DSPD.org.uk was created to spread awareness of delayed sleep phase disorder which is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD) also known as Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) is a Circadian Rhythm disorder where your internal body clock is not in sync with the sunrise and sunset. People with DSPD will often fall asleep in the early hours of the morning and rise late in the morning and into the afternoon. In some extreme cases, this can be very irregular and there will be no set sleep schedule. No matter how hard someone with DSPD tries to sleep earlier, it just isn’t possible 99.9% of the time. Waking up can also be very difficult for some, many people claim to not hear their alarm clocks and need someone to physically wake them up before rising naturally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is DSPD A Psychological Disorder?
No, it’s a neurological disorder. Living with the disorder can often lead to psychological disorders such as depression.
Why Is DSPD Misdiagnosed?
From personal experience, a lot of doctors just don’t know about it, BUT there are many other illnesses out there that mimic the same symptoms. For example, If someone complains about being fatigued all the time they might get given antidepressants to treat suspected depression.
Are There Any Long Term Health Effects?
There can be a number of long term effects to your health when you suffer from sleep deprivation. These can include: depression, fibromyalgia, weight gain, anxiety, diabetes and even cancer.
Is DSPD Considered A Disability?
It is a disorder that effects your day to day ability, limiting you in what you can do. So yes, it is a disability but be prepared to fight against the job centre if you wish to make a limited capability for work claim.
What Are The Symptoms of DSPD?
Inability to go to sleep/wake up at the desired times.
Excessive daytime sleepiness.
Feeling like you are suffering from permanent jet lag.
Generally no other sleep problems if left to fall asleep and arise at their own circadian rhythm.
Does It Have Any Other Names?
I think I have DSPD, what can I do?
If you haven’t been to the GP’s before about your symptoms we think it’s very important to let them investigate as it could be anything. Only when your GP is unsure of what’s going on or thinks you may have some psychological disorder like depression, then it’s worth bringing the matter up.
Treatment Options For Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder
Currently there is no cure for Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder but there are some treatments that can be tried to manage the condition. Many people combine several treatments together and have success but unfortunately there will be others that don’t get any benefit from any of the treatment options. It is also worth mentioning that some people do not want treatment and learn to adapt their lives around Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder.
Your doctor may prescribe you melatonin to be taken several hours before your desired time to go to sleep to induce the brain to get tired and sleep.
Light Box Therapy
This involves sitting in front of a bright light often referred to a SAD lamp (seasonal affective disorder) that is 10,000 lux. It’s recommended to sit in front of the light for 1-2 hours immediately after waking up
Good Sleep Hygiene
You must try to go to bed at the same time every night so the body can attempt to adapt a routine. Don’t drink caffeine 4-5 hours before going to bed. Don’t use your mobile phone or anything else that contains blue light whilst you’re in bed.