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Article:

Are Night Owls Lazy Employees?

Workers with Sleep Disorders Can Adapt to the 9-to-5 World

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is Real

Some people are hard-wired to go to bed late and wake up late. They’re not lazy and they’re not insomniacs. Instead, they just have to keep a late sleep schedule or they’re liable to pay a huge toll in their health and well-being, not to mention their careers. To function well, we all need to match our sleep schedule to our body's circadian rhythms, which are being increasingly researched by sleep experts.

In this fifth story in a series about delayed sleep phase syndrome (also DSPS, or delayed sleep), you’ll meet Tina Garner, an engineering design drafter in Melbourne, Australia. A delayed sleep sufferer, she discovered light therapy, a daily discipline that enables her to adapt her sleep schedule to the 9-to-5 world. (Garner asked me not to publish her real name because of the stigma around being a night owl.) To learn the basics about delayed sleep, see the first interview in this series, "How Your Bedtime is Affecting Your Job Performance," with Peter Mansbach, Ph.D., president of the Circadian Sleep Disorders Network.