Tag Archives: delayed sleep response

I’m having an exercise in exhaustion

I’m yawning over and over today, because I need to time shift again. I need to be awake during the day so I can do grocery shopping, but that means I can’t sleep today. This is something I used to do twice a week, every week, when I was working compressed shifts over at TI, but that was thirty-some years ago when I had more stamina.

Now I have a condition called Delayed Sleep Response, or as I like to call it Alien Planet Circadian Rhythm. If left to my natural inclinations I have a 28 hour wake/sleep cycle. If I don’t use an alarm to wake up I stay up about 20 hours and then sleep 8 which time-shifts me about 4 hours later a day every day, until I wake up about the time regular people go to bed, when everything gets crossways. What I usually do is when I start waking up in the afternoon I just push it a bit harder so I go to bed about 2000 instead of 0800. This means I stay up 32 hours instead of “just” 20, but for a few days I’m almost sorta in sync with the rest of the world. Now if I set my alarms to only sleep 6 hours instead of my full 8 I can stay up 18 instead of 20 hours and hold a diurnal schedule, but the problem is the Delayed Sleep Response, it keeps me from feeling tired when I should, plus I got used to just “not sleeping” even when I was tired from all those years of going from 12 hour night shifts to sleeping at night by just powering through getting tired and staying awake f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I always made sure I didn’t need to be alert when I did that, so I wouldn’t be in danger.

Right now I have another 6.5 hours to stay awake before I can get some sleep, so I’m reading some web comic archives to stay awake. I hope they will be interesting enough to keep me awake. And that’s pretty much it, the most interesting thing today is I won’t be sleeping until 2000 or so. And then I’ll probably sleep until 0400 tomorrow.