Circadian Rhythm Disorders

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CircadianRhythm Disorders

CircadianRhythm Disorders

Thecircadian rhythm sleep disorders are the sleep disorders where thereis an inconsistency between the patient’s sleep patterns and thenormal patterns recognized by the society. This is where thecircadian rhythm of the patient fails to match with the sleeproutines recognized by the general public (Wilson &amp Nutt, 2013).There are six types of these disorders they include delayed sleepphase, free-running disorder, the advanced sleep phase, irregularsleep-wake phase, the jet lag disorder and the shift work disorder(Carney, Berry &amp Geyer, 2012). This paper will analyze thesedisorders and their treatment methods.

Theseclassifications have different causes, symptoms and treatmentmethods. The characteristic of delayed sleep phase disorders is thatthe individual’s slumber times and waking up schedules delay bythree to six hours comparative to those of other people around them(Carney et al., 2012). These victims report that they are more activein the evening but during the day they are tired and sleepy. In themorning hours, the patient can not undertake their designated duties.

Itis common among the adolescents and the early adults with itsprevalence being 15% among them. It is common among both the femalesand the males in these categories of the population (Carney et al.,2012). Environmental conditions could lead to the occurrence of theDSP. The individuals suffering from this condition have a minimalexposure to sunlight during the day and due to their active natureduring late hours, they get exposed to the sunset rays (Wilson &ampNutt, 2013). This disorder is also common in other medical,neurological conditions, for example, patients with brain injury, andliver cirrhosis may experience DPS (Carney et al., 2012).

Thecommon form of treating it is by exposing the affected to the regularsleeping schedule until they adapt to it. The patients should ensurethat they follow the new routine strictly if they want to achievetheir desired sleeping patterns. If they alter it any way they couldend up with their old program hence receiving no positive results.The victims should also expose themselves to the sunlight of themorning hours, and they should also avoid staying outdoors during theevenings (Zhu &amp Zee, 2012).

Anotherclassification of the circadian rhythm is the free-running disorderthat is also known as non-24-hour circadian rhythm disorder. Itscharacteristic is an increased regular shifting of the individual’ssleeping schedules (Thorpy, 2012). When the timing of the patient’scircadian rhythms is about their targeted sleeping hours, they oftenachieve a healthy sleeping pattern. However, if their circadianrhythms fail to be in line with their desired slumber hours, theywill complain of insomnia and other sleep depriving cases (Zhu &ampZee, 2012). They will fail to sleep at night and they may fall asleepduring the day.

Thiscase is not common among people who have their sense of sight.According to a research about this condition, it affirms that 50% ofthose born blind suffer from it. Additionally, an estimated 70% ofthese people complain about sleep disturbances (Wilson &amp Nutt,2013). According to this study, people born with perfect eyesightwill rarely experience this disorder. However, the male gender formsthe majority of those who experience it for victims who have theirsense of sight (Carney et al., 2012). Patients who have their fullview could also experience it after they suffer a head injury.

Itdevelops as a result of not being able to see light especially thesunlight. As a result, there is a lack of synchronization between thelight of the day and the circadian rhythm (Kitamura &amp Mishima,2012). Not all the blind people experience this condition. Some havefamiliarized themselves with their daily activities and, therefore,they will be able to fall asleep at their stipulated hours (Carney etal., 2012). Those patients with their full sight will experience itdue to different factors, for example, medical issues or behavioralchanges.

Thetreatment of this condition is the introduction of a new sleepingschedule to the patients. They should follow it for at least forweeks to obtain their desired results. The blind people should alsotake melatonin before they go to bed (Wilson &amp Nutts, 2013). Forthe sighted patients, they should ensure that they maintain socialinteraction and during the day and they should also expose themselvesto daylight. This is the most effective method that will help themattain the normal sleeping patterns (Carney et al., 2012).

Advancedsleep phase is also another type of the circadian rhythm disorder. Itis where the patient sleeps and wakes up earlier than the normalsleep-wake times (Thorpy, 2012). It could also arise from the changein the homeostatic adjustment of sleep by the patient. It may notnecessarily lead to the development of other sleep disorders sincethe victims get an equal number of sleeping hours with those whomaintain a normal schedule. There are many causes some of which areenvironmental, and others are social. These patients often feel leftout when they do not attend the social gatherings organized in thelate hours (Kitamura &amp Mishima, 2012).

