Do you have trouble falling asleep at night or waking up in the morning? According to a recent study, you may be suffering from Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder or DSPD for short.
What is DSPD?
DSPD is a sleeping disorder that causes a shift in the circadian rhythm of your body. The circadian rhythm is an internal clock that tells your body when to wake up, fall asleep, and be hungry.
Who is most affected by DSPD?
Teenagers tend to be most affected by DSPD due to them staying up later than they did as a child but still having to get up early in the morning for school, but this can occur in adults too. DSPD causes many teenagers to be sleep deprived and leaves them tired during the day due to a shift in their sleep schedule.
What are the treatments?
DSPS is not the same as insomnia due to patients being able to have a full night’s sleep unlike insomniacs, and there are several treatments for DSPD.
Chronotherapy is a treatment where the patient slowly shifts their sleep schedule later and later until the desired sleep time is achieved. This treatment has very limited practical use due to the patient having to alter their regular day schedules to accommodate for the constantly changing sleep times.
Bright light therapy is another treatment for DSPD where a bright light or sunlight is used. One should see a sleep specialist before using this treatment due to serious side effects.
The third option for treatment is Melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone that directly affects one’s circadian rhythm. Normally, Melatonin shifts your circadian rhythm earlier so you are able to sleep at a regular time.
If your sleep schedule is interfering with your life than you should see a sleep specialist to talk to about the possibility of you having Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder.