Circadian Rhythm Disorder: Everything You Need To Know

Circadian Rhythm Disorder: Everything You Need To Know

What is Circadian Rhythm Disorder?

These are sleep disorders that are caused by not synchronized sleep-wake rhythms or light-darkness cycles. They simply do not have a normal sleeping time than normal people so the result is difficulty in sleeping and body clock problems.

This is commonly experienced when your body is supposed to be sleeping then you are working, traveling to a different country with completely different time zones. What are the kinds of CRD, here are they:

  • Jetlag: It is also known as time zone change syndrome or desynchronosis, occurs when people travel rapidly across time zones or when their sleep is disrupted, for example, after traveling a long distance by air, your circadian rhythms may still be aligned with the previous time zone. Your body may expect to sleep when it is daytime in the new time zone or be awake when you are supposed to sleep.
  • Shift Work: Shift work disorder is classified as a common cause of a sleeping disorder.  It happens when you are doing work against your body clock, you are working when you are supposed to be sleeping and sleeping when everyone else is awake. When you have shift work disorder, there is a conflict between your body’s circadian rhythms and your work schedule.
  • Altered Sleep Phase: This is composed of 3 syndromes under it. People who have this do have normal sleep quality and duration with a 24-h circadian rhythm cycle, but the cycle is out of sync with desired or necessary wake times. 

    • Delayed sleep phase syndrome:  Person that experiences this has a typical sleep pattern, it is just that it is delayed by two hours or so. Meaning late sleeping time and the result is delayed waking time. This pattern can be a problem when it interferes with work or social demands but they likely to have a normal amount and quality of sleep. It simply occurs at a delayed time.

  • Advanced sleep phase syndrome: This is a complete opposite of DSP, people who have advance sleep phase sleep earlier than normal sleeping time and tend to wake up earlier than normal waking time. Like DSP they have a normal quality of sleep, bedtime tends to occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. They tend to wake up between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

  • Non–24-h sleep-wake syndrome: This is the most complicated among these 3 syndromes. People with non-24h sleep-wake syndrome have no definite sleep pattern, they sleep differently and wake up in different patterns each day. Among these 3 this one can greatly affect work schedules and normal routine. This syndrome was also connected with being blind, every day, morning light and other behaviors reset the sleep-wake clock to a 24-hour schedule. Without light and this clock resetting, people’s sleep time will drift later and later.  This is why many people who have Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Rhythm are blind. Light is the major influence on resetting the brain’s clock.

  • These are usually treatable and manageable so consult your doctor if you are exposed to different sleep patterns than the socially accepted sleep-wake timing. Your doctor might give you some sleeping pills to make sure you have complete sleep every day to avoid more serious health conditions. We hope this blog gives you a brief overview of CRD and syndromes under it.


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