N-24 Awareness Day is almost upon us

I wonder if I’ll be awake for it?
Don’t laugh – “days” are always a crapshoot

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Comorbidities and Sleep & Sleep Disorders Series

Even though I’m scurrying to finish everything I need to do to be able to announce Open Enrollment for the upcoming Group Coaching, I simply must take a bit of a break to let you know of something coming up in less than one week: N-24 Awareness Day.

An Explanation, not an excuse

In addition to my personal Challenges as THE ADD Poster Girl, anyone who knows me well at all knows about my life-long struggles as the result of a bodacious disorder of sleep TIMING.  (If you don’t you can read all about it in JetLagged for LIFE!)

If YOU or someone you love has been known to be “up all night,” sleeping away much of the day, put it on your must read list.

Depending on how closely you can relate, it just might change your life to learn what just might be going on.

An Important Day for me

As far back as I can recall, I have been repeatedly disbelieved, misunderstood, made fun of, reviled, and punished in various ways, thanks to the extreme difficulty of adjusting my body’s sleep clock to the timing of the 24 hour schedule that most of you earthlings believe is “normal” for everybody.

It’s troubling to have to say that a few of the worst offenders have been senior ADD Coaches, from whom I naively expected a great deal more willingness to attempt to understand and much better treatment.

So N-24 Awareness Day is near and dear to my heart – a shot at legitimizing what I have had to deal with and overcome – valiantly and [mostly] fairly successfully – for my entire life.

N24 is chronic and debilitating. It is hard for sufferers to get taken seriously because most industrialized societies have little respect for the body’s need for sleep and most individuals cannot relate to conditions where it is impossible to stay awake or fall asleep at appropriate times.

Most people with N24 get lots of useless advice, like suggestions to drink warm milk or “just go to bed earlier.”

In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, prominent sleep researchers said that N24 is “extremely debilitating in that it is incompatible with most social and professional obligations.”

~ From ABOUT N24 on the Awareness Day site
Hop over to read a brief description of what it would be like if YOU had to live with it

About N24 Awareness Day

An mgh “reblog” of content from the N-24 Awareness Day site.

N24 Awareness Day, first proposed by Robin Stewart in 2012 and eagerly developed further by the Facebook N24 community, occurs annually on N24 (November 24th) in order to help raise awareness of the condition N24 (Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Syndrome), also known as hypernychthemeral syndrome or free-running sleep disorder.

Although the word “sleep” is in the name of this condition, it affects far more than the sleep cycle, having verified effects on metabolism and many other potential links with other health conditions.

  • It is a severe, rare, chronic and disabling neurological disorder that causes the individual’s “brain clock” to be unable to stay in sync with “nature’s clock,” the 24-hour cycle of light and dark on our planet.
  • As a result of this disconnect between brain and sun, people with N24 struggle to live in a 24-hour world with a non-24-hour brain.
  • This can cause a wide range of difficulties, including problems with employment, school, family life, and social life, among others.

N24 appears to have a genetic component and currently is incurable although it can be managed with some degree of success by using light and dark therapy (in sighted people) and/or melatonin therapy (most effective with totally blind people.)

Roughly 50% of totally blind people have some degree of N24
while sighted N24 is [believed to be] much more rare.

The mechanisms, treatments, and manifestations of N24 are typically very different in blind sufferers than in sighted sufferers, leading some with N24 to consider blind and sighted N24 as two distinct but related conditions.

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

HOVER before clicking – often a box will appear to tell you what to expect

This year’s theme: The Many Faces of N24

A Furry First-Person Report

On N24 day, people with N24 are encouraged to write about living with N24 or create other forms of art and communication (videos, paintings, music, audio recordings, etc.) about the lived experience of N24. These can take the form of personal stories, scientific essays, awareness essays, poetry and other symbolic expressions and more.

SO THIS YEAR, my blogging Shih Tzu TinkerToy is drafting a post about what it’s like to live with somebody with N-24 – from his doggy point of view, of course.  After all, he has to live on MY schedule, so he might as well be diagnostic himself.  Don’t miss it – his may well be the only fur-face represented in the mix.

SO STAY TUNED, and keep an eye out this coming Thursday — N-24 Awareness Day.  (Tink’s only two and a brand new blogger, so encourage his efforts by by making sure you stop by to leave a like or a comment, okay?)

For eager beavers, here are some N-24 posts of years gone by:

Keep scrolling to the Related Content for links to more great info
about sleep and sleep disorders.

UPDATE: Make sure you read my longest comment below (in response to helentastic67 <== link takes you there directly – in a new tab or window). 

It “briefly” explains  how to tell the difference between N24 and it’s sister chrono-struggle Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder [DSPD].  It can be tricky to differentiate between them!

Neither are amenable to will, and both are a real bear to live with when the sleep-normal early-to-bed/early-to-rise world expects you to be ABLE to march in lock-step with their cadence – or else!

