Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome


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What is Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome?

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome is a disorder that does exactly what it says on the tin…it delays your sleep. This can be for up to two hours from your preferred bedtime and can obviously be very frustrating if you suffer from it.  It is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder meaning that it affects the internal body clock. The internal body clock is unsynchronised with the outer environment and even though it is dark and nighttime, and you should be asleep, the body is still reacting as though it is daytime. As your sleep is delayed at night, it will evidently be delayed in the morning and you will not feel like getting up when your alarm clock goes off!

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome & Insomnia

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome may seem similar to insomnia in so far as it is not allowing you to sleep at night even if you feel fatigued and ready for sleep. However, unlike insomnia, DSPS will often result in you falling asleep later than planned, but at roughly the same time at night. You may find that you fall asleep at this time, lets say 2AM, even if you vary the time you actually try and sleep. Therefore, you are likely to sleep at 2AM even if you went to bed at 11PM or 1PM. Your body clock does not allow you to sleep until 2AM. Whereas with Insomnia, you will not be able to sleep for varied amounts of time and will not have a prefixed sleeping time within your body clock.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome & Jet Lag

This syndrome may seem similar to jet lag as your body clock is not adjusted to the time zone and thus your sleep is delayed or induced sooner or later than you wish. Whilst your body is unsynchronised with external surroundings in both disorders, DSPS is a deeper-rooted syndrome that will last far longer than jet lag. When someone suffers from jet lag their body clock will become quite similar to that of a DSPS sufferer, as the body seems unable to sleep at the required time, yet will begin to adjust again unlike DSPS.


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