Sleep is one of the most important things in our lives. Isn’t our bed the only thing we can think of after a tiring day? Unfortunately, sleep disorders are a common thing now, and they are never good for anyone. A sleep deprived person cannot function properly and falls behind in social life and work. The exact aim of this article is to explore the cause and treatments of a common sleep disorder: Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS).
The Science Behind Sleep
But first, let’s just make sure we know the science behind our sleep cycles. The basic concept revolves around the natural clock in our body, which keep the brain informed of the time of the day, so it knows when it’s time to sleep or wake up.
The natural clocks of DSPS patients are slow to respond to time changes such as nightfall and sunrise, which causes disruption in sleep patterns.
Symptoms of DSPS
The symptoms associated with DSPS are:
- Unconventional sleeping times: DSPS patients normally are not able to sleep and wake up at the socially acceptable times. They sleep late into the night (usually about the same time) and wake up around noon. This often causes problems in keeping up with routine matters.
- Difficulty in waking up in the morning: As expected, patients find it very hard to get up at the ‘right’ time. Trying to change one’s sleep schedule simply worsens the situation. Although it is easy for DSPS patients to maintain a comfortable sleep.
- Tiredness and fatigue: Lack of sleep means that a person feels tired pretty much all the time. Patients often tend to experience midday sleeping spells and be labeled as lazy.
- Depression and other associated symptoms: These are all indirect symptoms of DSPS. Sleep deprivation can cause depression, mood swings and decreased attention.
So if you feel that any of these are your problems, it is recommended that you visit an expert for professional guidance.
Before getting into treatments, first you need to accept the fact that you have a sleep disorder. Gather your courage, and get ready to fight.
The professional advice is to settle into your natural sleep cycle before treatment. This helps you get rid of all the fatigue and start with a fresh mind. Listed below are the various solutions for DSPS.
- Light therapy: This therapy works by exposing them to bright light a little before the time they usually wake up. The extra light can help the natural system reach the desired state.
- Darkness therapy: Quite similarly, reducing light intensity as night time approaches helps to shift the sleeping time backwards. Usually patients are advised to take precaution such as using eye-wear to simulate darkness and avoid having unnecessary light sources such as computers in their surroundings after sunset.
- Changing in sleep timings: This treatment involves shifting a patient’s sleep time; either earlier or later than their usual one. The time at which the patient sleeps is gradually shifted each night until the right time is reached. This is a slow technique though.
- Medication: Medication that induces sleep is also available for DSPS. However, they can also have undesirable side effects, so always consult a specialist before taking them.
These were the common treatments for DSPS. If you ever feel like you might have DSPS, do visit an expert. Don’t try any of these treatments by yourself.
Hoping you don’t have to seek such solutions. Sleep tight!