24 Hour Sleep-wake Disorder

3 Things to Know about Non-24 Hour Sleep-wake Disorder

People, who have a non-24 hour sleep-wake condition, their body’s circadian rhythm lengthen further than twenty four hours. In place of a 24-hour daily sequence, their cycle includes 25-28 hours. It translates to late sleep periods and wake times that little by little get later and later, thus leading to issues at home, school, work, social circles, and everyday responsibilities. In unusual cases, your body’s daily cycle becomes shorter than a day, leading to increasingly premature sleep times as well as wake cycles.

According to an article published on https://www.huffpost.com, a few drinks before bedtime may make you feel drowsy but also keep you restless and awake in a couple of hours. You will become awake before your usual wake time, this leading to less and disturbed sleep. Here are three things to learn about non-24 hour sleep-wake disorder:

  1. Symptoms

People plagued with this condition have symptoms such as late bedtimes, problem sleeping at bedtime, problem getting and maintaining sound sleep, waking later and later the next morning, too much of daytime sleep, depression, and insomnia.

  1. Causes

The problem is common among blind people, who have a neurological issue. Usually, exposure to light helps the body to control the 24-hour cycle. Now, when your body’s cycle goes astray from this 24-hour pattern, the said cues help in bringing back the circadian rhythm to alignment. Thus, the body maintains its 24-hour cycle irrespective of natural disruptions occurring from sickness, travel, seasonal changes in light exposure, and fits of insomnia. People plagued with non-24 hour sleep-wake disorder fail to use light exposure and therefore, cannot maintain a 24-hour pattern or cycle.

  1. Diagnosis and treatment

A physician would look at a patient’s medical record, related symptoms, and sleep patterns to examine this condition. The doctor might use actigraphy to keep a tab on sleep-wake cycles and in some situations, the melatonin levels assessed through laboratory tests. The lab tests figure out how the hormone levels increase and dip through the day.

When it comes to treatment, just as any other circadian rhythm sleep-wake issues, the non-24 hour sleep-wake condition is cared for with timed light and melatonin therapy. People who have normal vision, the treatments will frequently and effectively move to the circadian pattern back to 24 hours. Then, sustained treatment and the preservation of steady sleep and wake times are necessary for lasting symptom control. When such treatments cease, a deferred circadian pattern generally returns. For individuals who are blind, timed melatonin therapy is the universal, most effectual treatment for non-24 hour sleep-wake issues.


The condition is rare. However, if you experience the symptoms, it is imperative to consult with a medical professional and seek the right treatment. You can request your physician to put you with others troubled with the same condition. You may also get assistance from support groups and learn to educate your friends, managers, and teachers about non-24 hour sleep-wake disorder. You can also tell them how the condition affects your daily schedule. The right medical assistance, therapy, and support will keep this ailment under control.

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