Symptoms of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Due to the nature of this sleeping disorder, it is possible that it could be confused with a number of different sleeping disorders. This is owing to the fact that if you are suffering from Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder you will probably be receiving less sleep than you should be. The delayed time it takes you to fall asleep will mean you have less time asleep than necessary as you will most likely still try to get up at the same time in the morning, for work etc, and thus feel un-refreshed and fatigued. For example, if you would normally want to sleep from 11PM-7AM, your body clock may only allow you to sleep at 2AM, which dramatically reduces your sleep time to 5 hours from 8 hours. In the early stages of this sleep disorder it is very easy to misdiagnose it with other common sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Therefore, it is important you are aware of the possible symptoms that are associated with DSPS.

  • Insomnia/Excessive Sleepiness

You will have complaints that you cannot sleep at night and are excessively tired during the day. You will also be unsure as to why you cannot sleep at night as you are tired and ready to sleep but just seem unable to.

  • Inability to fall asleep when desired

You will struggle to fall asleep when you first go to bed and will find that you can only sleep when the time reaches the early hours of the morning.

  • Severe difficulty waking up in the morning

You may have to set alarms, ask family or friends to get you up in the morning due to your excessive sleepiness and feeling that you need to sleep for several more hours before feeling fully refreshed.

  • Long lie-ins at the weekend

You may find that at the weekend when you can stay in bed longer you are able to sleep until dinner time or afternoon to catch up on lost sleep during the week. You will feel much more refreshed after these longer sleeps and will probably feel more positive and alert.

  • Depression

As with most sleep disorders, depression can be closely linked with them. Due to the nature of this sleeping disorder you may find that the lack of sleep is severely affecting your mood, making you irritable, aggressive and short-tempered. You may also feel down in the dumps most of the time due to your excessive tiredness. Again, it is important not to confuse depression and DSPS.

  • Lack of concentration

You may find that you feel more alert and creative at nighttime and will not feel this way in a morning. You will probably feel very un-alert and lacking in concentration in a morning. If this is so, you should immediately recognise this and considered whether your lack of concentration could be putting you or others in danger, at the wheel etc.

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