Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome and Morning Exams

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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
I wondered if I could ask for some advice here, as I am really panicking now. After struggling with my sleep for a long time but being overlooked due to the fact I have sleep apnoea (they thought it could just be that and my machine playing up) and then waiting ages for an appointment when they did listen to me, I have been diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. This means that, unlike other people, my circadian rhythm doesn't work properly - most people could have a few nights staying up late and then go back to a normal routine when the weekdays come around. With DSPS, the circadian rhythm becomes inflexible, usually sometime around late teenage years or early adulthood, and gets stuck into a certain pattern, with it making you want to go to sleep sometime between midnight and 4am on average (mine annoyingly being 3-4am) and then waking up 8 hours later. If you try to sleep before then, it will not work and you become sleep deprived. I have been prescribed a light box, which will increase my serotonin levels in the morning, and melatonin to take at night as we slowly try to force my pattern backwards, but it will take a long time and one night away from treatment or one late night can mess it all up.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that I have been told categorically by the specialist at the sleep clinic that I cannot do morning exams and if I do then I will be going against medical advice, as I won't be at my best, will likely fall asleep and mess up my treatment plan. We do not know whether my pattern can even be forced into a 'normal rhythm', some can't and many give in to it and go for jobs that are flexible or do night shifts. Obviously, this isn't possible for me, I have three exams and all of them are 9am ones. I am in my third year, missed all of my classes this term due to this disorder and how tiring commuting is, but what can I do? The specialist said about taking the exams in the afternoon and that they would write a letter for me, but I doubt they can be changed at this short notice and I know they don't do history resits at the university I am with, as I remember enquiring last year (I have many medical problems). I am really panicking and no one is at the university right now, so wonder if anyone has any advice?
Last edited by Charliefen; 1 year ago

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