Delayed sleep phase syndrome is a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder where a person has a significant phase delay in the hours of their sleep compared to what is desired which normally happens to some degree in teenagers.
The patients will DSPS tend to fall asleep much later and have trouble waking up in the morning often missing school, college, or work.
- People with this condition are called “night owls” .
- These people are most alert and feel most productive late at night.
Presentation of DSPS
They may be chronically late for work or school and/or function poorly during the day.
Causes of DSPS
Multiple factors play a role including genetic predisposition, medical and mental health problems.
The internal body clock called circadian rhythm in the hypothalamus of the brain needs appropriately-timed light exposure to work properly.
Poor light exposure or exposure at wrong times
People who donʼt get good exposure to light during the day and or who have too much exposure to bright light during the evening may be at risk for developing a DSPS.
Signs and Symptoms of DSPS
Difficulty falling and or staying asleep and difficulty staying awake on a typical schedule
Impairment in school, work, social, or other life as a result of sleep problems
Tests and Diagnosis of DSPS
Because people with these disorders are unable to sleep at the times when they are expected to, they frequently have signs and symptoms of insomnia, but in order for treatment of the insomnia to be successful, the underlying problem with the body clock needs to be detected and addressed as well.
One key difference between insomnia and insomnia with CRSD is that if the person is allowed to sleep on their preferred sleep schedule, they might not have any trouble sleeping.
Treatment of DSPS
• Lifestyle changes: Adjusting exposure to daylight, making changes in the timing of daily routines, and strategically scheduling naps.
• Bright light therapy: This therapy synchronizes the body clock by exposing the eyes to safe levels of intense, bright light for brief durations at strategic times of day.
• Melatonin: Per physician guidance, taking melatonin at precise times and doses may alleviate the symptoms of some CRSD.
Also see advanced sleep phase syndrome.
FAQs delayed sleep phase syndrome
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