What is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

What is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

Have you ever been called a “night owl”?  Have trouble getting up in the morning because you stayed up too late the night before, just not tired enough to go to bed?  Are you falling asleep at work or school in the morning?  You may have Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD).

DSPD is when you habitually cannot fall asleep at a conventional clock time and awaken on a socially acceptable morning time.  Your sleep patterns are three to six hours off from the normal.  This can also be referred to as a “circadian rhythm sleep disorder”.

Mainly this occurs with adolescents and young adults but for some it carries over into adulthood. Symptoms (besides not sleeping normal hours) can include, daytime irritability and poor school performance, poor job performance, financial difficulty and family relationship problems.

Risk factors include: genetics, personality disorders, environmental influences and societal pressure.

There are ways to reset your circadian rhythm back to a more natural sleep / wake cycle.  Two treatments that have worked are: morning bright light therapy and evening melatonin supplement.

You should seek help if you are having consistent trouble with your sleep pattern.

Key Points:

  • 1DSPD most often occurs in adolescents and young adults.
  • 2People with sleep issues often have a parent who had similar sleep issues.
  • 3It is possible to get help and get the rest you need.


Treatment is designed to align the individual’s circadian rhythm, with the desired sleep-wake cycle.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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