Why can't I sleep during normal sleeping hours?

I never seem to be able to sleep during normal sleeping hours. I usually am awake until about 3:30 in the morning and get up around 11am. When I was in college I didn't take this very seriously because a lot of my friends were up late, but now I feel like it is a real problem in my life. I have tried over a period of a few weeks to force myself to get up early so that I can go to bed earlier, but even if I get enough sleep on that schedule I never feel well rested. Luckily right now I work from home, but I am concerned for when I get an office job that requires me to be up earlier. Is this a sleep disorder and can I be treated for it?

Doctors Answers (2)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 1/13/2014

Going to sleep at 3 AM and sleeping until noon is what is called a delayed phase sleep syndrome. It is normal in the teenage years, but in adulthood it generally goes away due to the need to adapt to the rest of the world. Sometimes, if there is no reason to change, it will continue. Changing to usual sleep-wake times may require a combination of medication, work on your part and appropriate exposure to light. A sleep specialist can help with this plan.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 1/2/2014 1

If you do not have an actual sleep disorder than most likely the problem revolves around your sleep hygiene. In order to move your bedtime up you should start by going to bed earlier in 30 minute increments. When you go to bed 30 minutes earlier, you should get up at your desired wake time. That being said, you will not be getting as much sleep as you normally do, however if you persist in this plan you should be able to change you sleep schedule.