Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

Many people who suffer from this sleep disorder do not even know the name, but circadian rhythm sleep disorder affects people everywhere, disrupting their sleep cycle. Doctors recommend that one of the best ways to stay healthy is to make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This allows your body to function on a normal 24+ hour cycle or rhythm. For some people, however, circadian rhythm sleep disorder can make this a problem.

The Human Circadian Rhythm

To understand why this is a disorder, it is important to know a little about the normal circadian rhythm in a human. This refers to the time a person goes to sleep, wakes up, and when their peak performance is throughout the day. While a day on planet Earth is 24 hours, the human circadian rhythm is roughly 25 hours. For most people, the internal clock resets every day allowing them to fall asleep and wake at the same time without problems. For some, Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder means not being able to have a normal sleep schedule during the week.

Types of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder:

  • delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) - Problems getting to bed at the same time each night.
  • Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS) - Problems staying asleep in the morning and sleepiness at night.
  • Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome (Non-24) - Sleep time occurs later and later each day.
  • Irregular sleep-wake pattern - Sleeping very irregular hours with multiple sleeping periods throughout the day.

Treatment for Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder:

  • Therapy - From Bright Light Therapy to behavioral modifications and training, there are many things that may help with a Circadian Rhythm that is off. Chronotherapy is a particular type of therapy used to some success.
  • Drugs - For some people, certain chemicals like melatonin may be used to help create a more normal sleep schedule.  

Even though science has come quite a long way, some people are not helped by any method, their body maintaining a different sleep schedule than the societal norm.


Sleep Disorders and the Circadian Rhythm

There are many types of sleep disorders that affect people all over the planet. While those affecting the circadian rhythm may be less common than others, it is a problem for many people. If you know you have the symptoms of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder, there are many treatments available that may have you sleeping normally. 

Definition of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

There are two types of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder - Extrinsic and Intrinsic. The former is typical of people suffering jetlag or those who work swing shifts at different times every day. The second type comes in four different varieties including delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS), non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome (Non-24) and irregular sleep-wake pattern.

Symptoms of / Reasons for Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

  • Sleepy During Peak Waking Hours
  • Inability to Have Consistent Sleep Schedule
  • Waking at Different Hour each day
  • Going to Sleep at Different Times
  • Non 24-hour Sleep Pattern
  • In Some Cases, Insomnia

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