Some people are natural born night owls while others struggle to stay awake past 9 pm. It all depends on how their circadian rhythm or internal sleep cycle is structured. You may be able to occasionally trick your circadian rhythm into believing that you’re a night owl when you’re really not, but eventually, you’ll throw off your inner sleep cycle by not going to sleep when your body tells you to.
In some cases, a social or professional obligation can keep you awake at night longer than you’d like. But as long as you don’t make a habit out of ignoring your body’s sleep signals, you won’t do significant damage. Unfortunately, some people are unable to fall asleep even when they do all the right things. Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) is a condition that makes it hard to fall asleep at night and wake up the next morning. People with DSPS may be unable to fall asleep until hours after they lay down in bed.
If you have been diagnosed with DSPS, there are a couple of things you can do to help reset your circadian rhythm and get the rest you desire. It may help to supplement with melatonin, which is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Taking melatonin an hour or so before bed can alert your body when it’s time to sleep. Melatonin production is halted with exposure to light, so make sure your room is dark when you go to bed. Check out these tips for naturally resetting your internal clock.