Circadian rhythm sleep disorders cause insomnia at some times of the day and excessive sleepiness at other times of the day. Common circadian rhythm sleep disorders include jet lag and delayed sleep phase syndrome.

Delayed sleep-phase syndrome (DSPS) is a chronic, fairly common, disorder of sleep timing. People with DSPS tend to fall asleep at very late times, and also have difficulty waking up in time for normal work, school, or social needs. DSPS is treatable, but cannot be cured. As few doctors are aware of its existence, it is often mistaken for other types of insomnia, and treated inappropriately.

Unless they have another untreated sleep disorder such as sleep apnea in addition to DSPS, patients can sleep well, and have a normal need for sleep. Therefore, they find it very difficult to wake up in the morning if they have only slept for a few hours. However, they sleep soundly, wake up spontaneously, and do not feel sleepy again until their next "night," if they are allowed to follow their own late schedule, e.g. sleeping from 4 am to noon.

In addition to the main symptoms of DSPS, most people with DSPS also have some or all of the following features:

DSP individuals are night owls. They feel most alert and say they function best, are most creative, etc. in the evening and at night.

They usually have tried many times to change their sleeping schedule. Failed tactics to sleep at earlier times may include relaxation techniques, early bedtimes, hypnosis, alcohol, sleeping pills, dull reading, and folk remedies. They often have asked family members to help wake them in the morning, or they have used several alarm clocks. Or family members - especially parents - have tried to get them up on time.

Symptoms often begin in adolescence, childhood, or infancy.
They are sleepy during the day, especially in the morning, if they have had to get up early. They sleep in on weekends (often past noon and for more than 10 hours) to make up for not getting enough sleep during the rest of the week. Some people with DSPS take naps during the day and feel refreshed afterwards.

Many people with DSPS need at least 30 minutes to fall asleep, even when they go to bed at a time that is realistic for them.

Some people with DSPS have occasional, sudden, and temporary reversions to sleeping at earlier times.

People with DSPS show delays in other circadian markers, such as melatonin-secretion and core body temperature minimum, that correspond to the delay in the sleep/wake cycle. Sleepiness, spontaneous awakening, and these internal markers are all delayed by the same number of hours.

In most cases, it is not known what causes the biological clocks of DSPS patients to become abnormal. DSPS has in some instances followed an illness or head injury, and might run in families. A growing body of evidence suggests that the problem is genetic. Children may be inappropriately treated for insomnia and even ADHD or ADD. People with DSPS are commonly stereotyped as undisciplined or lazy. Attempting to force oneself through 9–5 life with DSPS has been likened to constantly living with 6 hours of jet lag. Often, sufferers manage on a few hours sleep a night during the working week, then "catch up" by sleeping excessively at the weekend and sometimes by means of afternoon or evening naps, with inevitable effects on their social lives and, after decades, on their general health. Forcing a patient to go to sleep early, for example by the use of sedatives or "sleeping pills", and forcing early rising does not result in adaptation to the new sleeping pattern. Some sufferers report that sedatives are ineffective and can even exacerbate the problem.

There is no known cure for DSPS; treatments are only be a way to manage the condition. For many sufferers, no normalization is possible. These people either adjust their social and work patterns, or suffer from chronically insufficient sleep. It is conceivable that DSPS often has a major role in causing depression, because it can be such a stressful and misunderstood disorder.



i was doing so good too. thing i dread the most about working is adhering to a routine schedule and having to actually be coherent/awake during the daytime. most who know me, know that i am a zombie at school, which doesnt matter anyway because passing out in class requires little energy.

had a great weekend but it really screwd up my sleep schedule. i spent most of last night tossing and turning and probably got less than 4 hrs of light sleep with some fucked up dreams. @&*(*&!(&^@!&*^!&*@! i hate it. i am so freaking tired right now and trying to work. the coffee doesn't do anything.

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