Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Problems
The body has an internal, biological system called circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour internal clock synchronized with the Earth’s rotation that helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. This system is easily affected by the blue spectrum light emitted from overhead lights, TVs, cell phones, computers, or tablets. When light is detected (with closed eyes or open eyes) this signals the body to prevent sleep by blocking the release of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that is created by the pineal gland and released by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) during the onset of sleep when the sun goes down and darkness sets in (Colton, & Altevogt, 2006). However, with artificial light, this natural cycle is disrupted. Serin Center has circadian rhythm modulation protocols that can help restore this cycle without disrupting modern life.
Circadian rhythm sleep disorders are typically chronic disturbances in the circadian sleep-wake timing that are chronic and have occurred for at least 1 month. Delayed sleep-phase disorder is characterized by an inability to fall asleep and wake up at appropriate times, which can result in excessive sleepiness during the day. Individuals with this disorder typically fall asleep between 1:00am and 6:00am in the morning. Teens on computers and social media late at night tend to have difficulties falling asleep but this is largely a result of behavior rather than an actual delayed sleep-phase disorder. An irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder involves several sleep and wake cycles throughout a 24-hour period; it is mostly seen in older adults or individuals with developmental disorders. Advanced sleep-phase disorder is characterized by an earlier than appropriate bedtime, as individuals often have difficulty staying awake and typically wake up earlier than desired in the morning. Shiftwork disorder occurs when an individual experiences sleepiness during work times and insomnia symptoms during desired sleep periods. Shiftwork disorder is common in people with unconventional work schedules. This disorder occurs in at least 10% of those that work night or rotating shifts. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders area associated with greater cognitive impairment, mood disturbance, and risk for cardio metabolic disorders (Zee et al., 2013).
Colton, H. R., & Altevogt, B. M. (2006). Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation: An unmet public health problem. Washington DC: National Academies Press.
Zee, P. C., Attarian, H., Videnovic, A. (2013). Circadian rhythm abnormalities. Continuum, 19, 132-147. doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000427209.21177.aa
What We Don’t Treat
We are not an emergency clinic. We are an outpatient provider so we do not have inpatient facilities. We are not a hospital and do not provide detox services for addictions. We do not treat schizophrenia or brain disorders related to advancing age such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. We are not contracted with any court system and do not provide court ordered services related to child custody or other matters.