I'm a night owl chronicling my nocturnal life in a diurnal world


Blame Your Parents – It’s Your Genes

March 20, 2017
Evidence continues to mount that certain types of sleep behaviors are governed by our genes. Genes typically implicated in circadian sleep disorders are Period (PER1, PER2 and PER3) genes. For those who suffer from Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, one of the culprits is a polymorphism (which means 'genetic variation') of the PER3 gene. This research is not new - here's an excerpt from a study in a 2003 issue of Sleep magazine: "The Per3 polymorphism correlated significantly with extreme diurnal preference, the longer allele associating…

Treatments for DSPS

February 5, 2017
Here’s a partial list of the “treatments” I’ve tried so far: Light Therapy: Bright light therapy (10,000 lux light box, Feel Bright Light visor, Golite Blue Energy Light, etc.) in the morning. Light restriction (a.k.a. darkness therapy) via blue-light blocking glasses, black out curtains, f.lux on various screens. Using dim red-filtered light to avoid polychromatic and blue light in the evening. “Natural” Remedies: Valerian, passionflower extract, milky oats, catnip, skull cap, hops, teas, strong chamomile tea, natural GABA…

Cortisol Levels Over A 24-Hour Period

January 31, 2017
This graph shows the peak cortisol release over a 24-hour period for a "normal" person (you can see it peaks around 8 am). I recently did an at-home cortisol saliva test - I collected samples four times (morning, noon, evening, and at bedtime) throughout the day. Since my sleep is delayed about four hours from a "normal" person, I did my morning sample at 11 am (I usually sleep 3:30-ish to 10:30-ish), my noon sample at 3 pm, my…

What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome?

January 15, 2017
Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) is a condition in which the body’s internal clock is delayed several hours behind what is considered normal. DSPS-ers can sleep normally and follow a consistent sleep schedule – just at a later time (such as 4 am to 11 am). As a circadian rhythm disorder (CRD), DSPS affects other daily rhythms such as those for body temperature, appetite, heart rate and blood pressure. DSPS is genetic; studies have linked it…