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bisc230 paper - John Pandol Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome...

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John Pandol Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and Me My whole life I have been a “night owl”. Every night I stay up late, sometimes doing work, but usually just watching television, not wanting to go to bed until much later than everyone else. In high school I typically started my homework at 10 to 11 o’clock at night with the expectation of finishing between 12 and 2, depending on my diligence and workload. This worked out well for me, as that was about the time I could even conceive going to bed. During my grade school years, my “eveningness” (tendency towards night) made me an expert on classic television sitcoms, since at 10 o’clock my favorite children’s channel Nickelodeon turned into Nick-at-Nite, a channel featuring vintage programming. This tendency goes back to before I can even remember. I am told stories by my family of how even as a toddler I would resist going to bed, and if forced to do so would either lie their awake, or get up and independently meander the dark house with only the walls to guide me. Despite my apparent difficulty in getting to sleep, I have never had any trouble staying asleep. In fact, quite the opposite is true, once asleep I sleep very deeply. I have slept through vacuum cleaners and fire alarms. I also, have a great difficulty waking up in the morning. Even if awoken, I will make irrational choices for just a little more sleep. I have often lie or get angry at someone trying to coax me out of bed. This difficulty in waking up occurs even after a reasonable amount of rest, such as 8 or 9 hours. In college, I have tried to use notes to
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myself on important days saying, “Get up! You can’t miss class today, you don’t need more sleep.” The notes were unsuccessful Thus I have suffered negative consequences my whole life as a result of my abnormal sleeping patterns. Many times my onset-insomnia was worsened by the fear of not getting up in the morning. Most days I did manage to get to school having only slept a few hours, but come that evening I would again not go to bed until late at night. This crooked cycle had me chronically sleep deprived most of my life. Even as the week progressed, rarely would the sleep-debt induce me into going to bed earlier, usually I was able to make it to the weekend when I would sleep until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. It’s seems only typical for children not to want to go to bed and not want to get up early in the morning after going to bed late. I was frequently late and absent from school, which caused me a great deal of difficulty and stress. In addition to the strain on my schoolwork, missing school frequently gave me a huge stigma from my teachers, which only exacerbated my stress. It was not until college that I was forced to seek help, since my inability to keep a normal schedule was having tremendous consequences. The doctor discussed little with me and basically asked me what drug I wanted. I initially had much hesitation to taking sleeping pills due to their bad reputation, so I opted for a non-prescription remedy. Thus for the last two years I have taken anti-
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