This week has been very busy. I’ve been meaning to post something about the ASAN 5-year celebration, which was awesome, or my thoughts on hanging out with the neat Autistic people that I met there.

But right now, all I can think about is sleeping.

I’m currently in a sleep lab, hooked up to electrodes. I spent the night here last night (and slept better than I usually do!) and am staying around for the remainder of the day for a “daytime sleepiness” study. I have to spend the day hooked up to electrodes, and every few hours they have me lie down and try to take a 20-minute nap. I wasn’t able to have more than one caffeinated drink yesterday (which is probably part of why I slept so well) and can’t have any today, which means that I’m extremely groggy. I’ve already had one nap today and was very, very sad when they made me get up. I’m not allowed to sleep between naps.

I’ve never been a very good sleeper. I usually want to stay up late into the night and then can’t get up. I don’t like getting up in the morning even if I get to bed at a reasonable hour. When I gave up caffeine for three months several years ago, the only thing that changed was that I was even more groggy and distracted during the day than usual. This year has been particularly bad: I have been having such a hard time getting up in the morning that my work schedule has shifted significantly; I now get in around 10:30 or 10:45 and stay into the evening (luckily they are okay with that).

I’m not particularly at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, so my current theory is that my sleep issues are connected to my other neurological differences. If that’s the case, though, I’m not sure what to do about it. Has anyone else had this sort of problem? What did you do about it?




Filed under Being Weird

2 responses to “Sleep

  1. I have a similar schedule due to “not being a morning person”, as I usually explain it. It’s hard for me to isolate variables, as getting married this year means I’m no longer sleeping alone, but a side effect of that is that I’m generally less likely to be spending screen time (and in particular, video game time) right up until I go to bed. That seems to have helped. I remember reading something a while back that heavy screen use throws off the daily sunlight cycles picked up by the pineal gland.

  2. Adam Feldman

    I find I tend toward a similar schedule, although it varies somewhat. Of course, a night (sensu lato) of hyperfocus can throw my whole schedule off for a week, but even just feeling like there’s something unresolved can keep me up for hours past my usual midnight or one. When I get to bed early, it’s usually because I’m so physically or mentally tired that I can’t engage with anything; even then, I’ll usually make a few feeble attempts before collapsing. Conversely, I frequently stay up past when I feel sleepy because something is unresolved or incomplete. There have been times when I simply didn’t feel I’d done anything that day, and couldn’t get to sleep despite being extremely tired and in bed and everything, and I’d get up and go through my normal thing and pass out when I couldn’t keep my eyes open like normal.
    Interestingly, I’ve gone to bed early (like 8:00) only a reasonable amount tired on multiple occasions, and I still had trouble getting out of bed before 10:00.

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