Treatment for Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

Used alongside a healthy sleep regime some of the following treatments can be effective in treating Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. Equally, some of the different therapies can be used together to provide even better results. Like with all sleeping disorders it can be a case of perseverance in finding the right treatment for you.

Bright Light Therapy

Bright Light Therapy is when the exposure to light and dark is controlled over 24 hours a day. You will be exposed to bright light in the morning and refrained from exposure to light in the evening. You will be exposed to artificial light in the morning, sitting in front of a light box for up to one hour in the morning which will hopefully increase wakefulness and awareness. It is generally recommended that this type of therapy takes place early in the morning to advance sleep onset. With this kind of treatment, each sufferer will react differently and it will be a case of trial and error to find the best exposure level and quantity for you. However, in most cases, results are seen within a week.


Chronotherapy is a type of therapy that involves a manipulation of the patients sleeping and wakefulness. And whilst the experiment itself may seem very disruptive to your everyday life, it is designated to take just seven nights to try and cure your Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. The basic cycle will prolong your sleeping time by three hours each night until you reach your desired bedtime. For example, if you wish to sleep at 11PM and wake up at 7AM, you will begin this therapy by going to sleep at 5AM and waking up at 1PM. Then the next night you’d sleep at 8AM, get up at 4PM and so on. Until, on the seventh night you are going to sleep at 11PM and getting up at 7AM.

This kind of treatment is thought to be very affective, but not in all cases. Some find it even more disruptive to their sleep pattern and can experience insomnia. After the therapy has taken place a routine must be kept as wandering off the routine can eradicate all previous benefits of chronotherapy. 


Melatonin is a drug that can be used with DSPS but will probably not be used until other therapies have been tried as the exact benefit this drug has on DSPS sufferers is undecided. Melatonin is a hormone that helps get the body ready for sleep, and is released when the brain registers it is dark. Therefore, a false secretion of this can be given around thirty minutes before you wish to sleep. However, taking the drug melatonin can sometimes increase delayed sleep phases.

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