Advanced sleep phase syndrome

Advanced sleep phase syndrome

Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS), or advanced sleep phase disorder (ASPD), is a circadian rhythm disturbance that causes a person to be sleepier than earlier so they go to bed quite early and wake up early. Those with ASPD are usually morning type, although to an extreme degree.

ASPS is a type of circadian rhythm disturbance

What causes advanced sleep phase disorder?

Usually affecting the elderly, (unlike delayed sleep phase disorder that affects teenagers), the internal clock is set to much earlier.

What is the biological  clock and how does it affect the circadian rhythm?

All living things have a biological clock that is influenced by the cycle of light and darkness that helps them adjust their sleep wake pattern as well as many body functions. In humans, the light enters the retina of the eyes and stimulates nerve impulses that travel along a pathway to the location in the brain called the internal clock that governs the circadian rhythms

What functions does the biological clock control?

The biological clock controls the timing of our circadian rhythms including our sleep patterns, feelings of alertness and sleepiness, our body temperature, hormonal secretion and body metabolism. The timing of our circadian rhythm or body clock plays a very important role in the timing of our sleep period.

What are the symptoms of advanced sleep phase syndrome?

A person feeling sleepier much earlier than the desired sleep time, fatigue, irritability, waking up earlier than desired, difficulty going back to sleep etc. are some of the symptoms of ASPS.

Is advanced sleep phase syndrome treatable?

Yes. Sleep physicians use a combination of treatments using bright light therapy and behavior modification,  to help re-adjust the circadian rhythm to a later time.

How do you treat advanced sleep phase syndrome?

Evening Bright Light Therapy Exposure is an important tool sleep physicians use to help move the circadian rhythm to later. In addition to bright light therapy, exercise in the evening also helps delay the circadian rhythm and will allow more sleep in the morning.

What is bright light therapy and how is it used to treat advanced sleep phase syndrome?

Bright Light Therapy is the mainstay treatment for Advanced sleep-wake disorder where we use bright light of about 10 lux to help treat many circadian rhythm problems such as delayed sleep phase syndrome, advanced sleep phase syndrome, non-24 hour sleep phase syndrome etc.

What are the side effects of bright light therapy?

Side effects and adverse reactions to light therapy are rare and usually self-limiting. Patients should be informed that eyestrain, nausea, agitation, headache, and hypomania can occur with light treatment.

What measures can I take to help adjust my internal clock if I have advanced sleep phase syndrome?

Step 1. Do something active in the evening – for example, go for a walk or spend time outside in the garden. Keep the lights on in the evening while watching television. During winter, you may need an artificial light device such as a commercial light box or a bright desk lamp placed at about arms length from your face.

Step 2. Do some light exercise early in the evening such as walking or stretching.

Step 3. Avoid bright light in the mornings. If you wish to go outside, wear sunglasses for the first couple of hours. After a week or two you should experience being less sleepy in the early evening and being able to sleep in later in the morning with more total sleep.

What is familial advanced sleep phase syndrome?

Familial advanced sleep phase syndrome is a condition that affects some families due to a genetic change. In 1999, Louis Ptáček’s and Ying-Hui Fu’s research group at the University of California, San Francisco reported findings of a human circadian rhythm disorder showing a familial tendency. The disorder was characterized by a lifelong pattern of sleep onset around 7:30 p.m. and offset around 4:30 a.m. Among three lineages, 29 people were identified as affected with this familial advanced sleep-phase disorder (FASPD), and 46 were considered unaffected. The pedigrees demonstrated FASPD to be a highly penetrant, autosomal dominant trait.

Other terms related advanced sleep phase syndrome

How can W8MD help?

Sleep medicine program uses state of the art technology including the convenient home sleep studies or in lab sleep diagnostic studies to diagnose and treat over 80 different sleep disorders including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, insomnia to name a few. Learn more…

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