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DSPS, western end of time zone, parents with ASPS

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I'm another one of those night owls.

One who is tortured by being on the western end of his time zone, where the sun is ALREADY setting at 8:30 PM (it will approach 9:30 PM by the solstice in June). My body just wants more "darkness" before it's bedtime, and the combination of our "mislocation" and DST observance (only the past 3 years on the latter) makes me want to go to bed at well after 2 AM.

Combine this with my parents (namely father), with advanced sleep phase (ASPS). Has to be in bed before 8:30 PM. He doesn't exactly enjoy the light outside either whilst attempting to fall asleep. That combined with my usual household noises doesn't let him sleep. And I'm staying up later anyways (but trying to avoid the room next to the parents')*.

*The room next to my parents' happens to be mine.

Anyways, that was just sort of a rant.

However, I think perhaps we should look into having some heavy curtains put up for the master bedroom such that parents can sleep? The room (along with the rest of the top floor) becomes extremely hot in the summer (our AC pump doesn't put out enough to cool 3 floors, so it just cools the floor all the air ducts begin in.... the basement), so dark curtains (mom's idea) might be out of the question. I'm going to tell them my suggestion of heavy, light colored curtains... I think it'll keep the room a hair cooler while also blocking out the light, letting them sleep.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go find my window unit and stick it in, I can't sleep in room temperatures much above 75 or really function at temps above 90 (and my room's got it the worst, if the main house's thermostat is set to 75F on a 90F day, without the window unit, I would as well open my room window to get some 'cool' air in).

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Your folks would want better quality stuff, but I found very heavy thickness tapestry type curtain panels at Lowes hardware four years ago. One pane was just wide enough to cover each window. Since I'm in an apartment and can't do permanent installations, I got some spring type curtain rods and hung them from that.

They are wonderful and do a great job of blocking the light, even without my closing the miniblinds. Oh, if your folks don't have them, miniblinds would add another layer of blocking.

For some reason I have fallen into a similar schedule. I rarely can get to sleep before 2 a.m. and get up around 10 -11:30 a.m. I've been stable like this for about 1.5 years. It doesn't fit well with the world, and I feel guilty about being a "slug". But with all the struggles to be "stable", should I really try to fight it, when its been so consistent?

good luck.


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Down here I've seen a number of south-facing windows lined with aluminum foil - cheap, reflective, and blocks light well.

If you don't want the house to look like the local drug dealers', some fabric stores carry a white fabric (I don't recall what it's actually called) used in theater productions to nearly completely block out light. That would make a more traditional-looking curtain to have between the windows and the drapes. The drapes would last longer too.

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I would go with mini blinds, a darkening shade (which rolls up when you want sun) and then the heavy drapes. I don't think you can overdo It.

Don't do like my mom. She painted every single window in her bedroom black! Heh. She got what she wanted.

And then, I guess, my aunt took her cue and painted every wall in her living room black. A little mental illness in the family perhaps?

I can't operate well in less than 70....where the heck is the thingy? Oh well, degrees.

Good luck in getting all of that figured out!

Sounds like you and the parents are doing well.

Air Marshall,

It makes sense to me and my psychiatrist to stick with what works for me. (As long as I don't create some obviously ridiculously unhealthy schedule) (She did not say that to me, I just assumed it. Heh)

My best,

Sunshine Outside

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi all, thanks for the suggestions

AM, I'll let my parents know about those curtains that you've tried. I've gotten them to lower their standards quite a bit, especially after they got made fun of by our contractor since my father initially went straight for the most expensive tiles our contractor offered, stating he wanted "only the best" for his house. Turns out that as per our contractor, most tiles are created equal, and that any floor-grade tile sold by a reputable hardware store is of suitable high quality for residential use, and that tile should be picked out based upon preference of texture and color, and not the assumption that a high price indicates a high quality of tile.

I went for a tile that was fifty cents per 6" square (Dad's initial selection for me ran for around $3.60 per that amount). Ditto for their bathroom, going down from their initial selection of $10 per 12" square down to something I suggested that sold for two bucks. A similar reduction of cost was made in the kitchen backsplash tile department. Basically, I saved them on the order of thousands of dollars, and in return, I no longer get taunts of "you don't know the value of money!". One has no idea how priceless that is. Honestly, it's better than the money itself, I'm not joking. (Well, okay, I wouldn't mind $5,000 in my bank account, heh.)

And SushineOutside, I absolutely had a fit of laughter about what your mother did in her house. Basically, she blocked out all the light and converted it to heat, if what I know about decorating (and physics light theory) is correct. As for my own window, I have those fake wooden blinds (2" slats, only annoyance is that said slats tend to come off of their moorings).

I'm also happy that HOA/Covenant hasn't made a big deal of the window A/C unit yet (I assume it's because our neighborhood is old and much of its covenant dates back to the 1950s, when central air conditioners were just starting to pop up). I believe that window units are okay, providing they stick out the back of the house and nowhere else.

And as for sleep phase, well, one has to go with what's socially acceptable sometimes. If I time my Remeron and my meal properly, I can be conveniently knocked out around 11-12 for a 7AM awakening, with which Concerta shall assist me. People in my neck of the woods (or cornfields, as it is) are really complaining of the inappropriate time zoning that was the result of observing DST, so it's not just me and my family......

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