between endogenous circadian rhythm and exogenous factors that affect timing and duration of sleep.

  • Circadian-related disruption leads to insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or both.

  • The sleep disturbance is associated with impairment of social, occupational, or other functions (AASM, 2005).

The following sections will describe two of the nine more common types of circadian rhythm sleep disorders, delayed sleep phase type and advanced sleep phase type.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Manifestations and Prevalence

The sleep pattern of individuals suffering from delayed sleep phase syndrome (or delayed sleep phase type) is characterized by sleep onset and wake times that are typically delayed 3 to 6 hours relative to conventional sleep-wake times (Figure 3-7). An individual’s total sleep time is normal for his or her age (Weitzman et al., 1981), but individuals typically find it difficult to initiate sleep before 2:00 and 6:00 a.m., and prefer to wake up between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The impact of delayed sleep phase syndrome has not been fully investigated and is therefore limited. In a study that included 14 individuals it was reported that the syndrome may impair an individual’s job performance and may be associated with marital problems and financial difficulty (Alvarez et al., 1992). A second study investigated the impact of delayed sleep phase syndrome in 22 adolescents and found an association with increased daytime irritability, poor school performance, and mental disturbances (Regestein and Monk, 1995; AASM, 2005).

FIGURE 3-7 Representation of the temporal distribution of sleep.

SOURCE: Reid and Zee (2005).

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