Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder Dealing With It

You may not know or even realize it but every living organism on earth is on a set schedule. Every one of us has our own, “body clock”. Whether it be rising at the crack of dawn or eating lunch at 12, our daily lives consist fully of schedules. Now imagine if your body clock was off track, completely distorted. Statistics from National Sleep Society show that this can occur in every 3 in 2,000 adults in America. It is called, Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder short for DSPD. DSPD can be known to affect a person’s internal clock, otherwise known as Circadian Rhythm. Circadian Rhythm occurs in an ongoing cycle of approximately 24 hour intervals. Someone who rises early in the morning, eats lunch at noon, and heads to sleep at 10 pm is known to have a normal Circadian Rhythm. When a person’s internal body clock is delayed or off track from the average person by 2 hours or more, than that person can be known to have this syndrome.

This disorder is all based on time of sleep. A person with this syndrome is very much able to be as functional as a regular person in their day to day activities. He or she can still get the full recommended hours of sleep, just not at their desirable time. Although this syndrome doesn’t seem so bad to the person reading this article, please be aware that there are still things that separate a person with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder from the vast majority. Having this syndrome or ignoring the body’s internal clock can cause difficulty with thinking, driving safety, and basic daily functionality. Imagine vulnerable people dying because a sleepy driver drifted into oncoming traffic? Can we blame them when their body is to blame? On the opposing ends, someone with this sleep disorder can be commonly mistaken for being an insomniac.

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A person with insomnia can’t seem to fall asleep where as a person with DSPD can’t seem to remain asleep. Many teenagers struggle with this syndrome and are completely unaware. They could be in bed by 10 pm, not be able to sleep for a few more hours and wake up groggy all day. Falling asleep throughout classes and failing grades could easily be the result. For an adult with this disorder it could be detrimental to himself and their family. Not only is this disorder apparent in teenagers and adults but children too. Parents could recognize these symptoms early on. Kids with this disorder are known to act out or cause havoc deriving out of poor sleep. A sleep disorder such as this one can not only leave a parent with a groggy, irritable child but also an unhappy one. It’s important to seek the expertise of a medical specialist to treat this disorder. Learning some valuable steps towards a better sleep can make life more restful, more rejuvenating, one every morning, day and night.

Ernestina Chacko is a writer and a photographer. Before joining, she was a senior contributor at Bloomberg USA.