Child Sleep Disorder - What Is Circadian Rhythm?
What happen if owls and larks try to live together one family? If you are a lark (with a preference for an early to bed and early to rise schedule) and your is an owl (with a preference for a late to bed and late to rise schedule), how can you manage to coexist happily in the same household? Some children have an early or late preference, but manage to get enough sleep and wake up in the morning easily. However, some children (and adults) have difficulty obtaining adequate sleep due to their delayed or advanced sleep phase preference. When they are unable to function, missing school or work because of this preference, it is called a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. The most common type is the delayed sleep phase syndrome.
A circadian rhythm disorder is when you have normal sleep quantity and quality, but you are sleeping and waking at the Ã‚Â‘wrongÃ‚Â’ time. Your body is not synchronized with the normal patterns of body temperature, melatonin, and other hormone released in a predictable pattern every 24 hours.
If your child prefers a much later or earlier bedtime and wake time than customary and this interferes with daytime functioning, causing excessive daytime sleepiness, your child has a sleep disorder. A delay of 3 to 6 hours in your preferred bedtime and time is called a delayed sleep phase syndrome; an advance of the same time is called an advanced sleep phase syndrome.
Each day, we adjust our biological clock so that our bodies and s do not drift out of phase with a 24-hour day by using cues from the environment. The strongest cue to our clock is light. Sunlight, especially in the morning, acts like an alarm to our internal clock. Taking away light at night (or being in a dark environment) is the cue that it is time to go to sleep.
If you are exposed to light at the right time (in the morning), this helps to set your clock properly, and if you are exposed to light at the wrong time (in the evening) this disrupts your clock. Take for example, a teenager who falls asleep at a very late time, 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., and then sleeps in a darkened room until noon. He misses being exposed to morning light, and if he s this cue for many days, he may develop a delayed sleep phase syndrome, each day only being able to fall asleep late and preferring to wake up late. If he is able to wake up on time for school, this is with great difficulty, and he is excessively sleepy from getting inadequate hours of sleep. The delayed sleep phase syndrome is the most common circadian rhythm disorder, and along with the advanced sleep phase syndrome, can cause sleep problems in children and adolescents.