where there are two areas that are "firing", one side slows down like it is supposed to but the other keeps firing.

Not sure what all of that meant. (These were done for only 1-2 hours at a time during the evening)

BellaVita
02-27-16, 08:57 PM
My autistic granddaughter spent the first 10+ years of her life getting maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep per night.

Which means the mommy didn't get much more sleep either.

Finally the psychiatrist agreed to prescribe Trazadone and everyone has slept better for the last few years.

My granddaughter has done so much better in school and at home since she began getting some real sleep.

I can't remember a time when I fell asleep easily. I would lie in bed and read until my parents turned off the light or yelled at me to do it myself.

When I was married my hubby wanted the light off so he could sleep, but I couldn't sleep. I was sleep deprived nearly my whole marriage.

When I finally fell asleep at 0-dark-thirty, his snoring would wake me up.

About a year before my granddaughter began taking Trazadone, the psych prescribed it for me.

I took it every night, very low dose, for about six months, and found that I am able to fall asleep most nights without it now.

I do miss taking Trazodone - I took it for 7ish years. (I have been on so many medications for sleep - you name it I've probably tried it - even stuff off-label.)

It still didn't fix my sleep, just made me sleepy. I still had the same natural times I would start drifting.

I think the issue is, all of those years, people were trying to focus on me falling asleep at the wrong time.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 09:11 PM
Well, accept what's happening for you when it's happening. You can't assume it will never change.

I remember being able to stay up all night and sleeping until 2 in the afternoon.

Well, I feel like it probably never will change.

I have been this way every single year of my entire life.

It has left me sleep deprived and feeling ashamed, I got called lazy and was super pressured to conform to a "normal" sleep schedule. Of course I WANTED that normal sleep schedule - I tried every thing in the book to attempt to fix it.

One year was especially bad, I averaged 4 hrs/sleep a night even on the weekends because I was "following a normal schedule."

I ended up in the hospital lots. I was hospitalized twice for unexplained heart issues. Part of me wonders if it is the severe sleep deprivation that caused/contributed to it.

I have done lots of research on Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder - there is no doubt I have it.

I put "likely" in the OP because some people get upset with others who self-diagnose. They think all we do is look up a page on Web MD and decide that we have it.

But anyway, from what I have read - it never gets better. People in their 30s,40s,50s still struggle from it massively and are so relieved to find out what their issue has been all along. Their life finally turns around once they accept they have this disorder and re-schedule their lives around it. When they don't, when they hold onto "it might change" (which no doubt still puts pressure on them to conform/still makes them feel like they aren't "trying hard enough") - they end up sick and in the hospital, they lose countless jobs, they are sleep-deprived and full of guilt and shame and they have low quality of life.

I am tired of "expecting my sleep schedule to change" or "wondering if maybe it will change in the future or "not assuming it will never change." Unless there is some amazing medical cure - I'm not changing any time soon.

The more I hold onto the "I might change" the more guilt I feel.

Imagine if we told someone with ADHD that their "ADHD might change just accept it for now." We all know how that feels.

To me, it just feels like another form of pressure.

It doesn't get better. I was born this way.

I know you probably meant nothing negative by your post, I wasn't trying to say you were saying all of that. I was just trying to show how it feels from my perspective. And I guess I poured out a lot of pent-up emotions.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 09:24 PM
I think ginniebean's point is a very good one. Accept it, but also accept that you can't know your "sleep future" until that arrives. Don't spend effort to plan your life around this, since it might change.

Don't normal people spend their time planning their life around their sleep schedules? Isn't that kind of how it works?

dvdnvwls
02-27-16, 09:31 PM
Don't normal people spend their time planning their life around their sleep schedules? Isn't that kind of how it works?
Not really. So-called "normal" people plan their sleep schedule around their work hours. Because those work hours were initially planned with a "normal" person in mind, of course. Normal people have problems with getting enough sleep also - that's very common. It's just that their (very real) sleep problems are tiny compared to yours.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 09:35 PM
Not really. So-called "normal" people plan their sleep schedule around their work hours. Because those work hours were initially planned with a "normal" person in mind, of course. Normal people have problems with getting enough sleep also - that's very common. It's just that their (very real) sleep problems are tiny compared to yours.

