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CIRCADIAN RHYTHM DISORDERS

Circadian rhythm disorders include the following:

 

  • Advanced sleep - wake phase disorder

  • Delayed sleep - wake phase disorder

  • Irregular sleep - wake rhythm disorder

  • Non-24- hour sleep - wake rhythm disorder

  • Shift work disorder

  • Jet lag disorder

 

Approximately 15% of the America's workforce work outside the traditional shift ie night shifts, rotating shifts. While not all of them suffer from sleep issues, an approximate 10% of them experience shift work disorder characterized by insomnia and/or daytime sleepiness related to reduced sleep time. They also are at higher risk for depressions, ulcers, sleepiness related errors, drowsy driving accidents. 

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Delayed sleep wake phase disorder is more common among adolescents when it typically begins and in young adults. Approximately 10% of the patients who present with insomnia complaints have delayed sleep phase disorder. There are genetic and environmental factors that contribute to this "night owl" tendency.

 

Sleep schedule adjustments, strategically timed melatonin and light therapy use could help.