Advancedsleep phase is more common among adults than the adolescents. Itaffects the senior adults who are above the ages of 40 and 50. ASPequally affects both men and women in this section of the population(Carney et al., 2012). The patients could also inherit this disorderfrom those who have it in their family lineage. A research hasrevealed that approximately 50% of people suffering from thisdisorder inherited it from the family members or relatives.

Treatmentof this disorder may not be necessary since it does not have anynegative effects on the patient. The steps used in rectifying thiscondition included exposing the victim to the evening light. It stopsthem from falling asleep early and it also makes them wake up late.At the end of this exercise, the victims would have adapted theregular sleeping routine. Doctors could also prescribe their patientswith hypnotics and melatonin. These two medication help in extendingthe patient’s sleeping hours (Wilson &amp Nutts, 2013).

Irregular-sleepwake disorder is also one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.Its characteristic is the inability of the patient to maintain aregular sleeping pattern (Thorpy, 2012). The individuals who havethis disorder sleep and wake up a number of times during the 24hours. The number of hours is consistent to those of the normalsleeping patterns. However, the victims less amount of rest and thiscould affect how they function in the society. It could lead todepression, poor eating habits and sometimes it may result in memoryloss.

Itcould be as a result of neurological conditions for instance braindamage, mental retardation or even dementia. Lack of sunlightexposure and social interaction could also lead to the development ofirregular sleep-wake patterns. This disorder is not common whencompared to the others such as delayed sleep phase. It could affectthe elderly who are institutionalized and the children suffering fromthe psychomotor retardation (Carney et al., 2012). These childrenfall victim to this disorder to the inability of their centralprocesses to generate the circadian rhythms.

Whenthis disorder is not treated, it could result in the development ofother mental problems and sleep disorder. Treatments of thiscondition will aim at ensuring the circadian rhythms perform theiractivity relatively to the external environment. The patients shouldbe exposed to the light and also introducing them to the socialactivities. The therapy differs depending on the causes of thedisorder (Carney et al., 2012). For example, the doctor could givemelatonin to kids suffering from psychomotor retardation to aid inrectifying their sleeping schedules.

Anotherform of circadian rhythm disorder is the jet lag characterized by thedisruption of one’s sleeping patterns due to the excessive travelto different regions that have varying time zones (Thorpy, 2012). Itssymptoms include insomnia, tiredness and drowsiness during the day.It is as a result of environmental changes and the body tries toadapt to these changes. It is common among many travels especiallythose who rarely visit other regions of the world. The remedy for itis to try and fit into the schedule of the new place by having mealsin the exact time as the locals do and also adjusting the sleeproutine following that of the locals (Wilson &amp Nutts, 2013).

Thelast type of circadian rhythm disorders is the shift work that is asa result of the regular changes in the working hours. A research hasaffirmed that 20% of the labor resources in the developed countrieshave jobs that require constant exchange in their working hours. Inthe US, for instance, 1% of the general public and an estimated 10%of those working in places that require a job, shifts suffer fromthis condition (Carney et al., 2012).

Thetreatment for this form of disorder begins with carefully monitoringthe patients and recording their sleeping habits. The primary aim isensuring that the circadian rhythms are in line with sleep-wake-workroutine. Its treatment should result in the ability of the affectedworkers to be alert while performing their duties. The therapyincludes administering medications such as hypnotics. Patients couldalso take beverages that have caffeine in them to assist them instaying awake (Carney et al., 2012).

Inconclusion, circadian rhythm sleep disorders occur when a personadopts sleeping routines that differ from what the society aroundthem perceives to be normal. There are six types of conditions whichfall under this disorder. Each of them has they different causes,symptoms and treatment methods. Different sections of the populationexhibit an adaptation of one of the disorders that may differ fromthe other


Carney,P.R., Berry, R.B, &amp Geyer, J.D. (2012). Clinicalsleep disorders. Philadelphia,PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Kitamura,H.A., &amp Mishima, K. (2012) Pathophysiology and pathogenesis ofcircadian rhythm disorders. Journalof Physiology Anthropolopogy, 13(7)doi10.1186/1880-6805-31-7

Thorpy,M.J (2012). Classification of sleep disorder. Journalof Neurotherapeutics, 9(4),687-701.Doi: 10.1007/s13311-012-0145-6.

Wilson,S., &ampNutt, D. (2013). Sleepdisorders.New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Zhu,L., &amp Zee, P.C. (2012). Circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Journalof Author Manuscripts, 30(4),1167-1191. DOI:&nbsp10.1016/i.ncl.2012.08.011.

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