Yes but the normal 9-5 is already with their sleep schedule in mind, although you are right it is common that they have trouble sleeping.

I just meant - if someone naturally wakes up at 8am they aren't going to for YEARS try to conform to a cycle so that they can work night shifts.

Imagine if for a person who naturally woke up between 6-8am that for YEARS they were forced to go without sleep, take pills, and go to therapy so that hopefully one day they could begin working all night. Imagine them getting told that their ideal would be to force themselves awake all night because that is what is expected.

That would be crazy.

It is the same thing for me, but in reverse.


*I do know some people work night shifts who aren't naturally awake at those times, I'm not talking about those people.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 09:48 PM
Bella i dont know,
But the huge positive for you with babies is that they need to be fed in the middle of the night and then very early morning!
You may then have an early riser toddler or pre schooler....you will not be torn from your deepest sleep!

Thank you I never thought of that - that does sound like a benefit!

dvdnvwls
02-27-16, 09:50 PM
Yes but the normal 9-5 is already with their sleep schedule in mind, although you are right it is common that they have trouble sleeping.I already said that :)

I just meant - if someone naturally wakes up at 8am they aren't going to for YEARS try to conform to a cycle so that they can work night shifts.

Imagine if for a person who naturally woke up between 6-8am that for YEARS they were forced to go without sleep, take pills, and go to therapy so that hopefully one day they could begin working all night. Imagine them getting told that their ideal would be to force themselves awake all night because that is what is expected.

That would be crazy.

It is the same thing for me, but in reverse.


*I do know some people work night shifts who aren't naturally awake at those times, I'm not talking about those people.
The people who stay long-term on the night shift who don't want to be there (but who can't quit because they need the money and can't find anything else) go through a large part of the same sleep problems you go through. The difference, though, is that their situation has no stigma attached, no lies about them supposedly being lazy, no getting put into therapy because they're supposedly defective. People unwillingly stuck working night shifts at least get sympathy from others.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 09:55 PM
I already said that :)


The people who stay long-term on the night shift who don't want to be there (but who can't quit because they need the money and can't find anything else) go through a large part of the same sleep problems you go through. The difference, though, is that their situation has no stigma attached, no lies about them supposedly being lazy, no getting put into therapy because they're supposedly defective. People unwillingly stuck working night shifts at least get sympathy from others.

Yeah, and for me I have already been forced to work those night shifts my entire life. With no support, just shame and guilt. And people would wonder why I was so tired all the time, why I got hospitalized so often, and why I was just overall not-well.

I don't think most people could handle that from year one-forever. Even a person working 10 years on night shift because they have to still isn't the same as having had to live that way because of being forced to by society since they were small.

I'm finally done with it. I'm going to start living my life according to my body clock and try to be okay with that.

dvdnvwls
02-27-16, 10:03 PM
I'm finally done with it. I'm going to start living my life according to my body clock and try to be okay with that.
Part of that, after all the crap you were put through, might involve you patiently and gently taking time to discover what your body clock really wants to do, without the angry voices and pressure.

BellaVita
02-27-16, 10:13 PM
Part of that, after all the crap you were put through, might involve you patiently and gently taking time to discover what your body clock really wants to do, without the angry voices and pressure.

Thank you, you're right. I even need to drop my own internal pressure I have for myself, I have this thing SO drilled into the back of my mind that I need to constantly feel guilt and shame if I don't get to sleep before a certain time.

So I constantly always have this "oh man, I'm not asleep yet."

