Sleep-Wake Disorders

Monday, April 10, 2017

Circadian sleep-wake disorders include conditions in which a persons sleep times are out of alignment. Dr. Edward Hill discusses these disorders in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Sleep-wake disorders occur when the bodys internal clock does not work properly or is out of sync with the surrounding environment.

The body has an internal timing system called the circadian system that regulates daily behavior and bodily functions through cycles called circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms influence things such as sleeping and eating patterns, body temperature and the production of certain hormones. These rhythms repeat approximately every 24 hours.

There are several different types of sleep-wake disorders. All involve problems falling asleep or staying awake at desired or socially appropriate times.

Treatment depends on the type of sleep-wake disorder. In general, strategically timed exposure to light and following a sleep schedule may be helpful. Melatonin supplements may be used in some situations to help align the bodys circadian rhythms with the outside environment. Other medications may also be used, depending on the scenario, to either promote wakefulness or facilitate sleep.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.