Sleep Phase Syndrome-Or Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are a family of sleep disorders that affect the timing of sleep and wake periods required for normal social needs.
Some sleep phase challenges are caused by external circumstances, such as Jet Lag and Shift Work Sleep Disorder.
Some sleep phase disorders are caused by internal issues for each individual that might be hormonal, age-related, genetic predispositions or other elements. Of these, Delayed Sleep Phase syndrome is a pattern, lasting more than three months, of delay of two hours or more from the desired time to fall asleep, which results in the inability to wake up at the desired time. Advanced Sleep Phase syndrome is the pattern of being very sleepy in the early evening—from 6:00 – 8:00pm—and going to sleep which results in very early awakening times (1:00 – 3:00am). Other sleep phase disorders include shifting sleep-wake cycles that move consistently forward in the 24-hour cycle and irregular sleep-wake rhythm where sleep occurs at very irregular times.
Sleep Phase disorders can manifest a host of symptoms from confusion, cognitive dysfunction, impaired judgment, fatigue, loss of coordination, pain, mood disorders and weight gain, among others.
Most important for Sleep Phase disorders is the proper diagnosis so an appropriate plan of treatment can be designed for the specific individual. Not treating Sleep Phase Disorders can severely affect quality of life, and with lack of sleep over time, can contribute to serious health issues such as heart attack and stroke.