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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Living With

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

If you have been diagnosed with a circadian rhythm disorder, it is important that you continue your treatment. Follow-up care can vary depending on your response to treatment and whether your condition is caused by internal factors, such as a medical condition, or external factors, such as your environment.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Treatment

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

Treatments for circadian rhythm disorders aim to reset your sleep-wake rhythm to align with your environment. Your treatment plan will depend on the type and severity of your circadian rhythm disorder. The most common treatments are healthy lifestyle changes, bright light therapy, and melatonin. Often, your doctor will recommend a combination of these treatments.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Diagnosis

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

To diagnose a circadian rhythm disorder, your doctor may review your medical history; ask about your symptoms, sleep patterns, and environment; do a physical exam; and order diagnostic tests.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Signs, Symptoms, and Complications

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

Signs and symptoms of circadian rhythm disorders can vary depending on the type of circadian rhythm disorder you have and how severe your condition is. Many of the symptoms of circadian rhythm disorders occur because you are not getting enough good-quality sleep when your body needs it. Undiagnosed and untreated circadian rhythm disorders may increase your risk of certain health conditions or cause workplace or road accidents.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Screening and Prevention

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

Currently, there are no screening methods to determine who will develop circadian rhythm disorders. Your doctor may ask you about your sleep habits in childhood and the last several years, and if you have performed shift-work. If you are at risk for circadian rhythm disorders, your doctor may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help prevent a circadian rhythm disorder.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Risk Factors

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

You may have a higher risk for circadian rhythm disorders because of internal factors such as your age, your sex, family history and genetics, and certain medical conditions that affect your brain or vision. External factors such as your lifestyle habits, environment, and occupation can also increase your risk.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Causes

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

Circadian rhythm disorders occur when your sleep-wake cycle is out of sync with your environment. Many factors, both internal and external, can cause you to have problems sleeping and raise your risk for a circadian rhythm disorder.

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NHLBI

Circadian Rhythm Disorders – Types

Sleep-wake cycle disorders 

The types of circadian rhythm disorders are advanced or delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, irregular or non–24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder, and shift work or jet lag disorder. The type you may have is based on your pattern of sleep and wakefulness.

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