Funny thing is, I DO get naturally sleepy - usually around 4-5am(lately) is when my wave of sleepiness hits me. It feels good and cozy, if feels natural.

My body has been trying to tell me all along this is how it is, but even I have been silencing it and telling it to shut up. It is those voices that were instilled in me from a very young age.

You know how you always knock out at a certain time? You kind of "know" when you are supposed to fall asleep? How it really doesn't take much discovery because "duh, I have always been this way!" Well, it's like that with me.

Tagger
03-08-16, 01:19 AM
I'm in the same boat as you.

My last hope is Ambien.

I tried my wife's codeine that she got for her sinus infection (cough)... I can mark that off the list of **** that doesn't help...

I take close to 30mg of adderall x2 a day to offset the tiredness.. Then I lay down after being exhausted throughout the day... Now who wants to go sky diving? Lol...

I mentioned Ambien earlier because it's supposed to slow down brain waves... That's the only thing that I think might help... I literally don't know what else to do lol..

Oh yah... The codeine.. Made me nauseous, and I'm really wide awake... I think I'm in for a long one.

BellaVita
03-20-16, 02:15 PM
I ended up exhausted yesterday from several days of not sleeping well (there are reasons for this that have to do with me adjusting to things/recovering from something), and fell asleep at a "normal time." Woke up at around 8am.

I feel pretty bad. Like the worst jet-lag. My brain doesn't work during the day. I can feel that my body knows it is supposed to be sleeping right now. My focus is worse and I feel irritable, and sensory issues are worse and I feel adrenaline and too hot. My brain doesn't feel nearly as clear as it does when I wake up at my body's natural time. Tasks also feel way more difficult.

This is pretty much how I always feel when I'm awake at the wrong time. :) It has been like this my whole entire life.

Just thought I would add this here in case anyone was curious about what daytime feels like for those who aren't supposed to be awake during normal hours.

KarmanMonkey
03-23-16, 12:06 PM
From reading this and some of your other threads, I'd imagine there's multiple reasons for your difficulty sleeping. Trauma, anxiety, ADD (of course), likely a sleep disorder on top of it, and likely each is feeding into the other.

Since you haven't had a sleep study done since you were little, maybe now is the time?

Don't know if it's an option for you or in your neck of the woods.

Being a dad, I miss having nice peaceful sleeps. Had a good night's sleep last night, which basically just helped restore my awareness of just how tired and sleep deprived I am.

You mentioned in your inital post that you've tried everything; I'd challenge that a little bit. You may have tried many things, and everything you can think of, but that's why I love the internet and the community that's here. There are so many brains, and creative ones to boot, so there's a good chance we'll spot something you missed.

You've mentioned some of the things you've tried; if you think it might help, care to share a "laundry list" to see if we can spot some gaps?

TheGreatKing
03-23-16, 01:19 PM
My sleep schedule is all over the place,
one week i could be doing 12-7 and like this week i just started falling asleep at 4 and woke up at 11 :D
but isn't trouble sleeping it is my adhd finding some interesting to do :P
when that happens i almost put every priority and throw it out the window.

TheGreatKing
03-23-16, 01:47 PM
Sometimes i pretend to be normal but its gets boring real fast so i go back being me :D
Just saying :D

BellaVita
03-25-16, 03:49 PM
From reading this and some of your other threads, I'd imagine there's multiple reasons for your difficulty sleeping. Trauma, anxiety, ADD (of course), likely a sleep disorder on top of it, and likely each is feeding into the other.

Since you haven't had a sleep study done since you were little, maybe now is the time?
I agree there are probably multiple things causing my sleeping issues. But I do think that Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (or a similar disorder) is likely the main thing. I've never had a sleep study. I can't have one now or any time soon, can't afford it plus have no insurance.

You mentioned in your inital post that you've tried everything; I'd challenge that a little bit. You may have tried many things, and everything you can think of, but that's why I love the internet and the community that's here. There are so many brains, and creative ones to boot, so there's a good chance we'll spot something you missed.

