Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome | ASPS | ASPS Treatment

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome - Meaning

Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS) is a sleep disorder in which the major sleep episode is advanced with respect to the desired clock time that results in symptoms of evening sleepiness and an awakening that is earlier than desired.

Advanced sleep phase syndrome can be treated pharmacologically, with evening bright lights, or behaviorally with chronotherapy or free-running sleep. It is often encountered in the elderly and in post-menopausal women.

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome Causes

Advanced sleep phase syndrome is related to circadian rhythms, which controls the internal biological clock and influence functions such as sleep-wake patterns.

People with this sleep disorder have not been studied widely, but familial inheritance of this condition has been reported. Advanced sleep phase syndrome is more likely to appear in the elderly people.

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome Symptoms

People with advanced sleep phase syndrome show

  • A habitual sleep period that is of normal quality and duration, with a sleep onset earlier than desired
  • An inability to stay awake until the desired bedtime and/or an inability to remain asleep until the desired time of awakening
  • Symptoms may persist for at least 3 months.
  • The tendency to awaken spontaneously earlier than desired

One-third population is effected with advanced sleep phase syndrome affects and is common among the elderly. People who are suffering with advanced sleep phase syndrome have trouble staying awake in the evening but wake up before the sun comes up.

They may experience decreased daytime alertness, emotional problems, and marital difficulties, and tend to overuse or abuse sleeping medication or alcohol.

People with ASPS often complain of digestive problems such as constipation, ulcers, or diarrhea; muscle cramps, aches, and pains; sensitivity to cold; and menstrual cycle disorders.

People who are suffering with ASPS, daytime school or work activities are not affected by sleepiness unlike other causes of excessive sleepiness. However, evening activities are cut short by the need to leave early. There is a chronic incapability to stay awake in the evening or sleep later into the morning hours.

Sleep Onset For Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome Patient

Typical sleep onset times are between 6 and 8 p.m., and no later than 9 p.m., and wake times between 1 and 3 a.m., and no later than 5 a.m. These sleep-onset and wake times occur regardless of a person’s best efforts to delay sleep to later hours.

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome Treatment

Advanced sleep phase syndrome treatment can be done with chronotherapy or bright light therapy. Light therapy is effective in helping people to delay their sleep phase. The person is administered bright light.

Chronotherapy would involve a systematic advancement of bedtime until the desired bedtime is achieved. Bright light therapy would involve inducing a phase delay and the light exposure must be in the early evening.

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