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DSPS Can Be Misdiagnosed With Psychiatric Disorders | Use Investigative Testing To Recognize Problem

Delayed sleep phase syndrome is delaying in sleep by two or more hours in comparison to the conventional or regular bedtime. The standard bedtime is believed to be 10 in the evening. Especially with adolescents, when they get victim of delayed sleep phase syndrome they struggle for sleep till midnight and find difficulty in waking up at their school time. If you look into their sleep log you will see a short sleep period at week days (their school days) and lengthy sleep-ins on weekends (a mid afternoon wake up time). Irregular seeps also sometimes cause a poor concentration and short of memory in them.

Shift In Circadian Rhythm May Cause Paralyzing Anxiety And Social Isolation

The main cause of DSPS in children and adolescents is a shift in their circadian rhythm. The onset of puberty also knocks the door of sleeping disorder in adolescents. By and large, it is a genetic problem that affects the suprachiasmatic nucleus  (part of the brain called hypothalamus) that originates irregular sleeps. The DSPS or N24 becomes more stressful for the patient when this is misdiagnosed with psychiatric disorders. The patient sometimes suffers major functional difficulties because of the shift in his or her circadian rhythms which results in regular conflicts with parents and teaches and for that their problem recognized as psychiatric problem.

Depression And Irregular Behavior Due To Shift In Their Circadian Rhythm

Symptoms To Identify Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome In Teenagers

To avid misdiagnosis and getting the condition worse it is better to recognize the symptoms earlier. A few symptoms of delayed sleep phase syndrome that teenagers show:

  • Disinterest in school
  • Depression and introvert behavior
  • Regular daytime sleepiness
  • Insomnia (difficulty in falling asleep on conventional bedtime)
  • Increased energy in the evening
  • Fatigue and daytime tiredness
  • Concentration difficulty

Your child’s abnormal behavior is not necessarily a psychiatric problem; he or she may be having waking period shifts later each day and which is causing sudden change in his or her behavior.

Actigraphy Device To Monitor Sleep Patterns And Characteristic

Maintain A Sleep Wake Diary Of Your Child

Aside from monitoring behavioral changes there are a few investigative tastings that can help you diagnosing DSPS in teens. Actigraphy, is one of various options that records the pattern of sleep and wakefulness. With collected information through the device you can consult the doctor whether delayed sleep phase syndrome is likely to be presented in the child. A ‘sleep wake diary’ may also be useful in keeping the movements recorded for the sleep patterns over several weeks. If your child is showing some irregular behavior do not come in the conclusion of a psychiatric trouble, these might be routine change as common as the acne with puberty.

Symptoms May Overlap With Other Medical Conditions

Symptoms may overlap with delayed sleep phase syndrome and other medical and psychiatric conditions. Proper diagnosis is important as treatment distinct with each condition. Sometimes only proper management of time and simple relaxation exercises are enough to normalize the circadian rhythm in teens but when the problem has take a shape of a complicated one like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome your child need proper consultation and regular medication by a certified practitioner. Psychiatric disorders such as depressions and anxiety also cause sleep less nights and they are treated differently altogether.