A while ago, Ra was hanging out with this guy who totally creeped me out. I used to call her and lecture her about why she needed to stay away from him. Point #215: this guy has been to Iraq five times. I wanted to tell her that he probably has raging Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD.
But what came out, in a horrified “mom-voice” shriek with a dash of Missouri twang, was “Raaaa! He could have PSDS!!” Say it out loud. You will probably giggle as much as she did. It just sounds silly. Well…
I finally sucked it up and went to an actual Sleep Institute today, and guess what: I don’t have insomnia. I actually have something called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. Yes, DSPS. It means my circadian rhythm (body clock) runs about five hours later than yours – like living with permanent jet lag. There are things I can do to keep it in check, but I have to be really disciplined about bedtimes, light therapy, melatonin, etc.
Apparently, the majority of DSPS cases are initially misdiagnosed as chronic or onset insomnia. I actually studied DSPS in college and was fairly informed about all sleep disorders, but I had always assumed that DSPS was a temporary condition, or just a fancy nickname for jet lag itself. I didn’t believe the doctor at first but the DSPS Wikipedia page seriously reads like my diary. And while the diagnosis sucks, you’ve already heard me complain about trying virtually every insomnia treatment. At least now I know why none of them worked and I can go to bed a little more hopeful.
Ra is in town for the first time in years. This is the girl I honed all my bad habits with. She has a son now. Maybe between her baby and my new self-discipline, we can stay out of trouble this week. Either way, it’s bound to get interesting. I can’t wait to tell her I have DSPS.