The Circadian Rhythm determines sleep patterns for each 24-hour period (Circadian comes from Latin, meaning “around the day”), and is driven by our biological clock. That afternoon lethargy is just a dip in your personal rhythm – most adults feel the need to snooze between 1-3 p.m. How strong the dips are depend on how much (or how little) you slept the night before.
Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Some sleep disorders can develop when your Circadian rhythm is rattled by an external factor such as medication, time zone changes, or a shift change at work. Some common disorders include:
- Jet Lag: Excessive fatigue and a lack of daytime perception in people who travel across multiple time zones.
- Shift Work Disorder: Affects people who frequently rotate shifts or work night shifts.
- Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder: People who tend to fall asleep late at night and have trouble waking up as well as performing duties at work and/or school. This disorder is common in teenagers and young adults.
- Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder: People who go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier than desired. This disorder is common in the elderly.
Treating Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Treatments for Circadian Rhythm Disorders are personalized based on the unique needs of each diagnosis. This ensures that a person’s sleep pattern meets the demands of his or her lifestyle. Light therapy can be used as well, as can chronotherapy, a technique where sleep time is adjusted gradually until the right time has been achieved and maintained.
Also keep in mind that these symptoms can happen to anyone when a sleep schedule becomes irregular. Instead of knocking back an energy drink or two, remember to keep good sleep hygiene habits with a regular sleep schedule, allowing time for plenty of rest every night on a comfortable mattress. Stop by A Goodnight Sleepstore today to consult with our staff and try out our selection of mattresses to optimize your time between the sheets.