Hi! Nice to see Brain Talk up and running.

I have Delayed Sleep-Phase Disorder (DSPD) aka Syndrome (DSPS) and am involved in the non-profit organization Circadian Sleep Disorders Network as well as a few lists/fora. We have a lot of information and are happy to try to answer questions. Delayed Sleep-Phase means that we can't get to sleep until way after midnight and can then sleep nicely for 8-9 hours. It's quite inflexible and makes education, employment, relationships and parenting difficult. DSPD is not uncommon among adolescents and most of them grow out of it. Those of us who didn't grow out of it, are stuck with it. As a rule, DSPD is not something that adults can "get"; we've had it since we were kids.

The other circadian rhythm disorder we deal with is Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder. It's also known as Hypernychthemeral or Free-Running. This is common, and often mild, among totally blind people. It's very rare and very debilitating among sighted people. These people don't live on 24-hour cycles like everyone else. Each cycle lasts about 1-3 hours longer than 24 hours. Thus, these people go to bed and wake up 1-3 hours later than the day before and keep on going around the clock. Some of these sighted people had DSPD which developed into Non-24.

We have a list of Recommended Physicians, each recommended by at least one person with a circadian rhythm disorder. This can be helpful, as so many doctors and even "sleep specialists" haven't heard of such disorders or haven't yet had a patient with one. Some are even dismissive which is very frustrating: "Take a warm bath, drink warm milk and go to bed early" just does not work. Many of us have lived for decades with an undiagnosed circadian rhythm disorder and that can cause sleep deprivation, depression and a lack of self-confidence. Thanks to the internet, it's a bit easier now to learn that these disorders exist.