Circadian Rhythm Specialist

Sonoran Sleep Center

Sleep Medicine & Sleep Labs located in Glendale, AZ

If you frequently travel overseas or work the graveyard shift, you’re more likely to experience a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. At Sonoran Sleep Center, board-certified sleep medicine doctor Sarah Patel, MD, provides various treatments for circadian rhythm sleep disorders, including lifestyle therapy and prescription medication. To make an appointment in Glendale, Arizona, call the office or book online today.

Circadian Rhythm Q&A

What is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder?

A circadian rhythm sleep disorder is a medical condition that affects the timing of your sleep. If you have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, you might have difficulty falling or staying asleep. You might also wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep.

Everyone experiences difficulty falling asleep occasionally, but if your symptoms last for more than a few weeks or affect your performance at work, it’s important to visit a sleep doctor. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you’ll feel better.

What are some common circadian rhythm sleep disorders?

At Sonoran Sleep Center, Dr. Patel treats various circadian rhythm sleep disorders, including:

Delayed sleep phase disorder

If you have delayed sleep phase disorder, it means you sleep for at least two hours longer than a “normal” sleep cycle. For example, you might go to bed after midnight and wake up in the afternoon.

Advanced sleep phase disorder

Advanced sleep phase disorder causes you to fall asleep in the early evening (before 9 p.m.) and wake up at the crack of dawn (before 5 a.m.). This sleep disorder is prevalent in middle-aged and older adults. There is a strong family history associated with advanced sleep phase.

Jet lag

Jet lag occurs when you disturb your body’s internal clock by traveling through multiple time zones in a short period. It affects your sleep-wake cycle, causing you to feel drowsy or fatigued.

Shift work disorder

Shift work disorder commonly affects people who work overnight. Common symptoms of shift work disorder include daytime drowsiness, gastrointestinal problems, and decreased sex drive.

Irregular sleep-wake rhythm

This disorder is characterized by a constantly changing sleep-wake cycle. You might take several naps throughout the day or experience lengthy periods of insomnia. 

How are circadian rhythm sleep disorders diagnosed?

To diagnose a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, Dr. Patel reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms. She also orders blood work and has you keep a sleep diary for several weeks. If these steps don’t provide insight into your condition, Dr. Patel might order an overnight sleep study.

How are circadian rhythm sleep disorders treated?

At Sonoran Sleep Center, Dr. Patel offers various treatments for circadian rhythm sleep disorders. After making a diagnosis, she might recommend:

  • Avoiding naps
  • Sticking to a regular bedtime
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
  • Bright light therapy
  • Prescription medication

Ultimately, the goal of treatment is to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and help you get a restful night’s sleep.

If you’re concerned about having a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, make an appointment at Sonoran Sleep Center. Call the office or book online today.