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Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder

Sleep problems are caused by many factors. One thing that may be observed is that as technology moves forward, health problems also increase. Technology can lead to things which will cause a person to get sick. Before, when lived in a world which was less advanced, people had less to deal with. They did not have to protect themselves from pollution, global warning, or a sleeping disorder called circadian rhythm. Our lifestyles have changed greatly from our ancestor’s. We are now reliable on technology for the most basic reasons. Because of this, a person’s daily activities have also changed a lot.

What Causes This Disorder?

Circadian rhythm sleep disorder is a disorder which affects a person’s sleep schedule. It may be caused by many things. Before, a person normally went to sleep when it was dark. Today, we have artificial light, brought about by electricity, which was not available before. Studies say that sleeping can be slowed down by light. Light can disturb those who are more sensitive to it. Light is main causeof disturbance of the circadian rhythm. When a person cannot sleep when he or she needs to and light interrupts the cycle, he or she can start to suffer from circadian rhythm sleep disorder.

Most people go through a similar circadian rhythm.

Most of the time, circadian rhythm sleep disorder is caused by being unable to sleep because of light, but it may also be caused by caffeine, and many other stimulants that keep the body awake.

Two Types: Intrinsic and Extrinsic

  • Intrinsic – Jet lag, or Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). Jet lag can occur when one travels to different timezones. SWSD affects those individuals who normally need to work at different times, and whose sleep cycle is constantly changing.
  • Extrinsic – There are four types: delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), advancement of sleep phase syndrome (ASPS),  irregular sleep-wake pattern and non-24 hour sleep-wake syndrome. The condition called DSPS commonly occurs among teens. Most teens make it a habit to sleep late and thus end deprived of sleep. ASPS is more common among older people, and it causes unwanted awakening and excessive drowsiness. Sleep-wake pattern is when a person has a very irregular sleep schedule and non-24 hour sleep-wake syndrome occurs when a person sleeps later as each day passes.



  1. Thanks for the clear article on circadian rhythm, especially the photo was useful to me to understand

  2. Thanks for this short and easy info on circadian disorder