Delayed Phase Sleep Disorder

Millions of individuals suffer from delayed sleep phase syndrome or DSPS. This sleep disorder is characterized, by a delay in the sleep pattern of 2 hours or longer. This delay can cause many issues with trying to arise at a decent early morning hour, which makes it difficult for the individual to hold down a dayshift job.

Delayed Sleep Syndrome

If you have ever heard someone refer to themselves, as an insomniac, this is most likely why. While there is not a genuine known cause of delayed sleep phase syndrom, many scientific experts accredit this delay in a shift in the internal clock.

Delayed sleep disorder is not a deliberate action nor can it be controlled, by the individual. It is believed that there are some bedtime habits that worsen this condition. DSPS will normally begin in the early adolescent age and carry on throughout life.

Symptoms of Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder

  • Inability to fall asleep at a specific time
  • Inability to wake up at a specific time
  • Wake up feeling refreshed, without sleepiness
  • Behavioral issues
  • Depression

Diagnosis of Delayed Sleep Disorder

Most physicians will do a thorough physical and metal assessment. A personal and family health history will be obtained, along with a list of verbal complaints. A polysomnogram may be ordered to study the individual’s overnight sleep pattern.

Delayed sleep Disorder Phase Treatment

While DSPS is more often diagnosed in adolescents and children, adults do suffer from this agonizing disorder, as well. Treatment will begin with trying to instill good sleep habits in young children, by restricting caffeinated beverages and chocolate foods several hours prior to bedtime.

  • Altering the internal clock (this is done by setting the clock for bedtime at a specific time and then reducing that time, by 10-15 minutes each night)
  • Stick with a sleep schedule
  • Reduce bright lights in the bedroom
  • Increase bright lights at wakeup time
  • Melatonin supplements