Up all night? No.

I’ve always had odd sleeping patterns. I’d get 4-5 hours of sleep, or skip it altogether for a day and ‘catch up’ when I could. But lately I’ve been unsettled by something.

My habit the last couple years has been to wake up around 5-6am, work a bit, do my day, feeling maybe a little tired, but generally okay-probably aided by all the coffee I drink. Then I’d stay up until after midnight (1am, 2am) working on projects. If I pushed too far I’d have trouble waking up in the morning and knew I needed to cut back on the nighttime work for a while.

But lately, I’ve needed to stay up to work on things and been unable to. It gets to 11 or so and I’m wide awake, or as awake as you can be for that time of night, then by midnight my body is dragging, as if I’d been on a 24hr no-sleep marathon. I sit down on the couch and fall asleep without intending to. I even fought it a few times and found myself sleeping in my computer chair (very uncomfortable!).

It is like my body has given up on my scheduling sleep in a sensible manner and decided to schedule it for me. I just cannot stay awake.

I’m waking up on time and do not have sleepiness during the day other than a general mild fatigue-does not interfere with activities. I don’t snore or have trouble once I fall asleep. I’m not sleeping more-though if it’s a late-start day I’ll happily sleep in late.

In some ways it is nice…I’m finally falling asleep quickly, sleeping deeply, waking with some fantastic dream just fading, and know I’ve gotten enough sleep for the night, but it is disturbing because I cannot control it!

I do suffer from RLS-I’ll experience that when I try on purpose to go to sleep, and my normal transition to sleep is 30+ minutes. In these cases I don’t notice any RLS because I’m asleep before I know it. I don’t snore or have other sleep apnea symptoms and again, while I’m tired because I probably should be getting 8+ hours instead of 5-6 I’m not overly tired-I can rarely nap if I want to due to my normal transition time…too many things to plan for.

I’ve googled but most sleep disorders are related to daytime sleepiness due to nighttime troubles. Since I don’t have ‘episodes’ any other time or fit other symptoms it’s not narcolepsy.

Is this psychological or physiological? My thoughts run to the former since I cannot trace any known causes from the latter, but why? Psychological implies a need or trauma or anxiety deep-rooted enough to influence, but there is none. I’m stressed-that’s normal and I’ve had trauma in my past but there’s none now. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety in the past but there’s nothing now on a scale that might cause something like this. In fact I’d say my life is doing pretty damn well and I’m more ‘up’ and less depressed or anxious than I’ve been in a long time.

So why is this happening and why now? It is starting to get truly annoying as I have things to finish that I cannot unless I try to do it during then evening but I’m reluctant to do that since that would take away from time with the kids.

Has anyone else ever experienced this? You are awake during the day but just cannot stay awake at night. Jokes that this is normal aside, I’m curious.


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