You've mentioned some of the things you've tried; if you think it might help, care to share a "laundry list" to see if we can spot some gaps?

I have had the challenge my whole life, and have spent hours upon hours of research on the internet for some sort of advice or a cure over the years. Nothing has ever worked. I feel like I haven't really missed anything. I will attempt to make a list of things I've tried, but I will probably forget something.
List of things I've tried:
-7+ different medications for sleep, including certain ones that the doctor prescribed off-label.
-Strict sleep routine for an extended period of time (you can read the results of that in my other posts on this thread)
-Bio/Neurofeedback therapy for sleep for 4 years. It was basically very advanced sleep training. Lots of wires attached to my head to monitor brain waves and activity and to study my brain. Even my doctor was baffled by my brain.
-Other types of "regular" therapy/counseling
-Countless meditation and mindfulness videos/or done by-myself techniques, books, articles, and practices. Including professionally taught.
-Not eating before sleep
-Eating before sleep
-Physical exercise - including light through excessive physical activity (have tried it at different times of the day too to see if time of day mattered/or helped with sleep)
-Almost every herbal remedy/tea/supplement ever, I even went to an "official" clinic that was basically all-natural stuff and herbal remedies and stayed there for 2 months. (As well as having tried many many on my own, and yes of course this includes melatonin since I don't feel like listing it later)
-Turning off all electronics and lights hours before bed time
-Deep relaxation techniques/muscle by muscle relaxation/deep breathing techniques - professionally taught as well as learned techniques through my own personal research.
-Reading a book before bed
-Writing all of my thoughts down in a journal before sleep
-Keeping a "worry list" to write my worries down to worry about tomorrow instead of at night
-Sleeping with a pet
-Sleeping with a human
-Sleeping without pets or humans
.-A human singing soft and soothing songs before sleep to me in person
-Buying an expensive mattress that was perfect for my back and body
-Buying the perfect pillow
-Buying blankets that are comfy/bed sheets that are soft/weighted blanket effect
-Heating pads/hot rice packs/heating patches/icy hot cream/etc.
-Sleeping mask
-Binaural/monaural beats including a CD that has a cost of $300 (thankfully, I got it for free from my doctor)
-Many brainwave app programs
-Many many different sleep sounds/relaxation tracks
-Stretches
-"clearing my mind"
-Drinking milk or soymilk before sleep
-Eating peanut butter before sleep
-"Resetting" my sleep schedule by staying up all night
-Adjusting the temperature in the room from hot to warm to cool, trying different temps to see what is most relaxing
-special light glasses that play patterns of flashing light on my eyes - this was also professionally done multiple times
-Getting enough sunshine during the day
-Taking a shower (hot/cool/warm/neutral) before bed
-Taking a bath before bed
-Putting special lavender scent on my pillows/sheets
-Getting all of "my thoughts off my chest" to another human
-Going to my happy place mentally (and other forms of pleasant mind imagery/guided meditation but that goes under my category from earlier)
-Sleeping in a place way out in the country with no internet, phone service, or TV for an extended period of time.

And, keep in mind, that everything I wrote on this list wasn't just tried one or two times but multiple times and done in different ways - some things for extended periods of time. Some of the things I still do because they help a little bit. But nothing, not even strong drugs, can ever alter my brain enough so that I fall asleep "at the right time." It is clear to me that I have been this way since I was a baby, and a small child, and I will forever be this way.

Best of luck spotting something I've missed.

anonymouslyadd
03-25-16, 05:12 PM
Bella, you always work your butt off and have probably tried everything in the world to improve this for yourself.

:grouphug:

BellaVita
03-25-16, 06:40 PM
Bella, you always work your butt off and have probably tried everything in the world to improve this for yourself.

:grouphug:

Thank you anon, those words really mean a lot to me. :grouphug: I really have.