Body rhythm disorders can occur at any age. These disorders are disruptions in the patient's circadian rhythm (the internal body clock) that affect the timing of sleep. People with these disorders have difficulty sleeping and waking at the times required for work, school, and social activities.

What are some of the more common circadian rhythm disorders?
Common circadian rhythm disorders are:
-Jet lag or rapid time zone change syndrome
-Shift work sleep disorder
-Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS)
-Advanced sleep phase syndrome
-Non 24-hour sleep- wake disorder

Are any of these disorders more common than the others?
Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) is perhaps the most common of these. It usually becomes evident during adolescence. People who have this problem have a shift in their body rhythms. As a result, they have trouble going to sleep at night and trouble staying awake during the daytime. High school and college students with DSPS often perform poorly in school and may lose employment as a result of this disorder.

How are circadian rhythm disorders treated?
Treatment for these disorders depends upon the type of disorder that affects the patient. Treatment options include:
-Chronotherapy, in which the bedtime is gradually and systematically adjusted until the ideal bedtime is achieved. A firm commitment from both the patient and caregiver is needed as it can take weeks to successfully shift the sleep-wake cycle.
-Bright light therapy which is used to advance or delay sleep. It works by resetting a person's circadian clock.
-Medications such as melatonin, wake-promoting agents, and short-term sleep aids may be used to adjust the sleep-wake cycle.
-Behavior therapy, such as maintaining regular sleep-wake cycle, avoiding naps, exercising, and avoidance of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol within several hours of bedtime.

For more information visit,


44000 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 113, Novi, MI 48377
248.465.9253 (WAKE) Fax: 248.465.9285
© 2015 The Center for Respiratory and Sleep Disorders