Living & Coping with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Unfortunately, with this sleeping disorder, the actual cause of it is still undetermined. Whilst it has been thought to be induced by periods of late night’s for different reasons, the actual delay in the body clock remains a mystery. Therefore, the actual treatment of the disorder is less specific than say, Sleep Apnoea.

Understanding Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

In order to try and work towards helping reduce your delayed sleep, it is important that you try and understand the disorder and do not become stressed or anxious about it. Anxiety and stress in relation to this disorder can induce sleep onset insomnia. If you are diagnosed as suffering from DSPS then learning to understand this disorder could help you come to a healthy solution. For example, if you are aware that you are able to sleep for a healthy amount of time then you could adapt your sleeping pattern into your day. Equally, taking a nap during the day could help ease the struggle when getting up in a morning. Just by understanding and acknowledging this disorder, it could help you tremendously on the road to a restful night.

Relying on Medication/Alcohol

A common mistake that can be made in relation to this disorder is the use of sleeping pills or alcohol, to try and induce sleep. This mistake will normally occur before you are aware of what disorder you are suffering from. Whilst the pills and alcohol may induce your sleep quicker than normal, it is only a temporary release and could merely worsen your sleeping pattern. Alcohol does induce sleep but also reduces the depth at which you sleep, so you will sleep less deeply and will suffer from a less refreshing sleep anyway. Sleeping pills are thought to offer no benefit to this sleeping disorder and may only intensify the excessive sleepiness during the day and difficulty at waking up in a morning. If the sleeping pills do induce sleep quicker this will not be a permanent solution. 

A Healthy Sleep Routine & Hygiene

It is recommended to try and adopt a healthy sleep routine alongside the various treatments you may receive. These can be anything from establishing a sleep routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday, to not forcing yourself to sleep.

Begin to use a Sleep Diary

It may be a good idea to begin a sleep diary during your disrupted sleep to try and monitor your sleeping patterns. By doing this, you will allow your doctor to visualise your sleep disorder more clearly and this is important due to the other closely related sleep disorders that DSPS can be associated with. By maintaining a sleep diary it will probably become evident if you are suffering from DSPS as you will be falling asleep at roughly the same time each night, even if it is hours after you went to bed.

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