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Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders is a family of sleep disorders that all involve a problem in the timing of when a person sleeps and is awake. People with circadian rhythm sleep disorders are unable to go to sleep and awaken at the times commonly required for work and school. A person’s internal circadian body clock controls the sleep-wake cycle and functions in a cycle that lasts a little longer than 24 hours. The circadian clock is “set” primarily by visual cues of light and darkness, as well meal and exercise schedules.

Each circadian rhythm sleep disorder involves one of these two problems:

Types of Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders


  • Sleep loss
  • Excessive sleepiness insomnia
  • Depression
  • Impaired work performance
  • Disrupted social schedules
  • Stressed relationships

  • Treatments

    Certain lifestyle changes may help people may cope better with certain circadian rhythm sleep disorders by doing such things as adjusting one’s exposure to daylight, making changes in the timing of daily routines, strategically scheduling naps, and developing good sleep hygiene habits.

    Additional treatments may include

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