Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder : Modern Societies’ Curse

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Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder : Modern Societies’ Curse

Various things can cause sleep problems. However, it seems as if as technology progresses, people’s health conditions are getting worse. Many things brought by technology can cause people to be sick. That is a fact, when the world was not this advanced, people did not have to put up with a lot of things that they have to today. Now, there are such things as pollution, global warming and circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Things can only get worse.

In comparing how things were back then, one also cannot help but notice the big change in people’s lifestyles. Nowadays, people basically rely on technology. Cellular phones, television, and computers are things that people simply cannot live without. As changes in people’s lifestyle foes, another big difference is the change is people’s daily activities.

Sun and Moon

As opposed to the way people were centuries ago, people do not simply sleep when the sun goes down. Nor do they rise when the sun rises. Most, in fact, sleep as the sun rises.

Due to the invention of the light bulb, everyone makes use of artificial light. It is another thing that people cannot live without – light and electricity.

Studies have shown that light can delay a person’s sleep. It has also been discovered that some people are more sensitive to light than others. This is one of the causes of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. When people fail to sleep at regular times and light disrupts that cycle, people get this sleep disorder.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

There are two classifications of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. It can be intrinsic or extrinsic, depending on what causes it.

Included in the intrinsic type are two disorders known as jet lag and shift work sleep disorder.

Jet lag is caused by travelling through many time zones.

Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) is caused by the demands of work and the need for people to adjust to different work schedules. Failing to adjust to a new schedule results in circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

The extrinsic type has four kinds of disorders. These are delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), advance sleep phase syndrome (ASPS), non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome and irregular sleep-wake pattern.

DSPS is more common in teenagers. They tend to stay up late. If they could only sleep and wake when they want to, they can sleep regularly. Regardless, school and regular working hours are in the morning. Thus, more often, they end up sleep deprived.

ASPS tends to develop more often on older people. It can cause undesired awakening at early hours of the morning and excessive sleepiness.

Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome is when a person’s sleep occurs later and later each day. The period of peak alertness also continuously moves around the clock from day to day.

Irregular sleep-wake pattern appears as sleeping at very irregular times. People who have this usually sleep more than once a day. They wake up frequently during the night and take naps during the day. The total time asleep, however, is typical for the person’s age.

These are the different types of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Most of the time, it artificial light, caffeine and other stimulants that cause it.


Sally is a professional lady with an engineering background, and has had many a sleepless night.  She maintains a website dedicated to helping others understand insomnia. She provides free information about insomnia on her website Insomnia Revealed.

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