Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome?
- 1.1 Symptoms of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
- 1.2 Impact of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
- 1.3 Causes of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
- 1.4 Diagnosing Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
- 1.5 Treating Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome?
Do you prefer the evening to the morning? Do you struggle to get to sleep until late? Is it challenging to get up early? Do you struggle with early lessons, meetings, or activities? You might have delayed sleep phase syndrome if this is the case.
Your sleep and wake times may be significantly later than those of most individuals if you have delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), a circadian rhythm sleep condition.
The circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, which regulates your sleep and waking cycles, is delayed in this illness.
Delayed sleep phase syndrome mainly affects teenagers throughout puberty, though it can occasionally last into adulthood. You are not alone if you believe you may have this problem. It may impact up to 16% of teenagers and 3% of adults, according to estimates.
The causes, effects, diagnosis, and therapy of delayed sleep phase syndrome are all discussed in this article.
Symptoms of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Some of the signs of delayed sleep phase syndrome include these:
- Inability to sleep at night: You can experience insomnia before 1 a.m. You can have difficulties falling asleep for hours, even if you go to bed at the same time every night. Reading, watching television, talking on the phone, listening to music, surfing through social media, or playing games can be how you pass the time.
- Being unable to fall asleep: on time can make it very difficult for you to wake up early since you haven’t slept enough. A typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule can be difficult to follow.
- Extreme daytime sleepiness: If you woke up early and didn’t get enough sleep, you’ll probably feel quite exhausted and sleepy all day. You might even catch yourself nodding off at work or school.
- In contrast: you will probably discover that on days when you are permitted to sleep in, such as weekends or holidays, you will likely feel much better since you have obtained enough sleep. You might naturally awaken in the late morning or long after noon.
Impact of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Chronic sleep deprivation brought on by delayed sleep phase syndrome can have a variety of negative effects on your health and quality of life.
Impact on Physical Health
Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your physical well-being and increase your risk of contracting illnesses like:
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heart condition
- Kidney Diabetes Obesity
Lack of sleep can increase your chance of suffering injuries or even dying in automobile accidents, workplace accidents, or slips and falls.
Impact on Mental Health
Lack of sleep can also have an impact on your mental health and cause symptoms like:
- Concentration problems Lack of attention
- Learning challenges Poor decision-making Procrastination
- sluggish response times
- Incapacity to evaluate the feelings and reactions of others
- Anxiety in professional or social situations
- Depression and extreme stress
- Suicide ideas
- Inclination to use drugs or other substances
Impact on Quality of Life
You may struggle to function as a result of the delayed sleep phase syndrome’s symptoms, which include chronic exhaustion, daytime drowsiness, and sleep deprivation, which can lead to:
- Regular absences or tardiness at work or school
- Poor performance in school or at work
- Greater likelihood of leaving school early or being fired from a job
- Greater likelihood of failing academically or professionally
- Your family and social life will be disturbed
- Tense intimate connections
Causes of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Among the possible reasons for delayed sleep phase syndrome are some of the following:
- Hormonal imbalance: By promoting sleepiness and wakefulness, respectively, hormones like melatonin and cortisol assist in maintaining your sleep-wake cycle. Delayed sleep phase syndrome can result from an imbalance in these hormones.
- Genetics: If a member of your direct family has delayed sleep phase syndrome, you may be more prone to get it yourself.
- When you hit puberty: your circadian rhythm—also known as your internal body clock—changes. While a minor delay is typical, a considerable delay, frequently brought on by changes in melatonin levels, can result in delayed sleep phase syndrome. Your social life may keep you up at night when you’re a teenager.
Diagnosing Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
The following steps could be included in the diagnostic procedure:
- Clinical consultation: Your doctor will ask about your medical history, symptoms, and way of life. They’ll need to comprehend how your normal sleeping pattern affects your productivity.
- Physical examination: A physical examination might help your doctor rule out other disorders that could be the cause of your symptoms.
- An actigraph: is a tiny wearable gadget with motion sensors that can track your sleep-wake cycles. You can be required to wear one for up to two weeks by your doctor.
- Sleep study: During a sleep study, your heart rate, brain waves, breathing, oxygen levels, and eye and leg movements can all be monitored.
- Tests for hormones: In order to measure the amounts of hormones in your saliva, such as melatonin and cortisol, your doctor may carry out further procedures.
Treating Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Following are some coping mechanisms and treatments for delayed sleep phase syndrome:
- Chronotherapy is a behavioural strategy: in which you progressively change your sleep and wake times by going to bed a little earlier each night until you have established a more regular sleep-wake routine.
- Medicine and supplements: Sleeping pills and melatonin are two examples of medications and supplements that can help you get to sleep at the time you want. You’ll be instructed by your doctor on when and for how long to take them.
- Light therapy: Because humans are physiologically programmed to be active during the day when it is bright outside and to sleep at night when it is dark, the body clock is synchronised to the presence of light. Your internal clock can be reset so that it is more in tune with your surrounding environment by exposing yourself to strong light in the morning (whether it be from natural sunlight, a light box, or a light therapy lamp).
- Keeping a sleep journal: will help you keep track of your sleeping habits and symptoms so you can appropriately describe them to your doctor.
- Sleep hygiene: Good sleep hygiene practices can support more regular and better-quality naps. Keep your bedroom cold, dark, and quiet, and follow a regular sleep-wake schedule. Avoid using electronic devices right before bed, and avoid coffee in the evening.
- Support: Seeing a mental healthcare professional may be beneficial if you’re exhibiting any cognitive, emotional, or behavioural symptoms as a result of the illness or insufficient sleep. They can also support you in coping with the condition’s other unfavourable effects, such as subpar academic and professional performance and disrupted family ties.