Effects and Remedies of Phase Delay Sleep

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Phase delayed sleep, unlike other sleeping conditions, is both a temporary and genetically inherited disorder that causes an inability to sleep until later hours and makes it difficult to wake in the morning, and depending on the case, may have cures or only treatments. For those with the disorder, most do not get enough sleep because of their inability to go to bed before midnight. There are different severities of the condition: some mild, moderate and severe. The difficulty does not lie with the inability to sleep well; but rather with the inability to sleep during the time frame required for wakefulness the next morning. In Lawrence Epstein’s article Improving Sleep, he writes on an internal clock located in the brain that known as the superchiasmatic nucleus, or “sleep clock.” He writes, “Although the clock is largely self-regulating, its location allows it to respond to several types of external cues to keep it set at 24 hours” (476) Exercising these “cues” can help a person with phase delayed sleep, however, the “sleep clock’s” dominant feature is its self-regularity, which proves to be problematic when not functioning correctly. The “cues” do not regulate the “sleep clock,” they only influence it. The problem may be brought on either by this part of the brain getting damaged, or with it being offset. In the case that no damage is done to the brain, the cause is not entirely known, as Epstein states, “It is unknown whether this phase shift occurs primarily as a physiological event or as a response to abnormal light exposure.” (478) Those who find themselves with the problem or inability to sleep until late at night, or even until early morning, may not necessarily have inherited the disorder genetically. Mary A. Cars... ... middle of paper ... ...first attempt to cure it, as mentioned in Carskadon’s article When Worlds Collide: Adolescent Need for Sleep Versus Societal Demands, is to adjust what is needed in a schedule in order to ensure a sufficient amount of time allotted to sleep. If no improvements occur after several weeks, it may be an indication that the condition is more serious. Should that be so, though there may not be a certain cure, treatments exist, and can help. Works Cited Epstein, Lawrence. “Improving Sleep.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11th ed. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. New York: Longman, 2011. 471-482. Print. Carskadon. Mary. “When Worlds Collide: Adolescent Need for Sleep Versus Societal Demands.” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 11th ed. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. New York: Longman, 2011. 489-496. Print.

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