night hours

Last night (or this morning …) I stayed up until past 5. ^^;;; I stayed up so late I thought, ‘Hm, just another hour and a half until everyone wakes up. Maybe I’ll try to stay up.’ But no, I fell asleep. Haha! Like the first night in … so many nights that I haven’t tried for over an hour to fall asleep. x.x; I woke up at around noon … (better than 1:30/2 like other days ^^;;). 7 hours of sleep. :) Hahaha … Well, yesterday I read this thing in the Health section of LA Times. It’s “A night owl resets his body clock” by Joshua Tompkins.

Millions of Americans are night owls, routinely staying up past 2 in the morning and sleeping until noon whenever possible.

… left to set my own hours as a freelance writer, I watched my schedule drift later than ever. Efforts to turn in at a decent hour proved fruitless, even on days when I had managed to get up early. Around 11 p.m., an exasperating second wind would swirl up and keep me awake for hours. I’d wake up around noon, finish “breakfast” by 1 p.m. and curse yet another truncated, unproductive workday.

Scientists consider an unwillingly postponed sleep schedule to be a medical condition called delayed sleep phase syndrome, or DSPS. Caused by an irregularity of the circadian rhythms that govern the body clock, this and other sleep rhythm disorders most probably result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors, says Dr. Michael Wincor, an associate professor at USC’s schools of pharmacy and medicine. Because relatively few people seek treatment for it, estimates of the prevalence of DSPS are imprecise. Most researchers believe that 4% or fewer adults have the condition.

Experts agree that it is more widespread among adolescents than adults, with about 7% of teenagers having the condition, according to a 1989 report by the Journal of Sleep Research. Studies have shown that many teens possess slightly delayed body clocks, remaining energetic through the evening and typically requiring 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep.

DSPS is also common among college students, says Wincor. “On a daily basis, I see people with at least mild delayed sleep phase syndrome,” he says. “They’re accustomed to going to bed at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. and being able to sleep until 10 a.m.”

Sleeping pills can’t remedy DSPS, so physicians sometimes prescribe chronotherapy, in which the patient goes to bed three hours later each night until he or she rounds the clock dial to the desired schedule. That is as laborious as it sounds, and those who complete it (usually missing a week of work to do so) must strictly adhere to the new routine or risk total relapse. Taking melatonin, the hormone normally secreted at night to help regulate sleep, can correct the problem in some cases.

The most effective therapy, however, is light therapy, according to sleep researchers.

*probably took too much of that article* ^^;;;; Rest of the article may be read here (requires registration).

Eh, yeah. Dunno why I stayed up past 5, though. ^^;;; I wasn’t trying that cycling through thing (don’t like the idea of sleeping in the middle of the day x_x). *shrugs* Weird.

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