A “night owl” , this is an increasingly prevalent condition seen in teenagers and adults who enjoy late night T.V. and computer gaming. This will often times present will a complaint of “insomnia”. The individual will be unable to fall asleep as early as work or school obligations demand. During the daytime, this will manifest clinically as significant daytime sleepiness at work or school because the person’s circadian rhythm / internal clock is still “set on” sleep. The sleepiness will improve as the day progresses, and in the evening time, the individual will be at optimal wakefulness. If left alone, these individuals typically sleep the best somewhere between 2-6 AM through 10 AM-2 PM range.
Treatment of Delayed Sleep Phase is complicated; we recommend a follow up visit at Expert Sleep Medicine to discuss further.
General Treatment of Circadian Rhythm Disorders (which includes Delayed Sleep Phase):
- Optimize Sleep Hygiene and Duration
- Prescribed Strict Sleep Schedule
- Phase Shifting to Align Circadian Rhythm with work schedule
- Light Therapy (avoidance and exposure)
- Medication (avoid or use)
- Attempt to achieve goal without medications
- Light and exercise aversion for 2 hours before bedtime