While our bodies are hard-wired to crave certain sleep and wake times, there is help for those extreme larks and night owls. Read more to find out what you can do to help your sleeping schedule if you have ASPD or DSPS.
Scientists have discovered that if left to your own devices, your internal clock works on a 25-hour cycle rather than a 24-hour one. However, thanks to external stimuli such as sunlight, we generally follow a 24-hour sleep schedule.
Many people have a natural tendency toward getting up earlier in the morning or staying up later at night simply due to their genetics. But generally, certain internal clock genes can cause true circadian rhythm disorders that result in extreme larks or night owls.
Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder (ASPD) affects about 1 percent of adults; a higher percentage of seniors, and results in these people going to bed earlier and waking up earlier than what is typically considered normal. For example, individuals with ASPD may go to sleep between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and wake up anywhere from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. During the time they are asleep, they generally get good-quality shut-eye.
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) is much more common, with as many as 15 percent of teens and adults reportedly having it. The opposite of Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder, those with DSPS go to bed in the early morning, between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., and wake up later, ranging from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
While these extreme night owls still sleep well, they are at risk of sleep deprivation if they must force their bodies to wake up before they are ready to in order to accommodate school and work schedules. Work with your doctor to find out ways to get more shut eye or get to bed at an earlier or later time so you feel well rested during the day.
Your sleep can be affected by many things, even the quality of your bed, mattress, and quality of sheets. Visit our site to read more about how to get a good night’s rest.