Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.

DelayedSleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) also known asPhase Lag Syndromse, is a sleepingdisorder that makes you go to bed later than normal and wake up much later thanothers.

Itis a circadian rhythm sleepingdisorder and has the highest rate of occurrence among all sleeping disorders.People with this disorder go to bedin the early hours of the morning (1-4 am)and awaken around 9-11 am.This sleeping disorder is the opposite of advancedsleep phasedisorder.

People who party a lotinto the night or have a hugeworkload (politicians, scientist and students)are usually afflicted bydisorder, due to their irregular sleeping patterns.

This sleeping disorder isvery different from Jet Lag. DelayedSleep Phase Syndromeoccurs when there is an irregularity in the body’sbiological clockthat is opposite to the natural timing in one’s environment.In Jet Lagthe conditions are the same but it is induced by changinggeographicaltime zones. In DSPS the patient’s sleep pattern is just delayed incomparison to that of healthy persons.

Peoplewith this disorderfind it difficult to concentrate during the day if theirsleep patternis disrupted. They have a slow reflex to actions in theirenvironmentand generally do not do well in their endeavors. However if theyareallowed to follow their normal sleep patterns they have no problemconcentrating in the day.

Statistics.

Thisdisorder usually begins in childhood and usually vanishes duringadolescence.It is prevalent in adults and is equally distributed amongmen and women.Statistics show that about 3 people in 2000 have it andabout 7–10% of chronic insomnia patients always complainof this disorder.

Symptoms

DelayedSleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) can often be confused with other sleep disorders.There are certain symptoms that can distinguish it. I am listing some below.

  •  Adiagnosis of DSPS cannot be made rashly because your sleeppatternchanges. You must have the symptoms for about a monthbefore a diagnosiscan be made.
  • DSPS patients don’t have any problem sleepingwell if they follow their own sleep patterns.
  • DSPS patients enjoy sleep better during themornings and afternoons, unlike chronic insomnia patients.

Treatment of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS).

Totreat this conditionone of the things to be done is to graduallyadjust sleeping schedule. Keep tothis schedule religiously. If onediverts from this schedule one could relapseback into DSPS. Anothertreatment is bright light therapy.This involves wakingup in the early hours of the morning and exposingone to bright light andavoiding bright light in the evenings. Thismethod has been proven to work effectively.


Chronotherapy is another treatment forDSPS. It was first used in1981 by C.A. Czeisler. It is used to manipulate thesleep-wake cyclesuch that the patient’s cirdician cycle is gradually changed.Inchronotherapy the patient wakes up 3 hours later than the previous nightuntil he or she moves around the clock and can consistently sleepearlier.
The schedule of sleep may look like this:

  • First night: sleep at 4 a.m., wake at 12 p.m.
  • Second night: sleep at 7 a.m., wake at 3 p.m.
  • Third night: sleep at 10 a.m., wake at 6 p.m.
  • Fourth night: sleep at 1 p.m., wake at 9 p.m.
  • Fifth night: sleep at 4 p.m., wake at 12 p.m.
  • Sixth night: sleep at 7 p.m., wake at 3 a.m.
  • Seventh night: sleep at 10 p.m., wake at 6 a.m.

Though this method is not always successful, it hasworked for many people. Other treatments include Vitamin B 12 and Melatonin.

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