Can’t sleep normally or at the right time? Have sleep and work problems when traveling to a distant country or changing your working schedule? Then you are probably suffering from circadian rhythm disorders. This article has information on sleep disorder that you will find very useful.
The circadian rhythm is the internal body clock that controls the 24-hour cycle of biological processes in a person. Circadian rhythm disorders manifest more clearly as a continuous or occasional disruption of sleep patterns so that people can’t get enough sleep.
There are two causes: a malfunction in this internal body clock or a mismatch between this clock and the external world which affects the duration of sleep. Because of this mismatch, people often suffer from insomnia during some days and too much sleepiness during some other days, causing them problems at work, school or socially. We’ll talk about the main circadian rhythm disorders.
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder is a circadian rhythm disorder that usually affects teenagers and young adults which delay sleep onset until 2 a.m. or even after that. If they sleep in as late as 3 p.m. for example, problem sleeping does not happen; but if they wake up before that they can experience daytime sleepiness and have problems while working or studying, but they usually are most alert and can work better late at night.
Jet Lag manifests when the pattern of sleep and wakefulness is affected because of a new time zone, so it is hard for people to adjust and have a good performance in the new time zone. Shift work disorder is a common problem in people who rotate shifts or work at night.
Work schedules affect the body’s circadian rhythm and some people find it difficult to adjust to the change. This causes interruptions in the pattern of sleep like insomnia or excessive sleepiness, so they can’t get a good night’s sleep.
How to treat Circadian Rhythm Disorders
There are several treatment options available but the most common and recommended are: a behavior therapy which includes maintaining regular sleep-wake times, exercises and avoiding substances like caffeine, and medications including melatonin to help adjust and maintain the sleep-wake cycle to the schedule the person wants.
And when recommending medications, doctors usually think of natural herbal supplement which contains melatonin and has proven to be of great help to treat and cure most sleep disorders like those which affect the circadian rhythm.