© 2016, all rights reserved
Check bottom of Home/New to find out the “sharing rules”
(reblogs always okay, and much appreciated)

As always, if you want notification of new articles in this Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too). STRICT No Spam Policy

IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

A Few LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)

Earlier N-24 Day Posts from others

BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

13 Responses to N-24 Awareness Day is almost upon us

  1. Pingback: Chrono-Crazy: N-24 vs. DSPS | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: Sleeping with the Enemy: Mom’s N-24 | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. Debbie says:

    as usual, spot on Maddie 🙂 ( hope you dont mind the diminutive, us Aussies always diminutize names… its a sign of endearment)…. ive strugged with this off and on, and especially on, for the past months. had a good nights sleep last night – boy what a difference that makes. one of the natural supplements i take is an Australian product from Natures Own called Advanced Sleep. amongst its many ingredients is a Chinese herb that stops or slows the mind from thinking too much. very helpful. I’ll come back and read your article again more thoroughly. thanks as usual, Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re a doll, Debbie!

      Right now Tink has commandeered the computer to finish his post for N-24 [Sleeping with the Enemy: Mom’s N-24], so I can get back doing what I must to be able to announce open enrollment for Group Coaching — so we’re in the same boat – pushed for time.

      There’s an article on the iChing I just “liked” over on your blog, simply to be able to get back there to do more than scan it.

      I will definitely check out Advanced Sleep once tings calm down too – thanks for mentioning it.


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness…. maybe this is what my husband has! We have been married for 12+ years and I never know what time of day or night he is going to be awake or asleep.

    My husband is a Vietnam combat veteran with severe PTSD, and we always thought his sleep was messed up because of that. But my PTSD is just as severe as his, if not more so, and yet my sleep patterns are fairly normal. Wow… I am going to have to read more about this.

    Madelyn, you amaze me. How do you do what you do, with ADD and N-24, too? You are pure Awesome Sauce!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • MAYBE, Linda. See my hastily written response to Helen. Also read JetLag for my first-person, which might help you understand a bit more. (WARNING: tho’ descriptive, it’s LONG)

      Further complicating recognition that might lead to diagnosis, combat-related PTSD has been known to “break” sleep clocks (but not ALL).

      Thanks for your kindness and support, btw. It’s been a BEAR to manage – especially since both disorders are “invisible” — their existence generally pooh-poohed by those empathy-averse vanilla-brains.


      Liked by 1 person

  5. Crap! I have this as well. I struggle to avoid the pre-dinner kip(Sleep!) and then I’m wide wake until 2am. Or more like 4am. The best sleep I get ever is 6am onward or outright during the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another greatly disruptive chrono-disorder is DSPS [DSPD]Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome […Disorder].

      Confusion between the two sets in when people with DSPD have fairly regular but intermittent pressures to awaken in the middle of their natural sleep cycle at the insistence of “Sleep Nazis” — who would scream bloody hell if they were expected to accommodate a schedule that mandated an appointment in the middle of their night.

      Chronic sleep deprivation would then begin to mimic N-24 – sometimes even precipitating its onset (a further dysregulation that is sometimes permanent).

      DSPD sufferers don’t have a longer “day” (as with N24), they have a delayed night. Without enforced pressure from the “disruptive” demands of a job, school, kids, etc., DSPS/D folks tend to get drowsy well after midnight (4 AM is a commonly reported time that the onset of sleep descends – with noon a commonly reported time they finally awaken naturally). Sufferers can and do find it relatively easy to adapt to the 24 hour clock as long as they can do it on their body’s natural rhythms.

      They don’t sleep LONGER – nor are they awake longer – than a “sleep normal” individual. They’re NOT sloths or slug-a-beds, They sleep *later* – relative to the 9-5 “early to bed/early to rise” schedule commonly observed.

      EVEN if they go to bed at what the neuro-world considers “a decent time,” they can’t and don’t fall asleep until their body clock tells them it’s TIME for sleep.

      Imagine expecting an individual with a “sleep normal” schedule to go to bed the minute they now come home from work (say 6 pm) like that alone would make them fall asleep – then stay asleep for a “normal” 8 hours, awakening ready for bear at 2 AM for a 4 AM school or work start.

      Yeah, right! Drink warm milk.

      With N-24, the body’s insistence that the day is LONGER than earth’s 24 (or so!) hours means they fall asleep a bit later every single day, and awaken correspondingly later every single day.

      Without constant upheavals due to the expectations of the sleep-normal world, most can eventually track how long their own individual day is, allowing them to PREDICT when they will be awake or asleep – but it usually doesn’t happen that one Sleep-Nazi or another will leave them alone long enough to figure it out.

      Induced sleep-debt dominoes, and their schedules careen from one dysregulated day to the next.

      Neither are amenable to will, btw. Thus the term DISORDER! Don’t expect a lot of diagnostic help here – MOST docs are still ignorant of the signs and symptoms of chrono-struggles, so they are likely to tell you that you have narcolepsy or insomnia.


      Apologies for the rushed tone of this response – more careful editing etc. can be given to blog posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Everything you ever wanted to know about SLEEP | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

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