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Adolescence – A Vulnerable Life Stage For The Development Of DSPS

Many of us have a legitimate reason for not being able to drag ourselves to the work on time. Most of us have a sleep disorder called delayed sleep phase syndrome which keeps us awake at night and drowsy in the morning. If we are given a chance we can divide the world in to two groups the ‘morning people group’ and ‘evening people group’.  For some people from the latter group, the day does not start until noon. They may be seemed awake but they are in the half-asleep mode, feeling tired and sleepy all the time.

Features That Are Commonly Evident With DSPS

Alarm Clocks Are One Among Various Failed Tactics To Wake Up Early In The Morning By DSPS Patients

In addition to the main symptoms such as insomnia, inability to fall asleep at desired time, depression and daytime fatigue, most people with DSPS are also found with some or all these features in them.

  • Excessive day time sleeping- These people stay active and function best in the evening and night.
  • They try everything suggested to them to change their sleep schedule. Their list of failed tactics includes; relaxation technique, sleeping pills, alcohol, hypnosis, dull reading and so on. They use several alarm clocks and often found begging in front of family members to help wake them early in the morning. But all these efforts go in vain.
  • They feel sleepy whole day, if for any reason they had to get up early. They take excessive sleep during weekends to compensate the loss of rest of the week. They are also found taking a short nap once in a day to manage with their delayed scheduled and refreshed afterwards.
  • Even after going to bed at their realistic time (after 2 am) they need at least 20 to 30 minutes of time to get into deep sleep.
  • A few of them have sporadic, brief and sudden reversions to sleeping at usual times

Expected Age Of DSPS Onset

In various cases, the onset of delayed sleep phase syndrome has been reported at the school age when students start late night studies and parties. Office goers also express that sine they started night shift work they developed problem with their sleep, similar to DSPS. Even after resuming to normal school and work hours they find it difficult to resume the conventional bedtime. Researches show that adolescence is the most common age for the onset of delayed sleep phase syndrome, but childhood cases have also been witnessed.

Treatment With Light Therapy

Morning Exposure To The Sun Light Leads To An Early Wake Time

DSPS may have started at any age; fortunately there is a treatment and that too without a surgery. A few routine change, such as regular morning exposure to the sun light leads to an early wake time and conventional bedtime at night. Bright light therapy is also considered a good remedy for DSPS. Patients can take bright light therapy at the comfort of their home through a light box. These light boxes produce standard dosages of 5,000 to 10,000 lux of bright white light. Keep the light box at your study table or bed side at specific distance. 30 minutes to 1 hour exposure in front of that bright light, after waking up in the morning, is more than enough to give you relief with DSPS.