ticipants included in each study. Consequently, there are no standard criteria for its use. Similarly, there have been no large-scale controlled studies examining the efficacy of melatonin, and as of yet it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this indication (Reid and Zee, 2005).

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome

Manifestations and Prevalence

Advanced sleep phase syndrome (or advanced sleep phase type) is characterized by involuntary bedtimes and awake times that are more than 3 hours earlier than societal means (Figure 3-7) (Reid and Zee, 2005). As is the case with delayed sleep phase syndrome, the amount of sleep is not affected, unless evening activities result in later bedtimes. Therefore, the syndrome is primarily associated with impaired social and occupational activities.

The prevalence of advanced sleep phase syndrome is unknown; however, it has been estimated that as many as 1 percent of the middle-aged adults may suffer from it (Ando et al., 1995). One of the challenges in determining its prevalence is that affected individuals typically do not perceive it as a disorder and therefore do not seek medical treatment (Reid and Zee, 2005).

Etiology and Risk Factors

The causes of this syndrome are not known; however, as with delayed sleep phase type, biological and environmental factors likely contribute to the onset of advanced sleep phase type. Several familial cases of this syndrome have been reported (Jones et al., 1999; Ondze et al., 2001; Reid et al., 2001; Satoh et al., 2003), and these cases segregate in a dominant mode. Polymorphisms in circadian clock genes have been identified in a family with advanced sleep phase syndrome (Toh et al., 2001; Shiino et al., 2003). Changes in the activity of genes involved in circadian biology are consistent with observations that individuals with this syndrome have circadian rhythms that are less than 24 hours.


Treatment options for individuals with advanced sleep phase syndrome are limited. Bright light therapy in the evening has been used successfully in a limited study to reduce awakenings (Campbell et al., 1993; Palmer et al., 2003). It is also hypothesized that administration of low levels of melatonin

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