You may be suffering from circadian rhythm sleep disorder. That's a mouthful, but what it means is that: we have biological rhythms, known as circadian rhythms, which are controlled by an internal biological "clock" in our bodies on a daily basis. A person's desire and ability to fall asleep is influenced by both the length of time since the person woke from an adequate sleep, and by internal circadian rhythms.
To determine whether you have this disorder, your primary care provider may order what's called a sleep study. To do this, you spend the night at a sleep lab,where your sleep is observed from another room and your brain waves are monitored by painless scalp electrodes to asses the phases of your sleep, including the dreaming phase.
If the sleep study provides a positive diagnosis, some treatments include:
1. counseling about sleep hygiene in which the patient is told to avoid naps, caffeine, and other stimulants---as well as to not lie in bed for anything besides sleep and sex.
2.Bright light therapy is used to advance or delay sleep, depending on how the circadian rhythm is shifted. Patients are exposed to high-intensity light (up to 10,000 lux) for a duration of 30–60 minutes at a time, the time of day depending on whether an advance or a delay is needed.
3. Gentle sleep aids, such as melatonin, which was mentioned in a previous post---with, of course, a physician's recommendation. Narcotic sedatives are usually not recommended since they complicate the circadian rhythm.
Stay in touch, okay? We love to be your cheerleaders!
Edited by: TREATL at: 6/21/2012 (19:36)
Co-Leader, Lewis County Sparkers
Co-Leader, Dealing with Depression Team
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