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Sleep Phase Disorders

Affects our internal clocks that tells us when it’s time to go to bad and get up.

A circadian rhythm, typically referred to as your “body clock,” works to synchronize biological processes — including sleep — with the light/dark cycle. When these rhythms are disrupted, sleep phase disorders occur. There are two types: advanced and delayed.

In advanced, the sleep phase occurs well ahead of the conventional bedtime and the tendency is to awaken too early. This disorder is characterized by early evening bedtimes (around 8-9 p.m.) and early morning awakenings (around 4-5 a.m.). Only a small percentage of people suffer from advanced sleep phase disorder and it’s most commonly seen in older adults It may lead to feelings of isolation when the overwhelming need to sleep prevents participation in family, social or occupational activities.

Those suffering from delayed sleep phase disorders have just the opposite problem — their sleep phase is associated with late bedtimes (1-6 a.m.) and late awakenings (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). In essence, they’re stuck in a later-than-normal phase relative to the desired sleep-wake schedule. To learn more, call 405-636-7700.

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Sleep Phase Disorders

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