I was recently diagnosed with a sleep disorder – and I couldn’t be happier about it.
But before I share why, let me tell my story.
I have a circadian rhythm disorder, which means my body clock is out of sync with my environment. Specifically, I have delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD), where my body clock is misaligned with conventional sleep-wake hours. I also have idiopathic hypersomnia – a fancy way of saying I sleep a lot more than the average person, but it’s not clear why.
Neither diagnosis was surprising to me.
Since adolescence, I’ve struggled with sleeping and waking. I had an inkling something was wrong after I was nearly debarred from one 9am class in polytechnic for oversleeping every lecture. I attempted to seek treatment in 2017 but gave up after finding no leads and later becoming preoccupied with university.
Uni offered a flexibility that kept my condition dormant (there’s a reason I’m in academia). But recent events have reminded me that the flexibility I’ve enjoyed will not last forever. Besides, my haphazard way of life could do with some improvement. That resolution brought me to the doctor’s office, a sleep study, and where we are now.
So what’s the deal, really?